The world around us changes at an unfathomable speed. Did you know that our knowledge base now has the resources to double every single day? That means what we learned last year might be obsolete today, and what we learned five years ago is closer to ancient history than it is to relevancy!
Education and knowledge are prime keys to success and in direct relationship to your business and your workforce. When employees are in a working environment that encourages continuing education, they will, in turn, have a greater capacity to do their job exceptionally well. This is not industry or job title specific. Whether its training in customer service and conflict negotiation or engineering and technology, the desire to learn and the need to grow personally and professionally are universal.
The advanced speed of knowledge is just one factor. Another challenge is how we build our workforce. Most employers hire to fill the current role, with little thought about future growth of the new hire or the business’ goals and objectives. This one-sided thought process literally sets the stage to develop challenges such as high turnover, poor leadership and business culture.
An article written by Joyce E.A. Russell, University of Maryland School Business published by the Washington Post found that “96 percent of employers agreed continuing education improves employees’ job performance” but only 11% did anything about it. Knowledge and experience may seem like a hiring paradox, but you can have the best of both worlds, you have to create it!
It is not as complicated as it may sound. All it takes are clearly defined company goals, hiring metrics and a focus on providing continued learning opportunities for high valued employees.
Create a Personal Growth Strategy
As a part of the hiring process and employee on-boarding with your company each employee should have a Personal Growth Strategy. The strategy should define their current skill set, future growth options, metrics to achieve their personal goals and company objectives, as well as industry education requirements.
Goal oriented employees will embrace their growth strategy as a personal challenge. No one wants to lose. You will soon see talent rise to the top. Put your focus on those employees who have proven themselves and give them the opportunities. Look to broaden their understanding of their work with institutional learning, hands-on experience, and supplement their learning with vendor and online classroom education. Whether its form vs. function. Theory vs. practicality. Ideas vs. execution. You are giving your employees the knowledge they need to excel.
A personal growth strategy not only lends itself to opportunity, it also encourages employee responsibility. By establishing defined metrics up front you are creating an environment of achievement. Some will move quicker, some slower. Their growth strategy becomes the foundation of their employee review, and their drive to succeed at your company.
When they win – you win
Continued learning can be mentorship, coaching, tuition reimbursement, access to paid courses, admission to a seminar circuit or something else entirely. Giving them the chance to learn means giving them the chance to succeed again and again, no matter how your company, your industry and the world changes around them. Our online courses with Udemy can be easily implemented and become a valued company benefit.
Lead from the front
When you dedicate yourself to keeping pace with new knowledge, it puts your company on the leading edge of the learning curve - ahead of your competition, new hires will be attracted to your company and current employees will align with your objectives and become dedicated to your success, thus reducing employee turnover, increasing productivity and improving your bottom line. And when it comes to future growth and expansion, you don’t need to look very far to find highly qualified talent.