Employee training should not be a static approach to development. The skills and knowledge that might have helped a company thrive 20 years ago may be completely obsolete today or in a few years. For this reason, training has to be malleable and driven by the dynamic nature of the company, the industry, the market, and the economy.
LinkedIn polled 1,200 talent developers, 400 people managers, 2,200 employees, and 200 executives in its 2018 Workforce Learning Report. When asked “what are the most important areas of focus for talent development?” “identifying trends to prevent skills gaps” came in at number two on the priority list for executives—second only to “how to train for soft skills.”
Here, we will talk about some basic strategies for training with an eye toward changes and new trends.
The first step in developing new skills in response to industry trends is monitoring the industry. The training team should be either keeping tabs on industry developments themselves or working with subject matter experts internally to become familiar with those trends.
Brainstorming Sessions and Skills Identification
Once you have identified some industry trends on the horizon, get together and brainstorm what skills will be necessary to succeed. This should be done regularly, such as on a quarterly or an annual basis.
Be sure to take good notes and come up with a list of prioritized skills that will be essential or extremely beneficial in the industry 1, 5, or even 10 years in the future.
Finally, develop a training plan to make sure your staff members get the skills and knowledge they need. Remember that training isn’t just for new hires—it should be a regular part of your employees’ journey with the organization.
Companies that can effectively adapt to and thrive in a changing environment are certain to outperform those that cannot in the long run. Developing the ability to quickly identify and recognize the needed skills for tomorrow’s economy is a key challenge for any HR or training department.