In the current climate of economic recession, employee training is often seen as a luxury, especially if workforce is being streamlined to cut costs. But a lack of investment in employee training in order to save costs can have the opposite effect. A well trained workforce can improve business productivity and efficiency, drive innovation and development, and vastly alter a customer´s perception of the business.
A badly or untrained workforce can seen productivity decrease; can result in product and service innovation stagnation If a business is committed to keeping its workforce highly trained and engaged especially in difficult economic times, it will be better to hit the ground running once more favourable trading conditions present themselves.
Professional Development is not just for managers, a successful organisation h as a well trained workforce.
We have identified 7 skills that every modern employee should have in their skill set. These soft skills often fly under the radar of HR and training managers but are vital for a prosperous and efficient business of the 21st Century.
1. Problem Solving Skills
Regardless of industry or job function, an employee who can demonstrate that they can effectively solve problems in an everyday work setting will have a head start on the competition.
Employers want people who work on initiative and under minimal guidance; people who are proactiverather than reactive.
2. A Master of Basic IT and New Media Skills
Twitter, Facebook, Cloud Computing, HTML…In the age of new media and rapid technological advancement, keeping up to date with existing and emerging technologies is essential for the modern employee.
In the case of new media channels employees need to have a working knowledge of how such platforms work and the etiquette that accompanies them.
In the 21st Century confidence in basic computing may seem like a simple skill, but it is surprising how many employees do not have even the standard skill set to deal with the computer software. The employee unable to fully operate Microsoft Office will not only impact upon their development but will almost certainly affect business productivity.
3. Written Communication-clear, concise and professional
There is nothing more unprofessional than sending out a business email with colloquial spelling and grammar. The impression it forms in the mind of the recipient is one of unprofessionalism and irreverence.
Business communication should always be kept clear, concise and free form jargon. Any employee that does not have the skill in their locker is at extreme disadvantage.
You don´t have to be Shakespeare, but an ability to easily communicate through written language is certainly a must–have.
4. A Professional Presenter
Amongst his many other achievements, Steve Jobs was one of the greatest presenters of his time. He created an interesting narrative and presented with confidence, style, and intelligence. Clearly his rise to prominence was due in large part to his creative and technical skill set, but his ability to simplify complex problems and present them in an attractive way – to superiors and subordinates – would undoubtedly have had a positive effect on his success.
Seems that a prerequisite for a modern presentation is the use of Microsoft PowerPoint. There’s no getting around it, this tool is extremely useful and it can usually enhance any presentation it carries. Therefore, knowing the finer details of how to use and manipulate PowerPoint to your advantage seems like an obvious skill for any successful employee. Aside from the technological aid, the art of presenting combines a number of overlapping factors that can determine how a presentation is received, from projecting the voice in a confident manner to formulating a persuasive argument that will convince your audience.
Modern day business is all about presenting: to clients, to colleagues, or to superiors. Any modern day professional cannot get by without learning, practising, and improving their presentation skills.
5.There’s No I in Team
Every other job advertisement asks for the same thing – they call for those candidates who can work under their own initiative but also succeed in a team environment. Why is the ability to work productively within a team considered such a sought after skill?
Business is made up of interconnecting relationships that have to be cultivated and nurtured. Anexperienced employee will traverse the tricky nature of business relationships with consummate skill by listening to others, thinking critically about issues and communicating their analysis effectively with the relevant stakeholders. Projects stifled by substandard teamwork are a manager’s worst nightmare. In a land of individuals – the team player is king.
6 A good dose of Business Acumen
A good working knowledge of the minutiae details of business operations, whilst being able to make the connection with larger business issues.
It may seem a slightly abstract skill to possess but if looked at in detail it contains many elements that make up day-to-day business life. For instance, equally important is a solid grasp of financial processes as well as an understanding of market conditions and ways to reach the desired customers. Many employees find themselves stuck in their specific job functions and fail to see the wider issuesthat affect them and the rest of the business. Those who can make this connection and inspire colleagues to do the same will be considered to be ‘business savvy’.
7.The Leadership Skills of a Roman General
The old adage that ‘great leaders are born, not made’ may hold a little truth. Certain people are just inherently more inspiring and commanding and relish the chance to steer the ship, whilst for otherstaking the lead is a painful task to be avoided at all costs. However, that is not to say that leadership skills cannot be acquired and honed throughout one’s career. In fact, it could be argued that thepreceding six skills on this list are necessary components of a good leader.
Leadership skills do not only apply to the most senior person in a company. Ideally a business should be littered with those willing to lead. In times of technological, economical, and sociological change businesses need to be quick to adapt and move with the times. Strong, effective leadership in all areas of the business is vital in navigating this rapidly accelerating pace of change. Furthermore, the businesses in question must become adept at spotting and nurturing those with leadership skills. They must equip them with the tools and training to reach their leadership potential for the ultimate aim of greater productivity, innovation, and success.
The key to crafting the perfect employee is relevant, on-going training. It is unlikely that every candidate you hire will have perfected the seven skills listed above; it is the job of the business to outline where each employee could improve and to put in place a structured development programmethat allows the employee to improve and flourish, so that the business – through its employees – can differentiate itself from the competition.
Article produced by Skillsoft http://www.skillsoft.com/emea