Why develop the skills of your employees?

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One of the priorities for companies today is to develop the skills of their employees. The acquisition of new skills is at the crossroads of several challenges for companies, such as business transformation and talent retention. In this article, we explain why it is in your interest to develop the skills of your employees. We present you with some ways to achieve this.

Facing the transformation of the business and the company

Develop technical skills of your employees

You’ve heard it all before! High-speed digitalization is leading to a profound transformation of businesses. Your teams are faced with rapid technological changes that require them to constantly adapt. Online” is skyrocketing, even in industrial sectors. Your employees need to be supported to acquire the necessary skills to meet these challenges and serve their customers better every day. In conclusion, developing the skills of your employees is no longer an option!

Adaptation: a key skill to acquire

If business skills need to be updated, so do managerial changes and the organization of the company. Today, the company is facing a real efficiency challenge. It must constantly adapt its organization and its functioning to remain efficient. For example, the company must learn to deal with the speed of change, particularly in work relations and in the way it manages its customers.

In short, developing the skills of employees means above all teaching them to adapt constantly. Indeed, the current crisis is profoundly changing the way we collaborate. The massive deployment of telecommuting is changing the way people manage and interact with each other. Leardership is not the same today as it was a few months ago. In conclusion: “New challenges are imposed on managers: maintaining employee motivation, bringing the team to life in a different way, knowing how to make strategic decisions at a distance. Above all, they must demonstrate a new tolerance and understanding of the imperatives and aspirations of each individual (1). “

Rethink customer service

Your employees can no longer serve their customers today as they did yesterday. Digitalization has created new types of services but also a new way of dealing with customers. The restaurant industry is a good example! Currently with the development of home delivery, restaurant owners have had to adapt to this new situation. To do so, they had to set up specific offers, a dedicated communication on social networks or on smartphones with text messages. It’s a fact, managing customers online is not the same as in a restaurant. Therefore, you need to develop the skills of your employees to rethink customer service.

Prepare the future of your business

The jobs that will be decisive tomorrow do not exist today. However, companies are obliged to anticipate as much as possible the skills they will need to remain competitive on their market. To do this, they must maintain the employability of their employees and give them the means to acquire new skills. Moreover, maintaining the employability of employees is an asset for companies. When they can develop employees’ skills internally, companies are no longer obliged to look for them externally. Indeed, recruitment has a cost and above all, there are shortages of profiles in various professions. This is a real paradigm shift for the company. Previously, when companies did not have the skills in-house, they went out to the market to find them.

Engage and retain your employees through skills development

Competency development is a source of employee retention and engagement. Your talent expects you to train them to grow. Fostering a culture of learning and skills acquisition among your talent is an asset for your employer brand. According to Thomas Chardin, founding director of the Parlons RH agency: “The employer brand must send the following message: we recruit you, we train you, we entrust you with tasks that make sense in an organizational and material environment that will make you want to invest and stay. In this sequence, skills development and more specifically training play a key role in attractiveness. It makes the proposal credible and it concretizes the investment that the company is ready to make in the career of its employees (2). “

Make on-demand training available

Offer creative training formats to meet their work constraints and learning styles. The academic way of training with a monopolization of resources over several days may no longer be relevant. For example, consider e-learning training materials with open spaces, on-demand or self-study. This will allow you to better reach populations that are difficult to mobilize, such as managers and senior management. They have little time to devote to it, even though they are key to the transformation and development process of your employees.

How to organise and manage professional training in your company in order to develop the skills of your employees

As explained in our article on skills development, it is crucial for a company to encourage the acquisition of new skills for its employees. In a labour market where skills are as scarce as they are sought after, training talent is a strong argument for your employer brand.

It is even a necessity, as new technologies and jobs are constantly evolving. To stay competitive, companies must learn to adapt to change quickly and well.

In this article, we explain how to set up and manage professional training within your company.

Managing corporate training: identifying employees’ needs

As is often the case, a solution is only relevant to a company if it meets its needs. Wouldn’t you think of digitalising your company without asking your HR teams about the recruitment tools they lack? The same applies to corporate training management. To be relevant, your training policy must take into account the training needs of your employees.

To achieve this, there is no magic: you must collect the training needs of your teams. This approach amounts to defining the precise skills that your troops need to progress or improve.

Professional training: knowledge is power

Let’s remember that the employer’s aim with training is to develop the skills of his employees as the company itself evolves. The company must therefore anticipate its future needs. To meet such a challenge, a simple questionnaire sent to employees is not enough.

First of all, it is necessary to carry out a document watch. In other words, pay attention to the economic context, technological developments, the competition, etc. For example, the Malt platform publishes its “Malt Tech Trends” every year, a study of technological developments and major tech trends. By having the current technological trends in mind, you will be better able to identify the training needs of your developers, for example.
Don’t hesitate to spend time analysing the work of your teams. In order to estimate the skills that will enable your employees to improve, you need to have an accurate and precise vision of their job. What is their purpose? Is there room for improvement in the way they work?
Finish your research by collecting the needs of your employees through a questionnaire – ideally with open questions.

Draw up a competence development plan

As you know, every employer is legally obliged to train his or her employees, provided that this training enables the person concerned to adapt to his or her job and to carry it out “with particular regard to the evolution of jobs, technologies and organisations” (source: https://www.economie.gouv.fr/)

In order to meet this obligation, the company must therefore draw up a skills development plan (formerly called a “training plan”). What is the purpose of this document for the employer? To detail the list of training activities offered by the company to its employees over a given year.

The skills development plan generally contains two types of training activities:

  • Compulsory training: as the name suggests, these are imposed by the company and as such are carried out during the employee’s working time.
  • Non-compulsory training: which can be carried out outside working hours, up to a limit of 30 hours per year.

A skills development plan can also include

  • carrying out a skills assessment
  • The validation of acquired experience (VAE)

💡 Good to know

Drawing up a skills development plan is not compulsory, but it is strongly encouraged. This plan can be drawn up internally (in which case it is the company that sets its objectives, training priorities, needs etc) but it can also be carried out by an external service provider (which then amounts to using the services of a training consultancy).

Determining the training budget to develop the skills of your employees

In order to meet its training obligation, the company must generate direct training expenses and pay compulsory contributions.

The financing of training as it exists today in France applies the law n° 2018-771 of 5 September 2018 for the freedom to choose one’s professional future.

According to the latter, the methods of financing vocational training by employers consist of:

  • Direct funding of employee training, in particular through the skills development plan.
  • An annual financial contribution.
  • Thus, in order to calculate its training budget, the company must assess its various compulsory contributions, but also calculate the cost of the various training courses it proposes in its skills development plan.

Who is concerned by company training?

The employer is free to choose the employees who will benefit from training at any given time – bearing in mind, once again, that he is under an obligation to offer training to his employees as soon as a lack of training may be detrimental to their work.

💡 Good to know

The Labour Law No. 2016-1088 of 8 August 2016 offers the possibility for employers and employees of the same company to follow one or more joint training courses. The aim: to strengthen social dialogue within the company.

Professional training: don’t forget to follow up

To do this, you can, for example, set up indicators for monitoring training. These could be, for example, the average number of hours of training per year per employee, the rate of access to training within your company, the financial effort of your company for training, the average duration of training courses attended, etc.

All these indicators will enable you to evaluate your training policy… Without, however, evaluating the impact of this training on the productivity and development of your employees! This is essential, however, since training is more an investment in your human capital than a real expense. And like any investment, you need to measure its impact on your activity and performance.

To do this, one of the most reputable practices is cold evaluation – which consists of assessing the added value that the employee and the company have gained from the training, several months after the training has been completed.

This cold evaluation is carried out via :

  • a grid for analysing the behavioural changes of employees following the training.
  • an analysis of the degree of satisfaction of the employees trained.
  • evaluation of the acquisition of new skills or knowledge by these employees
  • measuring the results and ROE of the training (Return On Expectation).

1 -Source: Harvard Business Review France: “Why the current crisis calls for humble and sincere management by Gérald Karsenti

2 -Source: Management de ma formation, October 8, 2019, Thomas Chardin: “Employer branding is an opportunity for the training function”

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