Skilled Workforce Shortage Creates Training Imperative

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By Elena Fanjul-Debnam, Vice President of Labor Solutions, Emerging Markets

In today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving business environment, the need to upskill and retrain employees is greater than ever. According to a survey by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, three-fourths of corporate CEOS see the availability of key skills as the biggest threat to their business.

IBM’s C-Suite Study uncovered similar concerns after surveying executives in more than 20 industries. In that study, more than 65% of global leaders cited talent and leadership shortages as their most pressing business challenge.

However, IBM also found there were significant benefits to investing in a skilled workforce, including:

  • 16% increase in customer satisfaction
  • 10% increase in productivity
  • 22% faster rollout of projects

Overall, 75-80% of managers surveyed by IBM believed effective training was critical to project success and meeting project deadlines.

Earlier this year, AT&T announced it was investing $1 billion dollars to retrain nearly half its workforce, by 2020. Other companies are following suit, recognizing that in this tight job market, developing their current workforce is an effective way to position themselves for future growth.

In addition to addressing the skills gap, organizations are finding that expanding training opportunities is having a positive impact on employee retention efforts as well. Career development and meaningful work are key drivers of employee satisfaction, particularly among millennials. In fact, employees who feel they cannot achieve their career goals at their current organization are 12 times more likely to consider leaving than employees who feel their employers are providing career growth opportunities.

Organizations are leaning heavily on e-learning platforms to addresses their urgent training needs. E-learning is flexible and efficient, giving employees the freedom to fit training into their schedules. And E-learning allows employers to easily customize trainings to meet changing organizational needs.

Most importantly, e-learning is incredibly effective. Technology company Aura-Interactiva collected several studies that demonstrate the benefits of e-learning including:

  • Retention rates for e-learning are high, generally falling in the 25-60% range.
  • Participants learn nearly 5x more material with e-learning, without increasing time spent in training.
  • E-learning typically requires 40-60% less time than a traditional classroom setting.

The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Future of Jobs Report said that by 2022, due to the speed of innovation and new technology, no less than 54% of all employees will require significant re- and upskilling. Organizations slow to adopt new methods for workforce development will certainly be at a disadvantage well before then.

E-learning is a key feature of WOVO, a mobile and web-based worker wellbeing platform recently launched by Workplace Options. WOVO’s e-learning modules engage employees with interactive lessons and completion badges. In addition, employers are able to track worker progress and scores. For more information about WOVO, click HERE.

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