I see many articles about engagement linked to skills shortages recently. There is an abundance of advice of how to attract and retain suitably skilled staff. This got me thinking what is wrong with this picture?
The problem that I see is one of development. If every business wants to avoid spending money on training, development, apprenticeships, where exactly will those trained individuals come from? Someone, somewhere must create the pool of trained labour. There is talk of apprenticeships, but companies want apprentices trained more quickly, with less depth, then complain that their in house trained employees lack skills. The government receive much criticism for not funding training and apprenticeships, but is that really a government responsibility? I would argue that it is not. If you look at the latest version of ISO9001, there is a specific clause about ‘knowledge’. The standard talks about the responsibilities of senior management to ensure that the knowledge and skills required now, and for the future are identified and planned for.
I would ask when did educating employees and providing proper training for them become a burden? Is it not in the best interests of an organisation to ensure that every employee has the relevant skills for their role fully developed, to the highest standard possible? If employees are properly trained, they add value by ensuring their process is effective and efficient, eliminating non-value added steps. There is an odd by-product of investing in your employees and ensuring they have the best available skills. When you invest in them through training, they are more engaged with the business and believe in what they do. They also start to identify with the aims and objectives of the business.
If you want more engaged staff, who will make your business more effective, take the time to invest in their skills and develop their capabilities. You won’t be disappointed!