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Will companies that do not train their employees survive?

Will companies that do not train their employees survive?

Author: Constantin Magdalina, Emerging Trends, and Technologies Expert

                                                      

Many times, Romanian companies do not see training as a priority. Is this a sign of self-sufficiency, of unawareness of the training importance, a distorted representation of the benefits it brings? We do not know. We only know that the pandemic has forced companies to do everything to adapt to the changing environment. To meet the new requirements, they must constantly update the training of the people in the organization.

Employee pivoting means a form of talent management that focuses on retraining employees so that they can occupy those jobs or roles most closely aligned with the company's strategic direction. Training employee now, through reskilling and upskilling, will allow companies to perform without forcing their employees to adapt as they go – or, worse, to fail.

Do we have the qualified staff we need now?

At the junction of expected changes and strategic direction, companies need to ask themselves if they have the right employees to turn the vision into reality. If the answer is no, and often it is, then it is time to retrain employees. Assessing the skills needed in the critical roles of the organization not only for the moment, but also for the next 3-5 years is important to ensure the necessary skills in pivoting the company to the new strategic direction.

 Why does focusing on employee training matter?

As the speed of economic recovery will increase, the emergence of new jobs created to support organization's revised strategic direction will be inevitable. There are three main reasons why it is important for decision makers on company management teams to prioritize retaining and retraining employees rather than recruiting new talent for these positions.

 Firstly, the cost of hiring is often expensive. Secondly, formal, and informal knowledge is gained and difficult to pass on in the short term to new employees through traditional onboarding. And finally, demonstrating loyalty to employees is likely to increase their level of involvement with the company and productivity. However, before retraining employees, leaders must understand and clearly define the new direction of the company.

What is the importance of leaders in this process?

The management team is always important, but even more important during a change of strategy. Leaders ready to pivot will be competent and discerning communicators, ready to identify the shortcomings of the plan and the people. The workforce needs to change (quantity, quality and location) to align with the change in the strategic direction of the organization.

To do this, you need certain skills and competencies that I briefly name as follows:

1. Organizational design –The ability to analyze and change the organizational structure to generate efficiency.

2. Contextualizing the decisions taken –Focusing on the purpose of the changes and explaining it to those involved to facilitate their operationalization.

3. Building a network of positive relationships between colleagues –It gives them feeling of belonging to the community, keeps them motivated and makes leaders likeable.

4. Demonstrating Empathy –Taking the time to listen to the reasons behind employees' concerns about future changes in the organization and their positions is how leaders demonstrate empathy and a real concern for their people.

5. Personal resilience –Beyond maintaining a balanced program by managing the time allocated for professional and personal life, resilience is about attitude, emotional intelligence and self-image.

How do you motivate employees as the company transforms?

Any adjustment in the strategy that promotes change in the workplace will make employees wonder if they will be part of the company in the future. The answer lies in the decision and communication of leaders on the one hand and the desire shown by each employee to retrain. If pivoting the strategy involves employees doing something other than they liked to do, being moved from work to the home-office, or back to the office, another question arises.

Will employees still enjoy their job? That's why it's good for leaders to communicate very well. To ask and listen to the answers. To provide clarifications. That is, to have conversations that do not have the icy formality of the inquiry but appear spontaneously in the hallway or before a meeting, give the feeling of camaraderie and eliminate the exchange of rumors between employees.

Contrary to what is devoted to the role of leader, he must not have a concrete plan for pivoting before meetings with subordinates. But he needs to know why change is needed. It allows employees to work with the management team to achieve that goal. The openness of leaders to receive feedback from those in charge of implementation will stimulate their sense of responsibility for the execution and sharing of information by employees.

One-on-one meetings with those who report directly to decision makers maintain personal connection with team leaders and through them with those who are direct executors.

Conclusion

Whether the pandemic restrictions are relaxed or re-imposed, a constant is for employees to do their job - either at the office or home. For the best preparation of the company, it is useful for company leaders to consider retraining people now. If the new strategies bring about changes in the workplace, then the same strategies certainly justify a closer inspection of the level of training and education of employees.

About Constantin Magdalina

Constantin Magdalina has 10 years of working experience, while he performed in multinationals both in Romania and abroad. Constantin has a master’s degree in Marketing and Business Communication from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest. He is certified in Lean Six Sigma and ITIL which provide him a good understanding of processes and transformations within organizations. The Chartered Institute of Marketing certification furthered complemented his expertise and knowledge in business. In those over 4 years of working activity in a Big4 company, he initiated and conducted studies that analyzed different aspects related to the business environment in Romania such as the economic growth predictions of companies in 2013-2016, knowledge management, the buying experience in the age of digital consumers, social media 2013-2015, the utilization of mobile devices in Romania. He is the author of numerous articles on topics related to innovation, the efficiency of business processes, social media, the consumers’ buying experience in the age of digital, trends, and emergent technologies. He is invited as a speaker at numerous events and business conferences.

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CONSTANTIN MAGDALINA