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Eight signs you need to overhaul your approach to workforce transformation

Over the last several years, companies have placed an increasingly greater priority on employee learning and education. Yet, in too many cases the investment is for naught –  employees aren’t engaged, they get bored with the work, they run out of relevant content options and more. 

This is especially true with digital transformations, where people must learn new business processes and novel ways of working. Too often, companies will implement a new technology, but fail to properly upskill their staff. While they may provide training on specific tools, in many cases a transformation requires employees to use different kinds of skills––such as critical and strategic thinking––and reimagine the way they work. The courses that are offered don’t ultimately solve their pain points, while the learnings don’t improve performance.

The right kind of workforce transformation properly aligns upskilling with a company’s goals and objectives. It should use new types of learning options––from video to audio and everything in between––and offer engaging function-specific education that staff can use to do their best in their current, and future, roles. 

Despite these challenges, many executives think their upskilling programs are effective. So, how can you tell if they’re not? Pay attention to these eight signs, any of which could indicate that it’s time to re-evaluate your current approach to workforce transformation.

1. You don’t know what skills you need for the future 

Executives often complain about how hard it is to find the skilled staff they need to help their business grow. Nearly three-fourths of CEOs say the lack of key skills threatens future growth of their organization, according to our 2020 survey

What many don’t realize, though, is it’s not that there’s a small employee pool, it’s that they don’t know which skills their organization lacks and they haven’t identified what skills they’ll need in the future. Fortunately, there are upskilling platforms that can help you identify your current capabilities, as well as your future needs. Understand both and that skills gap can start to close. 

2. There’s no way to create customized and accessible learning pathways

Learning must be engaging, challenging and even fun or no one will want to do it. Unfortunately, education is often the opposite. If coursework is going to be engaging, it should support a variety of learning styles in different formats accessible on all devices. For instance, quizzes, gamification and other interactive features can help boost involvement and make sure learners are absorbing lessons. It should also be accessible to everyone, including those with hearing, visual or other impairments. 

3. The skills you’re teaching don’t match your current roles 

A good learning platform will offer courses that help employees do their current jobs better. Yet, much of the content companies provide focuses on how a software or technology works, rather than the business problem the tech is trying to solve. For instance, an employee is taking a marketing course and they learn how to use Google and Adobe Analytics. Now what? Unless they can now do something actionable––like create insightful monthly reports to help the web team guide visitors on improved pathways to conversion––then no one’s deriving much benefit from this person’s newly acquired skill. 

4. There’s no way to practice and test new skills 

One problem with many learning platforms is they don’t come with ways for employees to test their new skills. For instance, companies that want to enable citizen-led innovation might teach their staff to create their own automations or use data visualization software to help them draw out more insights from their work. But before creating those automations, which other team members may use, too, they’ll need to try out their skills in a testing environment.

A platform like ProEdge gives learners access to digital tools they can use to demonstrate their new skills in scenario-based and function-specific projects. A financial reporting manager, for instance, may need to acquire, cleanse and explore financial data. With ProEdge, they can use digital tools to build a dashboard that captures trends and insights. After the dashboard is properly tested, they can use it to enhance their decision making.  

5. There’s a lack of function-specific credentials

Too many corporate education programs measure success by tracking how much time staff spent learning, which courses were completed and whether people passed their tests. These utilization metrics may justify some training-related investments, but fall short of measuring business impact. 

39% of workers think their job will become obsolete within five years. - Upskilling Hopes and Fears 2021 survey

Function-specific credentials offer another way for employees to measure success and set themselves apart. Staff who can obtain new job-specific credentials – which must be aligned with the company’s broader business goals and objectives – are more engaged in their training and are more satisfied at work. ProEdge can help organizations create the right credentials for your company’s people. Employers should act now. According to our 2021 survey, 39% of workers think their job will become obsolete within five years.

6. Your people are bored with their coursework and disengage 

Boring content doesn’t keep employees engaged. Many learning platform-created training programs are nothing more than digitized books. The material is rarely updated, there’s no additional information to consume after the course is completed and they don’t employ the kinds of content types – videos, infographics, podcasts, interactive quizzes – that people want to engage with today. 

With ProEdge, content is not only added and updated regularly, but it also offers a wide range of multimedia-enabled courses that can keep people engaged.  

7. There’s an absence of bottom-up innovation

Senior managers often choose corporate learning programs and assign them to their direct report employees. These are missed opportunities to encourage grassroots innovation that can reveal creative ideas from more junior employees or workers. Your people should be deciding what skills they want to improve upon most. 

With an upskilling platform like ProEdge, your workers can take courses that appeal to them and then develop relevant automations – a network security employee might want to create a bot to identify unusual spikes in network traffic, for instance – that they can share with their colleagues.

8. There’s a frequent need to defend the budget for learning

If senior human resource leaders and corporate learning groups regularly challenge learning-related budgets, then you may have a problem. If you’re properly upskilling, and use the right learning platform, you should see clear productivity benefits. Show senior leadership just how much more productive staff can be when using an automated workflow, and share improvements around other key performance indicators, such as employee satisfaction scores and attrition rates. With ProEdge, leadership gets a control tower view of skills acquisition progress across functions or departments.

Fortunately, if you do find that your workforce transformation needs an overhaul, it’s not difficult to start again with a better platform. You will need an end-to-end learning platform that’s focused on growth-enhancing skills, and on benchmarks that can help your company innovate and expand.

Invest in Tomorrow

Stay ahead of the curve with PwC ProEdge, the revolutionary way to upskill your people and prepare your organization for tomorrow. This unique platform allows you to pinpoint critical skill gaps and effectively help close them with automatically generated personalized learning pathways. Leading curated content, coursework and hands-on learning empower your workforce to make an immediate impact through citizen-led innovation. Access to digital tools enables solution-building that scales across teams. This is how ProEdge helps your people to perform at their highest level—giving them the power to help transform your entire organization.

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