A Workforce in Flux: Navigating Employee Changes
Today’s leaders face challenges ranging from outdated operations systems to supply chain issues. To top off that list, never-ending changes to the workforce can create even more difficulties when it comes to keeping an organization running smoothly.
With people transitioning in and out of roles more frequently than ever before, skills (or lack thereof) can make or break a company. For employers, it’s essential to understand where your employees are, what you can do to boost new skill sets, and importantly, how to leverage technology to supplement your workforce.
Bridging the skills gap
Are your employees experiencing a skills gap?
To help make an assessment, think of all the skills you use for your daily work. Chances are, some form of communication, technical and technology skills probably land on that list.
Now, focus on operations, where recent changes to the workforce have amplified gaps. The rate of retirement, lack of trade skills, rise in the need for technology-based skills and a strained labor market are combining to create a perfect storm.
With this in mind, it’s up to you to empower managers to maximize their team’s skill sets.
Here are a few areas to develop:
- Focus on growing technical skills. Provide managers resources and creative opportunities to help workers on their teams improve the more technical or specialized skills. These might come in the form of apprenticeships, online education or certification courses, mentorship programs, or even YouTube tutorials.
- Celebrate and nurture soft skills. Things like communication, listening, teamwork and critical thinking are more important than ever before. From technology to relationships, encourage managers to work on their team’s soft skills with team-building exercises or other activities that can build comradery and inspire creative problem-solving.
- Invest in digital skills. To stay competitive, even the most analog of businesses must evolve. Most people have a smartphone in their pocket, so now is the time to integrate technology across operations to improve productivity, communication and more. Technology can help increase efficiency and offer better insights into the state of your operations, and even the most reluctant employee can quickly learn how to use these tools.
Best practices for times of uncertainty
Sure, there are many factors in the labor market that you can’t control. But there are a few areas that you can prioritize to start getting more out of your existing employees — and help set future ones up for success.
- Training for your current employees. Help managers get their teams comfortable and fluent with new technology and encourage them to explore training opportunities inside and outside of your organization.
- Document everything digitally. Documentation is key as your organization trains team members and enables them to do their daily work more efficiently. It will also help capture institutional knowledge from employees approaching retirement or seeking new opportunities.
- Track and analyze productivity. Help managers better understand how to maximize staff by tracking work and using data from it to allocate resources.
- Retention is key. Surveys have shown that a little can go a long way in keeping employees satisfied and engaged. Research shows that revisiting your policies for flexibility, recognizing achievements and upward mobility can have a sizable impact on retaining talent.
Whether your organization is trying to retain some of the legacy knowledge of your retiring (or soon to retire) employees or helping early-career workers get up-to-speed, a little training and a lot of documentation can go a long way. Throughout changes in the skill sets of your team (current and future), we’re here to help you maximize your productivity and harness technology to make that even easier!
If you need help to grow your employees’ skill sets and navigate your changing workforce, we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve with technology. Ready for more? Stay tuned for an in-depth ebook on how to navigate the Changing Workforce!