training and upskilling employees for innovation

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Why upskilling your workforce could be the answer to your innovation challenges

March 14, 2018

Innovation Factory

As businesses continue to grow, new technologies and solutions come to the fore, and business innovation proves to be more important than ever, companies are stepping up their hiring rates to fill the growing skills gap. Yet the answer could be in your existing workforce.

Finding the right candidate isn’t always easy: despite intentions to increase their permanent employees, around 60% of companies cannot find qualified candidates to fill open positions. In order to fill this gap and reach their full innovation capacity, organisations should instead focus on upskilling and re-training current workers.

Technology giant IBM believes that, more than ever, businesses should maximise their human capital by providing “the right skills at the right time for the right people”. In its report entitled The Value of Training, IBM found that 84% of employees in Best Performing Organizations are receiving the training they need, compared with 16% in the worst performing companies.

Other benefits of a skilled workforce include:

  • Skill levels linked to business value, $70,000 in annual savings and 10% increase in productivity when teams are well trained
  • 35% reduction in time spent searching for sales content
  • 22% faster rollouts of products and processes
  • 75-80% of managers believe effective training is critical to project success and meeting project deadlines

Studies also show that upskilling and development initiatives can stimulate innovation within a company and bolster employee engagement. Through these programmes, employees have shown to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills, become better at adapting to change and improve their flexibility.

Additionally, the IBM report also found that investing in training and development programmes also appears to be beneficial for employee retention, with 42% of new employees more likely to stay in a company when they receive the training they need to do their job properly.

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