Core skills training: why it’s not just a tick box exercise for businesses

By Susie Jarrold, Managing Director, Jarrold Training.

Susie Jarrold, Managing Director, Jarrold Training.

In today’s ever-changing world, it has never been more important to develop a work culture with learning and development at its core. Not only does it improve employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention, but it also teaches us how to manage and overcome rapidly changing trends and obstacles in our respective industries.

There are huge benefits of learning and development for businesses as it supports the number one priority – profit. Globally, companies have reported anywhere between a 14 to 29% increase in profit when they have implemented a strategy that supports their team personally and professionally by upskilling employees and utilising individual strengths for the benefit of the business.

With every new generation, an appreciation for continuous professional development grows stronger. Over the last 10 years in particular, we have seen a significant shift in the composition of a workforce – it now drives forward positive change for organisations and has redefined employee expectations. Now, incredibly, we are at a point where 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their development.

The increase can be explained by how learning and development makes people ‘feel’. By offering opportunities for professional development, employers can identify knowledge gaps within teams and employees can recognise their own ability, which in turn, boosts confidence and leads to staff having the assurance to conquer new challenges, and ultimately, become better, more productive compared to the competition.

However, looking ahead to future, a new type of training is needed in this new, ever-evolving working world; the NFER Skills Imperative Report 2035 reveals there are six essential employment skills predicted to be in the greatest demand within the next 10 years. These are:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Communication
  3. Creative thinking
  4. Information literacy
  5. Organising, planning and prioritising
  6. Problem solving and decision making

So how can we ensure these everyday skills, can firstly, be learnt, and secondly, be topped up and developed over time? After all, the importance of developing core skills, no matter the ability or position of a person, will never ‘go out of fashion’.

The solution is simple… Collaborating and partnering with a trusted external training provider that can take the theories, tools and strategies relating to employment skills out of the classroom and into ‘real world’ application.

There will be people who argue that these skills can be learnt over time in job roles, which is somewhat true. However, to that I would say: trust the experts. An individual may be good at communicating regularly with internal team members, giving the appearance that they are an effective communicator. But what about when they step outside of the office for the first time and are asked to present in front of an important client or large group of people? There is always more to learn – and external providers will have stronger, more effective training techniques that have been tried and tested across multiple industries. Training is our speciality, and this should not be neglected.

Training can sometimes be viewed as a ‘tick box’ exercise and when it becomes this, it loses the impact. We are seeing across the board that a culture of continuing professional development is vital but going beyond ‘the classroom’ and supporting businesses to ensure that the training is effectively implemented is where the real impact occurs.