Having analysed the main training needs identified by their customers worldwide in 2022 – so far - eCom is reporting that these needs are:
- Engagement: understanding organisational objectives; clarity of roles and processes; key business activities; quality assurance.
- Digital skills: basic computer literacy programmes; cloud computing systems; online presenting; working with data; information security and overall cyber awareness.
- Leadership skills: ensuringstaff well-being; building resilience; communication, and reporting key performance indicators (KPIs).
Developing creativity and adaptability skills through self-development opportunities are also high on the list of learning and development (L&D) activities that eCom customers are requesting.
“Continuing world instability is leading to rising stress levels within the workplace,” believes Wendy Edie, eCom’s Managing Director. “To combat the effects of this instability, organisations are placing even greater emphasis on having effective teams - so supporting the team leaders is key to improving these teams’ productivity and achieving successful outcomes for the organisation.”
In eCom’s view, middle managers – such as team leaders - are particularly feeling the strain as work patterns and team expectations have realigned. They need to deal with senior management's resistance to higher pay and hybrid working plans, while also managing team expectations and looking after their wellbeing.
eCom’s customers’ demand patterns would seem to be in line with a recent article in the Harvard Business Review1, which sets out research findings that 74% of managers feel they don’t have the necessary influence or resources to make changes on behalf of their teams, and 54% say their team has been less productive since moving to remote or hybrid working.
“All the evidence points to organisations having workers who’re ill-prepared for the major disruptions they’re facing,” said eCom’s Wendy Edie. “While experts suggest supporting middle managers with more training to boost their soft skills and offering recognition instead of blame, human resources (HR) and L&D staff – who might be expected to provide this training - are also having to deal with the implications of massive job loss, new digital job creation, upskilling existing staff and catering for the needs of an increasingly hybrid or part-time workforce.
“With these trends showing every sign of being with us for many years, organisations are having to accommodate drastic changes in their hiring plans; replace in-person interviews with video interviews, and address the mental and emotional health of their staff and, especially, of their team leaders,” she added.
As workers change their jobs or even leave the workforce in response to the pressures they face, the resulting staff shortages are affecting organisations’ viability and profitability. When workers are asked why they’ve moved on, they tend to cite the lack of training and opportunities to develop their skills, as well as the lack of the chance to work more flexibly.
“Organisations wanting to retain talented staff should give them the L&D opportunities they both want and need - or they’ll leave,” said Wendy. “Furthermore, the way to attract talented staff is to offer them further L&D opportunities so they can keep developing their knowledge and skills.
“eCom believes that hybrid workforce training, along with a greater emphasis on inclusivity, participation, engagement, and performance, will define the L&D strategies in 2022/23.
“Supporting your workforce’s resilience over the next two years or so is going to be key to ensuring your organisation succeeds through the ongoing turbulent economic conditions,” she added. “So, it’s important to develop an organisational resilience strategy to support and develop your workforce’s skills.”
For more on eCom’s views on, ‘Top Skills for Workforce Resilience in Troubled Times’, visit: https://www.ecomlearningsolutions.com/blog/top-skills-for-workforce-resilience-in-troubled-times/
1The article in the Harvard Business Review (‘5 Key Trends Leaders Need to Understand to Get Hybrid Right’) is at: https://hbr.org/2022/03/5-key-trends-leaders-need-to-understand-to-get-hybrid-right