How successfully a business organisation navigates its way through this age of business volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, almost certainly hinges on a well trained and prepared workforce that can cope with change.
Professor of Business Administration, Darden Graduate School of Business, Ed Hess, told Inc. Magazine that in today’s business environment… “relentless improvement is key and that requires learning.”
“I believe that over the next five years, learning will become the only sustainable competitive advantage for most businesses. Learning will not be optional. Businesses will either learn or die. Period,” he wrote.
The ability to predict the future and set in place a plan that will take the organisation forward to its desired outcome in today’s volatile environment is a challenge. Just as important is investing in the organisation’s staff – the people who will need to take that volatility in their stride and execute the plan.
Steps to supporting an employee learning process.
1. Align training with the strategic plan:
Once the company understands its strategic direction, it can begin thinking about what capability it will need to achieve its goals. This includes thinking about your staff as they are now, as well as what their potential may be (everybody has potential for something), and what needs to be done to achieve that potential.
2. Put in place a re-entry programme
One of the challenges with the pipfruit industry is the gap between training and applying that training on the job, particularly with a seasonal workforce.
But by the time staff finally come back to their skilled roles for the new season, there’s been a big gap between when the training was done and when the job starts.
One solution is to apply re-entry theory to complement on-board job training. Once the person is back in his or her role have a coach or mentor there to work with them at implementing what they learned.
3. Use Standard Operating Procedures to introduce new skills
Finding ways to incorporate training into everyday operations is always a challenge.
Make a commitment to incorporating that training into the everyday job, and then assign verifiers within teams to lead the implementation of those new skills.
Make it part of their everyday job by building it into your standard operating procedures (SOPs), which your verifiers can check on a daily basis.
It’s more important now than ever before, to have a multi-skilled workforce that is adaptable, applies what they have learned and makes that learning a part of everyday routine.