The key ingredients of a strong talent and upskilling strategy

The Access Group shares how to get the best out of your talent pool, and how to create a strong pipeline of future talent

The key ingredients of a strong talent and upskilling strategy

This article was produced in partnership with The Access Group.

Through its latest report, business management software leader The Access Group offers insights into crafting a strong people strategy, and discusses the importance of upskilling the current workforce.

Over the past two years, businesses have been forced to adapt like never before – but as we exit the ‘business survival’ stage of the pandemic, organisations will now be focusing on the long-term picture. Upskilling and reskilling the existing workforce has become a major priority, as has developing an employee retention strategy, and creating a strong pipeline of future talent.

Across the globe, organisations have seen a surge in demand for upskilling. Employees are looking for career movement, job satisfaction and professional growth, and employers need a rapidly changing skillset in order to function in the ‘new normal’. According to The Access Group’s latest guide, there are several key steps to creating a successful talent and skills strategy – it all begins with identifying the skills you need here and now, and investing in the right types of training.

“There’s no point planning for the future if you’re not set up for success today,” The Access Group says in its Guide to a Successful Talent and Skills Strategy.

“Quite simply, you’ll never hit your long-term goals if you don’t have the necessary knowledge and experience in your teams. Performance management processes should uncover any skills gaps that individuals may have when it comes to meeting the expectations of their current role and responsibilities.”

“Mentoring and coaching can be effective ways of upskilling individual workers,” The Access Group explains.

“It allows more tailored support to be delivered where it’s needed, rather than investing in wholesale learning programmes that may not deliver a great ROI. Smaller, bite-size microlearning and refresher training can also be effective in reinforcing the key elements of larger training programmes.”

When it comes to attracting and nurturing talent, The Access Group notes that the pandemic has exposed many ‘cracks’ in businesses and their employee strategies. While some failed to adequately support their staff with digital tools, others neglected important areas like wellbeing – and the result has been lost staff, damaged reputations and rising recruitment costs.

To prevent your business from losing out on talent, The Access Group says it is vital to have several touchpoints throughout the employee life cycle – from recruitment to onboarding, recognition and rewards, career development, and upskilling or reskilling. Businesses should also draw up a set of skills that they are likely to need in the future, not forgetting ‘soft’ skills and attitudes like leadership, positivity and team work.

“Neglectful businesses are now facing a massive exodus of staff, with 38% of the workforce looking to change roles in the next year,” The Access Group says.

“An astonishing 9 in 10 new hires are also prepared to leave in the first month, so it’s vital that their first impression is a good one, and sets a positive tone for what to expect in the future. A strong onboarding programme is possible the most critical investment you can make when it comes to L&D.”

Ultimately, providing a strong development path and the opportunity to upskill is going to be the most important piece of the talent retention puzzle. The Access Group says that while some employers are concerned that upskilling will lead to recruitment gaps in other areas, or even a springboard for employees to move into a new role, these are ‘outdated’ attitudes which will only hinder your talent strategy.

“In reality, people are far more likely to stay if they feel their own career plans and skills have been acknowledged and invested in,” The Access Group says.

“Organisations that see the relationship between business and employee as a two-way partnership are likely already well prepared for whatever new skills emerge in the future.”

To read the full Guide to a Successful Talent and Skills Strategy, click here.

A leading provider of business management software, The Access Group helps over 47,000 customers across the UK and Asia Pacific to become more productive and efficient. Its product suite focuses on streamlining everyday processes and offering real-time data insights, allowing businesses the freedom to focus on their core operations and increase productivity. The Access Group’s services include finance and accounting, cloud hosting, HR, payroll and digital learning.

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