The importance of retraining your staff cannot be underestimated. Not only does this ensure that employees are able to learn in-demand skills and develop their abilities, but it can also lead to greater job satisfaction and ensure that organizations do not fall foul of the widespread shortage of digital skills.
Indeed, according to the Open University, nearly 69% of IT employers struggle to recruit new employees with adequate digital skills, and 77% say they currently face a digital skills gap in their organization. Meanwhile, a recent survey by software company EDP found that 54% of tech workers are open to new opportunities. They also found that one in three employees would move for greater training and certification opportunities. It is therefore crucial that companies provide training if they want to attract the best talent.
In the UK, employers invest around £42billion in training every year, with an average spend of £1,530 per employee, according to 2020 government figures. This means that, although crucial, reskilling Staffing can also be a costly exercise for businesses, many of which are already feeling the effects of the current economic storm. Deteriorating conditions have already forced even the biggest organizations in the tech industry to make cuts and cause mass layoffs.
Dr Alex Young, founder of Virti, an NHS innovation accelerator, tells IT professional retraining staff has traditionally been an expensive business that can be difficult to scale. Companies, however, with the right strategy in place and the willingness to adopt cutting edge technology can deliver high quality staff training on a limited budget. “My best advice to small, medium and large organizations is to explore how best to harness the emerging potential of new immersive technologies,” he says.
Immerse yourself in the opportunities
At first glance, adopting new technologies to retain staff may not seem particularly cost-effective. However, immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) may hold the key to the future of training – and help save money in the process. Not only has the cost of VR hardware dropped significantly over the past few years, but it can also allow employees to retrain wherever they are, which is ideal for organizations embracing hybrid working.
VR can also be easily updated to accommodate in-demand skill needs or changing work practices, extending the life of your training program and reducing long-term redevelopment costs.
Finding out-of-the-box solutions, rather than buying custom hardware, can also help organizations increase their return on investment. As Young says IT professionalWhile virtual reality is usually associated with futuristic headwear and expensive computer hardware, immersive training simulations are now accessible on existing devices, such as smartphones and laptops, thanks to the growing number of platforms. -cloud-based forms.
“In addition to providing a simple, effective, scalable and consistent way to improve skills, immersive training has a higher engagement rate which reduces the total number of sessions each learner needs – and the time investment “, he says. “The only costs involved for the employer are licensing the platform and an investment in creating the custom training content itself.”
Embrace peer-to-peer learning
Depending on the size of your business, the idea of digitally retraining your entire staff can seem like a daunting and expensive task.
A simple way to overcome this problem is to embrace peer-to-peer learning, whereby if an employee attends a training session or seminar, they share their key learnings with other team members. It’s something Aiona, a Newcastle-based marketing agency, has embraced; learnings are shared in a Slack channel, and then other employees can decide if they would be interested in taking the same course.
Aiona, which also records all training sessions for later use, also uses co-mentoring, which sees teams exchange expertise on various topics in one-on-one sessions. Similarly, rather than using the services of external experts, the company calls on employees who already have digital skills in certain areas. If someone wants to learn a new skill that exists within the company, they are asked to have a session with that team member to determine if they want to learn before embarking on a training program .
This could be particularly useful for cybersecurity training. Regular awareness training is essential to ensure that employees are informed of the latest risks. So if you have an in-house cyber expert who can show employees how to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) and how to spot phishing emails, it could be much more effective than going to a vendor. external.
Looking for gifts
If you know where to look, it might even be possible to retrain your staff in digital skills for free. Not only do some organizations offer free professional development seminars on platforms such as LinkedIn, but there are also a number of online tools you can use.
Google’s Digital Garage, for example, offers personalized digital training in a number of areas, such as digital advertising and public speaking, that can help your staff get up to speed for free. Similarly, the government’s National Careers Service offers a number of free digital courses, ranging from beginner courses such as using Word and PowerPoint to expert-level courses in data science and coding.
Of course, before adopting any of the above, it’s essential that your business first assesses its needs and goals. Consider what you want to accomplish by training your employees and determine which digital skills your business needs most. It is important to prioritize. Once you are aware of these shortcomings, you can explore your training options and determine which path is the best and most cost-effective method for you.
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