The Trends in Workforce Development for 2023
For this week’s blog on Lifelong Learning, Founder Ron Slee writes about the trends he sees in workforce development for 2023.
At Learning Without Scars we believe that the leadership of business plays an essential role in helping their employees reach their personal and professional potential. In fact, we believe that it’s CRITICAL. To go further, employee development has been one of those “discretionary” expense areas in many companies. We completely DISAGREE with that.
It is the employees of a business that create the relationships with the customers on whom we depend for our success. Without talented employees who care about what they are doing it would be extremely difficult for any company to remain in business let alone succeed.
The first thing on our minds in 2023 is the rapid change of technology. This is true in many directions:
- how the equipment operates
- remote tracking of the condition of equipment
- process improvement
- business systems
- artificial intelligence
- virtual reality
According to a Price Waterhouse Workforce Hopes and Fears in 2022 one in five workers was likely to change their jobs from one employer to another.
In 2023 it becomes even more important that learning programs are critical to success. This involves the new skills that are required for the work. It also requires that we “upskill” many of the current workers to enable them to continue to be valuable contributing employees. Process improvement through business systems and the use of new equipment requires further training and learning opportunities. In this time of rapid change we need to be able to provide “stability” for the employees. They need to feel wanted and that their opinions are listened to by their team leaders. It directly relates to the culture of the business.
Melissa Daimler, the chief learning officer at Udemy says: “Learning is an ongoing process of building skills, experiences and knowledge through our work, NOT around or on top of it. A company is not automatically a learning Organization when it offers training programs. It may even be the opposite. True Learning Organizations are clear on their purpose, strategy and culture. They ensure the connection between those and the skills they are building.”
That is a tough statement to think through. It is a comprehensive and complicated issue. This is clearly something that must be created and implemented that is specific to a department within a company. Yet it needs to be in alignment with the company strategy and purpose.
Udemy Business learner data shows that many employees are seeking to learn personal skills that better enable them to be more effective in their jobs and drive business results.
That statement takes me back to the time when the “boss” used to tell me that they did not want to spend any money on their employees to make them better. All that would happen is that the talented people would leave and get a better job with someone else. My response was “So you want to keep the people that don’t know how to do their jobs then?”
To me what is interesting is that the “pandemic” pushed us forward to some future that happened much more quickly than we were ready to realize. It forced many people and businesses to reevaluate how they did things. Just look at the working from home situation.
In 2021 Deloitte Human Capital Trends identified “the ability of their employees to adapt, reskill, and assume new roles” as their top-ranked requirement to navigate future disruptions successfully. Now many of you will tell me that this does not apply to us. We are a local retailer serving a specific market of people. We just must be good at what we do and not worry about disruptions. They do not happen here. Really? So increasing interest rates don’t affect you? Or your business?
When we take our eye off the ball and just continue to do what we have always done we are at risk. The leadership of a business has a huge responsibility to provide a safe and secure place for talented people to work. Too many of today’s leaders are simply protecting the status quo and waiting for their turn to retire. They are forgetting their most important asset class. Their employees.
I often come back to my friend Alex Schuessler who created the phrase “paper to glass” to describe the changes with business systems. All we have done is replace a paper form with a screen template. We no longer write on a form we type on a keyboard. Things are just processed faster.
Let’s look at what we believe are the most critical elements in employee development in 2023. As many of you know, or will assume, we talk to a lot of people in the education community. The same issues keep coming up.
- Personal Communication Skills
- Business Communications
- Management Skills
Similarly operational related skills and tools:
- Project Management
- Business Analysis
- Critical Thinking
Let me wrap up this paper with some data obtained from Udemy Business. This is also consistent with the schools we are engaged with in the creation of our Centers of Excellence.
The Top Ten Used Business Skills:
- Communication Skills
- Project Management
- Agility – a philosophy about delivering software
- Scrum – helps people and teams deliver value.
- Project Management Professional Certification
- Business Communication
- Business Analysis
- Management Skills
In closing, one of the metrics that should be in place with every organization is employee turnover. We are all exposed to this very difficult workforce that is in place today. There continues to be almost two jobs open, companies seeking to hire someone, for every person that is not working in America today.
The primary cause of employee turnover continues to be the “boss.” We persist in resisting conducting performance reviews frequently enough, if at all. How do you stack up here? Have a look at your success in onboarding new employees. What is your turnover rate for employees in the first six months of employment with you?
We have a lot of work to do in the area of employee development. We cannot continue to do what we have always done. That would truly be insanity.
The Time is Now.