As a small business owner, it’s important to take proactive steps toward making sure that your employees are ready and able to handle the technological and environmental changes that are likely to impact your business. It’s important to remember that employee training doesn’t stop with your new hire orientation procedures. Organizational training needs are ongoing, particularly in the rapidly changing 21st century workforce.
Strategic Needs Assessment
The best way to make sure that you are providing employees with the training needed to position your business for long term success is to engage in an ongoing needs assessment process at both the organizational and individual levels. The process of needs assessment involves developing an understanding of where your organization is now, in terms of employee skills, and where it needs to be in the future.
Individual needs assessment involves looking at your employees’ current skill levels and identifying any gaps that exist between their current abilities and what they need to be able to do, now and in the future. At the organizational level, strategic needs assessment involves identifying gaps between the skills that exist across the organization and the skills that need to be in place to accomplish the company’s long term strategic plans.
Once you have conducted a thorough assessment of your organization’s training needs, you can identify which gaps are actually training issues. You can begin implementing an employee development plan designed to make sure that your workforce is positioned to take your organization forward toward accomplishment of its long term strategic planning goals.
Depending on your organization’s goals, and the market it which it operates, your workforce may need both technology and soft skills training. An important part of strategic planning is identifying the technological and environmental factors that will allow your organization to become or remain competitive now and in the future.
For example, leadership and management training can be an important component of succession planning. Additionally, providing employees with training on how to use software applications can enable companies to automate various aspects of production and delivery processes.
Workforce Development Benefits
By encouraging necessary employee skill development training, you are playing an important role in fulfilling your company’s long term staffing needs. Companies that are committed to providing employees with training opportunities enjoy the benefits of improved employee satisfaction and retention. Keeping highly trained and motivated employees can help your organization continue to move forward and become increasingly successful over the long term.
– Randy Olson