How employee training could change the workplace as we know it

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COVID-19 had a major impact on the shape of the world of work. Enterprises around the world have had to grapple with the sudden shift to remote working, a frantic digital transformation, and changing work patterns, all of which are having a lasting effect on when, where, how, and even why we work.

The pandemic has changed lifestyles for everybody, and the post-COVID workforce has different expectations and demands for their work experiences. With so many changes taking place in every corner of the business world, it’s an excellent time for companies to take stock of their corporate culture, workplace atmosphere, and employee satisfaction levels.

Employee training is a key factor in shaping corporate culture and affecting employee engagement. Savvy businesses that are aware of the potential impact of employee training programs can use them to their benefit, to shape a more appealing and efficient workplace that preempts the needs of the next generation of workers.

Here are 6 ways that employee training is already having an effect on the post-COVID workplace, and can continue to modify the future world of work.

1. Building an agile enterprise

Employee training programs enable employees to gain new skills and strengthen their existing capabilities. Combined with internal opportunity marketplaces, they allow employees to move sideways to try out new roles and acquire new talents, and executives to discover that their workforce possesses a greater range of competencies than they had realized.

Top employees don’t need to move companies to find new challenges, and workers who haven’t found their niche can keep experimenting within the same organization, instead of taking all their business knowledge and experience with them to a different company.

Better soft skills training, like leadership and communication, also helps enterprises to find and promote management and executive level talent more swiftly and accurately. Training programs thus create a more flexible and agile enterprise, with employees who can step into different roles and departments when necessary. By reducing employee turnover, employee training further strengthens the company.

2. Empowering employees to shape their own future

Internal talent marketplaces and employee training programs are part of a new movement that returns agency over employee futures back to the employees themselves. Instead of an HR department deciding how to invest in their human resources, the enterprise empowers employees to decide how to invest in their own careers.

HR personnel assist employees to identify where their talents lie and how they envisage their work-life balance, so that workers select when, how, and why to retrain or upskill. Employee training shifts from what benefits the organization to focus on what benefits the individual, and that feeds back into the enterprise again in the form of happier, better-adjusted employees.

3. Changing attitudes to work

Employee training programs are encouraging people to think differently about their working lives. Employees who feel able to try out new roles and choose new projects discover new levels of enthusiasm and engagement, viewing work as a place to learn and grow rather than just a way to earn a living.

What’s more, better training means that employees are aware of the real possibilities for them to move up the corporate ladder. Managerial and executive roles are suddenly within reach, making it worth it for workers to work towards them instead of feeling defeated before they even begin.

4. Making remote work realistic and effective

The pandemic forced enterprises to accept remote work, but it didn’t always go smoothly. Remote work only succeeds when employees have the right skills and feel a sense of connection to each other and the company, so that they can work together without friction.

Employee training programs enabled enterprises to shift into a new gear and address the challenges of remote working. Companies that can handle a remote workforce enjoy more talent choices that aren’t limited by geography, and happier employees who appreciate the flexibility that working from home allows.

It also helps future-proof the business against the next crisis, making the workers better able to adapt to changing work circumstances.

5. Creating more efficient workflows

Enterprises that invest in their employee training programs gain better insight into the strengths and weaknesses of their workforce. They can match teams and individuals to the most suitable tasks and assignments, making workflows more efficient, removing bottlenecks, and raising employee satisfaction.

Employee training programs can also help boost innovation within the enterprise. The company has fewer skills gaps, because they spot them early and bridge them before they develop into unfixable chasms. Training programs can help your company appeal to workers who are more diverse across age, race, and outlook, and 89% of companies agree that a more diverse workforce drives innovation.

6. Cutting onboarding time

Today’s advanced employee training programs integrate onboarding into the flow of work. New hires, as well as existing employees who are moving to a new role or gaining extra responsibilities, become familiar with their tasks much faster when learning is active, responsive, and non-disruptive.

As a result, it’s no longer necessary for employees to take time off work in order to learn new skills, and onboarding for new hires becomes shorter and smoother. This too affects business attitudes towards internal movement and external hiring, since disruption is kept to a minimum.

Employee training can transform work

Employee training holds the potential to change many aspects of the workplace, including boosting remote work, cutting onboarding time, and streamlining workflows. Employees feel empowered to control their future and view work as a place of growth, while enterprises reap the benefits of a more agile, skilled, and flexible workforce that positions them well for future growth.