Currently, so-called ‘Millennials’ (also known as Generation Y) make up the largest proportion of the American workforce. While they are often the butt of the joke, with their kale smoothies and penchant for skinny lattes, the fact of the matter is that millennials are powerful.
They’re having a profound impact on everything from the sustainability of groceries to the handling of HR in small companies. For instance, 37% of millennials are willing to pay more for a product or service if it supports a cause they believe in. Not only do businesses want to sell to this demographic, they should be making an effort to recruit from it. This generation is the future of commerce and, to ensure profitability, you’ve got to invest in the stars of tomorrow. It is where software for talent development comes in.
The problem is that there’s a lot of misconceptions about this type of HR software and how it should be implemented. While training may have relied upon physical resources ten years ago, it no longer has to take place in a classroom, with a conventional teacher.
Software for talent development is concerned with scalability and accessibility. Training programs can be shaped to fit the needs of learners because there are many different forms of access. If recruits are logging into an online portal, for example, they’ve got more control. It’s time to take a closer look at contemporary talent development software and bust some myths about who it’s for, why it’s needed, and what managers can do to get it.
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Talent Development Takes Place in the Classroom
Well, we know that this is increasingly untrue. Like the rest of the world, talent development software has gone virtual. The popularity of online courses is on the rise and companies are getting more for their money.
Software based development solutions are great for training because they don’t rely on physical resources. Managers teach at their own pace and fully integrate development efforts with everyday work routines and company goals.
Learning becomes an active part of productivity, rather than being presented as a precursor to it. There are certainly some sectors (IT workers and enterprise employees) which shouldn’t lose the ‘hands on’ aspect of their training, but they can still benefit from virtual classrooms.
Talent Management Is Only for New Recruits
One of the biggest misconceptions about these tools is that they only serve new employees. In reality, there’s no reason current employees cannot also benefit from a boost to knowledge and skills. In fact, there are plenty of junctures at which people often crave a little guidance.
The best example is an opportunity for promotion and leadership development. Instead of hoping that your star candidate will pick up skills while on the move, give them some targeted support. Use software for talent development to put them in control of their journey through the company.
The thing to remember is that many of the factors which make talent management systems perfect for training new recruits are also present at any crossroads in the career of established employees. Managers should remember that the benefits of continuous training are numerous and they can transform the HR capabilities of small businesses.
Talent Development Happens Organically
It would be great if companies didn’t need to invest time or money in talent management software because employees took control of their own development. To some degree, they do. You can’t work in any reasonably advanced role without picking up new skills and insights.
However, there is a limit to the amount of independent learning that you can expect because this is a job. Even the brightest candidates compartmentalize work and see training as a tool for ascension and promotion. It’s your job to make performance management an essential part of corporate culture.
If you want to infiltrate a new market, for instance, you can’t rely on past experience or accumulated knowledge. You need to explicitly train and prepare employees for it. After all, there’s no reason to learn from your mistakes if you already have an efficient process for sidestepping them.
Talent Development Software Is Costly
Regardless of how much talent development software costs, it can’t hold a candle to the expenses created by poor quality training and a lack of employee engagement. They hurt productivity levels, public reputation, agility and, eventually the bottom line of the business.
The impact of inadequate development is even greater for knowledge-intensive sectors and markets which are apt to change at a rapid rate. Don’t kid yourself either. These days, most businesses come under this category.
There’s also the cost of virtual resources compared with the cost of a physical classroom to think about. By taking the training online, you minimize waste and get the chance to cherry pick just the insights that you need. This is an optimized, streamlined approach to talent management and performance.
Why Training Is So Important for Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is a key metric which businesses can use to increase their productivity on a relatively short timescale. While the clichéd picture of millennials assumes a short attention span and a fixation with workplace ‘perks,’ this is not the reality in most companies.
Truly valuable employees care far more about learning and personal development than office table tennis and free lunches. So, engage with them. Use software for talent development not just to highlight their weaknesses, but also to amplify their unique strengths and attributes.