How Encouraging Your Employees to Continuously Develop Their Skills Builds Organisational Capability
Building organisational capability requires a change in behaviours, thought processes, and actions. Therefore, you’ll want to spend time figuring out how to offer continuous learning opportunities in order to continuously be building capability.
Why you should encourage your employees to develop their skills in pursuit of building organisational capability
If there’s one constant, it’s change, and with industry change comes changes in what capabilities are relevant and urgent. That’s not to say your capabilities have to change every year, but they do have to be sustainable. Part of that sustainability is their maturity, and maturity comes down to continuous development.
Continuous development creates a self-sufficient learning culture. That essentially means employees are more likely to seek out learning for themselves and create informal channels for learning in the workplace. The more mature your learning culture, the more likely it is that critical capabilities are fully mature, too.
When development is also aligned with business goals, it demonstrates to employees they are valuable to the success of your organisation. That investment goes a long way to creating a loyal workforce, and a steady supply of mature capabilities, too. Given the right learn platform, you can more easily identify high-potential employees through both their training achievements and self-motivation.
What are the challenges of encouraging employees to develop their skills to build organisational capability?
Of course, simply encouraging your employees to develop their skills is not enough on its own to affect change and build your organisational capabilities. There are a few challenges you might face in trying to encourage continuous skill development in your workforce.
- Lack of clearly defined goals. Your employees need to be clear on what you (and they) want to get out of professional development. Without a goal to work towards, they won’t know what skills to develop, why, or where to start.
- Lack of resources. Employees can’t begin to develop their skills if they aren’t provided the resources they need to learn. Make sure you provide them with the means to start training—whether it’s by providing a learning management system or simply keeping them up to date on the latest courses available on the subject.
- Lack of learning opportunities. There’s no point encouraging learning if your employees are never granted opportunities to actually learn. Remember to provide opportunities for training courses, informal learning, and, most importantly: Time.
Simply providing an LMS full of content won’t sell employees on the time investment training requires. You need to provide relevant and meaningful learning opportunities that are directly linked to the capability needs of both the employee and your organisation.
What are the impacts on building organisational capability if you don’t encourage your employees to continuously develop their skills?
To put it simply, the biggest impact to come from lack of skill development is poor business performance. Unaware of what skills are needed to keep pace with industry trends, employees won’t be able to do the work needed to retain competitive edge. Missed KPIs only create a stressful work environment, and the further you fall behind on goals, the harder it’ll be to build the capabilities needed to catch up.
You put your workforce at risk in this scenario. Organisational capabilities aren’t just about skills; they’re also about knowledge of processes, technologies and systems. If your employees aren’t across the latest standards and protocols, you’ll be opening your business up to security risks and health and safety hazards.
Plus, things get expensive when you don’t offer professional development. Upward mobility wins huge brownie points but lacking it, you could see turnover increase and with it, the cost of recruitment and onboarding. The more employees seek out greener pastures, the more you risk creating a toxic and disjointed environment in their wake.
We simply can’t stress enough that you should be encouraging continuous skill development in your employees. A one-time bout of training is largely useful only once. After that, industry trends move on, technologies change, and those learned capabilities become obsolete once more.
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