Employer branding through further education and lifelong learning: promoting and retaining talent

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In today's world of work, tasks are constantly being automated and processes optimized. Success is more than ever based on a qualified workforce. But all employees need access to relevant teaching materials and training.

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Here writes for you:


Joachim Skura Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®Joachim Skura is Thought Leader Human Capital Management at Oracle. 


Expert deficit despite automation

How big is the risk of losing a job, driven by automation and digitization? 47 percent of all employees in the financial services sector assume that their job is endangered by technological progress. Panic? In reality, however, the situation is more complex. Automation technologies will certainly make some jobs disappear, and they will create new ones at the same time. In addition, by eliminating simple administrative tasks, employees can focus far more on more innovative value-adding activities.

The bigger challenge for Company however represents the search for suitable employees and the retention of these talents. According to the Talent Shortage Survey by the ManpowerGroup, 40 percent of employers confirm that they already have a shortage of qualified employees. The question remains, how big the “net effect” will be from increased efficiency, elimination and systematic shortage of talent.

An example: The South African economy based on raw material extraction, an industry with a rather low qualification level, is changing to a service-based economy, for which a wider range of qualifications is required. There are currently too few “highly qualified” workers. This constrains South Africa's development and has led to relentless competition for talent. Highly qualified employees have a choice there - if the job doesn't suit them, they can leave an employer at any time with the certainty that they will quickly find a competitor.

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“Treat employees so that they only want to work for you.”

So how can companies square the circle and fill vacancies with employees of whom there are not enough? To quote Richard Branson, Virgin's CEO, “Train employees so that they can work anywhere, and then treat them so that they only want to work for you.” For me, the following crystallizes from this: Employees should receive the best possible support in career development.

Employees rarely give up a job where they feel that their work is valued. Payments play a role here as well as non-financial benefits such as working here and there from home or sponsored membership in the gym. However, companies must feel more committed to their employees. “Mens sana in corpore sano”, today “Low Carb Engaged Work-Life Balance with Virtual Empowerment”, also makes it clear that lifelong learning is of great importance for the entire workforce.

Promote - do not neglect

Companies hire young, tech-savvy talent in the hope that they will become the leaders of the future. However, research by Oracle has shown that it doesn't work out. Only 21 percent of employees below the management level see opportunities for professional development with their current employer, and only 39 percent see long-term employment in their company.

One of the biggest reasons for this is that the opportunities for further training are assessed as “too little” or “irrelevant”. It is no wonder in a knowledge economy that it is “tuned with your feet”, but self-protection.

Training programs and courses should be personalized and career-related. At lower hierarchical levels, in particular, the employees are of the opinion that the further education and training measures are not related to their development plan - in other words, it makes no sense to take a step “upwards”. 60 percent of managers and managing directors see it quite differently - this level recognizes the context for itself.

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Exciting results from the Oracle study “From Theory to Action”. Employees want tools for online and collaboration, such as webinars, whiteboards and social networks - so they are willing to learn. However, we also found that only 22 percent of employees below the management level have access to such resources, while nearly two-thirds of employees at higher levels of the hierarchy can.

Tying and promoting talent

HR managers are increasingly facing the pressure to retain highly skilled employees in the face of growing talent shortages. The level of salary and career opportunities play a crucial role here - especially when recruiting new employees. Money can be mobilized quickly via budget. A career-relevant, modern lifelong learning system for retaining and promoting talent is not even implemented quickly. Shifting the focus of HR to modern and task-based training and learning is essential to circumvent the talent-lacking problem from the inside out.

At the same time, companies are confronted with several challenges at the same time: on the one hand, the speed at which the corporate environment is changing and, on the other hand, talent is becoming scarcer. In these circumstances, traditional human resource processes are no longer effective and HR teams must take initiatives to ensure a stable workforce and the future success of the business.

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