Employee training and development for soft skills, hard skills and compliance-based needs to be assigned, taught, nurtured and measured across the full employee talent management lifecycle to drive optimal business results
Today, forward-thinking human resources (HR) executives and business leaders view learning as a strategic component of their overall strategic HR mission and are leveraging integrated talent applications to drive optimal employee performance. E-learning is widely considered to be the most efficient and cost effective way to deliver training to a workforce. However, the best way to truly prepare employees for meeting organizational objectives is to focus the training in three major areas of skill development. Using a learning solution that is capable of delivering optimal training for each type of skill and checking for comprehension by examining the outcomes from other HR processes will drive performance within the company as employees develop their soft, functional and compliance based skills.
This article explores each of these three critical skill areas and how to drive employee and organizational performance.
1: Soft-skill Development
Soft skill development targets the improvement of an individual’s competencies and behaviors. These encompass the communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, personal effectiveness, creative problem solving, strategic thinking and team building skills that govern much of the interpersonal actions inside and outside of a company. E-learning offers a variety of training sessions and modalities, making it an optimal training method for soft skills development. Using short, self-paced learning modules, employees can view common scenarios and engage in periodic check points that asses their personal choices. Using HR solutions that integrate talent and analytics can help your organization link sales and customer satisfaction ratings from the field to specific soft skill development initiatives. These metrics will help your company determine which employees have high competency in certain areas and which should supplement their skill sets with more training.
2: Functional Skill Development
Functional skill development targets an employee’s improvement of “hard skills” such as data analysis, equipment operation, or medical field certifications. An organization cannot produce or sell products or services if its employees do not maintain the appropriate tactical skills to efficiently perform their job requirements. Training for hard skills often takes place when an employee is onboarding for a new position or directly preceding a task that requires new skills. However, providing continuous development opportunities for hard skills will improve overall bench strength and allow organizations to immediately adapt to evolving business challenges. Because functional skills are quantifiable, companies can test their employees’ competencies in these areas during hiring, recruiting and at regular intervals thereafter. As part of the performance review process, companies can compare an employee’s knowledge of certain tasks on the job and their comprehension based on testing as recorded in an organization’s learning solution.
3: Compliance Development
Compliance training includes topics ranging from regulatory and industry mandates to workplace safety to sexual harassment. While compliance skills may be rooted in soft or functional skills, compliance requirements tend to be company or industry specific. Several industries find themselves facing particularly detailed and stringent compliance regulations that require sufficient training and training management to prevent breaches of acceptable standards. Implementing a learning management system that supports compliance completion tracking as well as requirements around logging, auditing and validation can help ensure that the company has taken the proper procedures to prevent costly mistakes and breaches of law.
The Ideal Scenario for Developing Skills
The strategic approach to nurturing talent includes prioritizing and defining development plans based on the needs of both the individual and the organization. The ideal scenario takes into account the following:
· Key organizational objectives are cascaded across the enterprise
· Individual performance goals are linked to organizational objectives to ensure focused direction
· Competencies are defined and used as the basis for job profiles
· 360 feedback from peers and managers highlight competency gaps and additional focus for individual development
· Skill gaps identified from job profiles and talent profiles highlight other potential deficiencies
· E-learning includes personalized learning paths to provide the most needed development on demand (just in-time)
Employee training and development for soft skills, hard skills and compliance-based needs to be assigned, taught, nurtured and measured across the full employee talent management lifecycle to drive optimal business results. Successful organizations develop all three skill areas to maximize employee and organizational performance, and, they are leveraging integrated talent management solutions to link skills development to strategic functions such as goal alignment, performance, competencies, compensation, development and succession planning. By linking these critical components across the full employee talent process, your organization can better manage, motivate, reward and improve the skills of every individual employee across your organization.