Leaders play a bigger role than they realise in developing their team’s basic skills.
We recently analysed learning needs from over 7,000 employees and discovered that 45% of operational employees realise they need to improve their basic skills. According to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment, basic skills include:
Communication (listening, writing, speaking), comprehension, active learning, and even learning strategies.
Although the corporate workforce has always needed these skills, employees in the new normal are now facing a growing disparity in developing these skills on-the-job. In the absence of social learning e.g., team interactions, supervisor conversations, operational levels are forced to be self-reliant for learning.
This is made worse now that they are doing so independently from home or through hybrid teams.
“I know what to do but I don’t know how to do it or who to ask”– An operations executive working remotely
The support previously received through direct communication with peers and superiors needs to be replaced with structured opportunities for learning whether through encouraging peer discussions, scheduling social learning sessions, or arranging formal learning.
Immediate supervisors play a bigger role to develop skills among their subordinates. Equipping leaders with skills to develop their subordinates is crucial.
Organisations today should take a longer view to investing in training them to ensure greater retention and more competent coworkers down the line.
This should come in the form of:
- Having structured platforms for learning to occur e.g.: learning huddles.
- Increasing frequency of developmental conversations.
- Develop organisationally driven mindset shift from Volume to Value.
With organisations around the world shifting between working from the office and allowing teams to work remotely, more immediate actions are needed to keep employees effective, relevant, and progressive.
This heavily relies on employees’ sense of growth, value to the organisation, and morale which in turn is heavily dependent on leaders being more attentive to employee needs.
As more organisations lose talent to the “Great resignation”, empathetic leadership with a focus on developing employees is more important than ever.