The Road to the Smart Workforce

Your business has changed over the last 5 years. Change as a business grows is all part of the development process. This is bought about by many factors including market conditions, new innovation and products or ever changing employment influences.

But what about your training and development department? Has this evolved with your business? Whilst the need to train your staff and manage their professional development will never change, the way this is delivered does and has.
Most within the workplace now do not want to have to spend extended periods of time in a classroom or at the computer undertaking eLearning. Employees want to be able to take the required learning they need as required and move on with doing their jobs. I call it a Smart Workforce.
A Smart Workforce strategy is designed to leverage off current and new technologies and internal Subject Matter Expertise all with an aim to provide your business with a highly trained and motivated workforce. This strategy can help increase productivity and provide Return on Investment measures. By providing learning events that are aligned to Key Performance Indicators allows a more holistic view of how your training strategy is performing. It is evaluating the whole business not just the training.
This is Part 1 of a multiple part blog that will provide you with some tips and points to consider to help you on your way to the Smart Workforce.

1.    Who are your employees?

No matter what size business you have, understanding the learning styles and abilities of employees. Undertaking a new training framework strategy is a change event for your business and this needs to be managed correctly. Understanding you employees and how they want to be trained will help you decide the best solutions that for your business.

2.    Investment not Expenditure.

The learning and development of your employees is not a cost but an investment into the future of your business. Implemented correctly your L&D strategy can help to increase productivity, revenue and retention. Having a Smart Workforce policy learning events are designed, developed and delivered to get maximum Return on Investment. Employees want to learn and can easily access materials and in doing so are not taken away from their duties. Key Performance Indicators are set against and measured with learning events.

3.    What are your tools for success?

In order to implement a Smart Workforce strategy it is likely you will need to invest in some tools. The learning events and support must be to a high standard that will engage your employees and give them the confidence in the training itself. Just having a series of PowerPoints accessible to all is not good enough. Sure they can be a help but not as the cornerstone of your Learning and Development Strategy.
a.    How will your learning and employee records be stored? b.    What delivery method for the learning events will you use? c.    Can your current system do what is required or what else is there that can provide what we need? d.    Do you have the policies, procedures and governance in place?
All these and many more questions need to be considered at the beginning before you start. Remembering that this sort of process is not going to happen overnight but taken slowly and done correctly will provide you with the outcomes you are looking for.
This concludes Part 1 of The Road to the Smart Workforce. Next week I will have a closer look at the planning considerations once you have decided to take the positive step and create a Smart Workforce. This will include:
•    Project Planning •    Change Management •    Budgetary Considerations
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Lynne Cozzi is the Business Development Manager with Bluegem Software. She has over 15 years experience in the Business Development and the supply of web based software for Student Management Systems (SMS) and has  in many fields. His expertise is strategic implementation of Learning and Development Frameworks and eLearning.

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