Nigeria has opportunity to emerge as a digital powerhouse

Nigeria - digital
powerhouse

SAP delves into
country's opportunity.

Monday, Sep 23rd

Invest in your workforce

Some companies hold back on training their staff out of a concern that they'll leave the business, taking their newfound expertise with them. However, if you don't invest in upskilling your staff, you could find yourself having to hire new skills. In addition, by so doing the company is creating a larger skills pool in a country that is struggling with access to a skilled workforce. From a business and a humanitarian perspective, companies ought to be upskilling their workforce.

Over and above growing the skills base within your business, investing in training your workforce could increase employee productivity if you choose the right training and development programme. Deirdre Fryer, Regional Product Manager for Africa from SYSPRO says the return on investment in upskilling the workforce greatly outweighs the initial cost, benefiting the organisation tenfold.

The Deloitte's 2017 Human Capital Trends Report for South Africa says that only 28% of organisations help employees build their skills, despite 83% of executives having acknowledged learning as important. It is evident that South Africa is lagging in terms of human capital growth.

Fryer says, "As technological demands evolve to meet the requirements of the fourth industrial revolution, so too must the skills levels of individuals. Implementing a training programme allows employees to build on their existing skill set and increases their chances of succeeding in their career. This not only motivates employees, but upskills a company's workforce, giving them the upper hand in today's competitive corporate environment."

Ultimately, equipping the right people with the right skills can have a direct impact on a business' bottom line. Benefits include employee retention, improved morale, employees are able to work unsupervised, gives the business a competitive advantage, attracts new talent to the business and puts the business in a position where it is able to harness the latest technology.

Employee retention

A recent IBM study showed that among best-performing global companies, 84% of employees are receiving the training they need. On the other hand, in worst-performing companies, just 16% of staff members have access to the training they require.

Naturally these programmes are also good for individual career development, which in turn has a positive impact on employee retention. In fact, 42% of new employees are more likely to remain with a company if they feel they have been equipped with the skills they need to perform. This presents major benefits to a company's bottom line. Think about the costs involved in the recruitment process, and it doesn't stop there, the time it takes to then train and upskill them. It all adds up.

Boosts morale

By investing in your employees, you are creating a workforce that is likely to become loyal and motivated. This will further help retain value-adding employees.

Reduced supervision

Time is money. Having to deploy resources to train and supervise employees is costly. But what if a company upskills an employee, giving them the necessary resources and training to be self-sufficient? Firstly, the likelihood of mistakes is reduced, and so is the workload of the manager and the costs incurred.

Competitive advantage

Upskilling employees' encourages engagement, resulting in improved performance which translates into profitability. Plus, upskilling employees ensures your workforce is up-to-date on industry trends and best practice, keeping your company abreast of its competition.

By implementing the right training programme, you are investing in your business by creating a capable workforce, providing them with tools needed for your company to exceed.

Attracts new talent

A company that actively invests in its existing workforce through training programmes is likely to attract new talent, as they see how the company uplifts and upskills its employees. With this, when a position opens, employers get to choose from the cream of the crop.

Harnessing technology

Before implementing a training and development plan, businesses should ask a few important questions, like will they be able to use those skills in their day-to-day role within the organisation? Will the training have any other benefits for the business?

Once a business has established that a training programme is right for them, measurable goals should be set based on what it aims to achieve, both for the business and the employee. By harnessing the right technology, managers can stay on top of their employees' growth.

What makes a good training programme?

The way in which people learn is changing. Different people learn differently, and today's learning methodologies need to reflect that.

A training programme needs to offer educational material in a range of different formats to suit learning styles and preferences, including training guides, tutorials and videos that can be accessed via a desktop or mobile device.

Reporting capabilities enable companies to measure and monitor the educational progress of each user.

A combination of self-paced learning, classroom instructor-led training and virtual classroom instructor-led training allows users to learn in the way that suits their individual capabilities.

As a last word, there's the oft-quoted but nonetheless relevant discussion between a CFO and a CEO, there the CFO asks: "What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave us?" The CEO responds: "What happens if we don't and they stay?"

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