A key part of recruiting and retaining great talent is building a learning culture where employees are constantly seeking and applying new skills and knowledge to improve their performance.
Organisations have always sought that their employees empower themselves with relevant and need-of-the-hour skills in order to stay current and relevant. In fact, the importance of professional empowerment has increased manifold after the pandemic.
As per a 2020 report of Nasscom, the self-life of skills is now only two to three years which means to remain current and relevant, one has to continuously or lifelong learn and empower themselves.
“The term ‘professional development’ has become a cliche, it should rather be rephrased as ‘professional empowerment'. Today, organisations have a huge focus on the professional empowerment of employees because this not only ensures the growth of the organisation but also the overall growth of the individual. An employee who keeps empowering himself/herself will always stay current and relevant. It is their skills which will keep them floating even at the worst times such as the pandemic or recession,” says Ranjith Menon, senior vice president – global human resources, Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS).
In an interaction with People Matters, Menon talks about the role of professional development programmes for employees and how companies can encourage employees to think beyond their current role, department, and industry.
Role of professional development programmes for employees
Professional empowerment programmes have become a major focus area for organisations. They are using innovative learning methods such as byte-sized learning, gamification and anywhere learning modules to empower their employees. These innovative methods are being well received by the employees. They’re able to engage and learn better. We have observed that employees are more interested in learning modules which really matter to them or which are relevant to their work profiles.
How can companies encourage employees to think beyond their current role, department, and industry?
Organisations must foster a culture wherein employees are encouraged to think beyond their area of work.
At the workplace, employees must mandatorily engage with other departments on a project basis. This will give them exposure to how other departments in the company work and, of course, teach them additional skills. This activity will also encourage the employees to learn better and empower themselves so that they can perform better in various departments.
How can companies create a culture of continuous learning to attract and retain talent?
The biggest threat to any organisation is not investing in employee growth. A key part of recruiting and retaining great talent is building a learning culture where employees are constantly seeking and applying new skills and knowledge to improve performance.
Attracting and retaining talent is more about culture than training. People will seek out organisations with excellent reputations in their industry and look for innovation to see if it aligns with their organisation's values. An organisation’s culture must support these values.
Nowadays, talent retention is one of the biggest challenges and considerations for companies. Offering career development to employees is a way to invest in talent because it shows that retaining them is important to us.
Organisation should build a culture of seeking knowledge and building goals. For each employee, there should be personalised tutorials suiting their requirements. This way, an organisation can encourage employees to grow by staying with them.
How are companies expected to attract the talent they need to forward their digital resiliency efforts in the future?
Organisations must begin by looking to fulfill the professional needs of people in an organisational environment.
While every company is different—and therefore requires a different approach, leaders should delve into the mission and vision of the organisation and look for guiding values that align with digital transformation priorities. They can then focus on technology adoption in terms of value or mission to explain why it matters.
When employees understand how new technology fits with the company's stated goals, mission, or values, they are more likely to buy into it. This all-important purchase could accelerate adoption and convenience with the pace of technology adoption.
Working with HR, leaders can evaluate the desired work behaviours and processes and then select the technology that best supports the ideal work. By choosing technology that correlates strongly with desired processes, leaders can shape organisational structure while providing employees with tools that streamline their workflows.
When employees realise that the chosen technology can make their work easier, they are more likely to trust and support the next round of changes. Transforming corporate culture is a process. Organisations should anticipate mixed reactions until the transformation gains momentum.