Investing in Your True Asset by Investing in Employee’s Skills

August 6, 2020 0 Comments

If you are on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or other popular social media platform you have certainly seen some wise words stating something like investing in your company’s future in the form of employees. One of the things that have been going around and around in social media is this statement, what happens if we invest in our employees and they leave? And what happens when we do not invest and they stay? 

This is a dilemma that almost all employers face, it does not matter if your office is in Ireland and situated in Dublin, Dundalk, Louth, Cork, Belfast, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Drogheda or Galway. There is always competition present in the job market when it comes to employees or whether we are talking about employers. The press to attract employees with goodies will always be there.

A matter of fact is if you consider large companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Spotify or any other renown company you almost always have a dedicated budget for personal development i.e. a budget tied to the skill development of each employee. This employee might be a desk worker or a field worker and ranging from a new hire to a senior manager. So why is that important? These multi-billion companies have loads of cash and can surely spend some bucks on keeping the skillset of their employees up to date. But how can a small or even medium company do this? How can budgets be tied or allocated for skill development for every employee? If you have ever wondered about this or tired to figure out the answer but have not found the answer you have come to the right place. Let us give you some free advice worth a lot of money. These advices might even be considered as saved money that you did not have to spend on skill development and skill maintenance of your employees, but still managed to get/keep them up to date. 

Previously we have published a blog post for employees, describing and enlisting the most generic IT skills required for a worker in this digital age. If you have not read this blog post you have some catching up to do. You can read the blog post here: 

As we stated in that blog post referenced, there are a lot of free resources available online, just waiting to be used. The least and employer can do is to require a certain level of competence within each tool from a specific job position. Keeping the legal things in mind, you certainly cannot impose employees spending their off duty time on learning these skills but you certainly can impose setting off some time each day for a period to learn a new skill or brush up old ones to the latest technology. Back to the phrase or example from social media, do you really want to sit around with a workforce which gradually is getting outdated? In today’s competitive market this is not an option, and before you know it you get caught up by your competitors who leverage and try to capitalize your every weakness and use it to their benefit. We do realize that there are some certain aspects that need to be considered, the genitor might not gain benefit by becoming a racer in a specific tool or technology, but by learning let’s say more about building management and automation systems he might be able to gain valuable knowledge that might prove useful in the effective operation of your office building.  

Every business, being an employer, should have an overall policy for all managers. This includes manager at executive level as well as in the middle level and lower level managers. Each level should be responsible for creating a 3-5 year’s plan for people/employee skill maintenance and development plan. This can be as generic as describing the goals or as detailed as describing the goals along with a detailed execution plan. Whatever the detail level is, a plan should be made available and executed.  

Having up to date skills makes the employees more valuable for the business/company. The older the knowledge or technology the more the experience counts, but the newer the technology the more the new skills counts towards a successful execution of a plan or project. Companies that have a plan aiming towards a clear goal in the horizon tend to be more inspiring for employees as well being more robust and adaptive to change as compared to the ones who choose or stick to just traditional values and tools.

Consider a hiring process where a candidate or potential employee asks about carrier development and investment in the future of people, what will be your answer? We do not have the budgets as the fortune 500 companies or would you rather want to gladly describe how you invest in people within the budget you have to make them even a more valuable asset for you company? We know for a fact that the later choice explanation would encourage the right candidate while the other choice may result in a hire that really is not so much into investing in the future themselves. Some companies operate with bonuses for employees while other do not afford to have this kind of luxuries available.

In either case, if you educate your employees and make sure that they understand that you being the employer value them the most will make them invest more effort in makes them even better and not to mention the amount of effort they will be willing to put in to do their job. If you have your development plan and strategy ready you might even would have started to crouching numbers.

For example, if being an employer you provide each employee 40 hours for skill and personal skills development and you have 50 employees you are spending 40 x 50 (200) hours for non-productive work per annuum. However, if you think about how much these 40 hours are in terms of time spent each year divided by month you will roughly end up under 3 hours per month per employee. If you further break down this to weeks the number becomes even less than an hour. Then again, if you have done your homework and these hours are spent correctly and meaningfully you would be investing this exact amount of effort in the future of your business.  

If you have any questions related to the content presented here please feel free to make contact as we can guide you and even hook you up with the right resources to guide you to create the right level of policy for your business.