Employers must help their people learn

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Across the generations, professionals in Australia and New Zealand are keenly aware that’s it’s vital to learn throughout their career – but many employers are failing to recognise this, our latest research suggests.

Generation Gaps? Mythbusting assumptions about age in the workforce includes the findings of research undertaken in March 2017, surveying more than 900 hiring managers and more than 1,500 professionals across Australia and New Zealand.

Professionals overwhelmingly told us that ongoing learning was important to them (98% of Gen Y, 96% of Gen X and 96% of Baby Boomers said this). That’s understandable, given the unprecedented rate of disruption and technological change in today’s economy.

However, when we asked hiring managers what was important to potential employees when choosing an employer, only 9% pointed to “a strong training and development program”. 

This suggests that employers who take the initiative and upskill their people will have a strong competitive advantage in the recruitment market. Because most of their competitors are missing the mark.

So how can employers support the lifelong learning of their workforce?

Employers that demonstrate a genuine commitment to training their people, and helping them adapt in a fast-changing economy, will have the edge when it comes to talent recruitment and retention. Professionals know that their most valuable commodity in their careers will be up-to-date skills and knowledge; and they will choose employers who help them to remain current. 

Technology company Siemens are leading the way here. Head of HR Pacific, Nicolette Barnard, says: “The great thing about working here is that you can change your career multiple times throughout your life. We invest a lot in our people, regardless of their age. In fact, our current CEO gradually worked his way up from our graduate program.” 

The career boosting effect of lifelong learning:

1. Make your employees stand out by encouraging them to learn new skills. Platforms like Lynda, Dash, Thinkful, Coursera and Udemy are a useful cost effective and flexible way to learn for professionals looking to change careers within the organisation or those interested in learning something new.

2. Encourage your staff to network and be social. Social learning will not only enable them to meet others in fields unrelated to theirs but give your business access to a wider pool of knowledge when they start communicating with and learning from a larger community.

3. Strengthen existing skills to move up. Maybe some employees aren't looking to change careers but more so master what they currently do. Often, strengthening current skillset will help talent stand out from their peers. Did you know, for instance, that up-skilling employees within your organisation can lead to improved job satisfaction? 

 

To find out about how Siemens provides lifelong learning for its people, and see the full results of our survey, read the whitepaper Generation Gaps? Mythbusting assumptions about age in the workforce.

Contact us today for a private discussion or to find out relevant industry information. Alternatively you can simply submit your vacancy here.

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