Imagine you didn’t install the latest update of an operating software on your computer. Would you be sure that all programs would run smoothly or that all your files were backed up properly? Probably not. It's a similar story in the job market these days. Every day, new technologies and novel ideas are entering the market and constantly changing job profiles.
The World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report 2020 confirms this in its research:
The window of opportunity to reskill and upskill workers has become shorter in the newly constrained labor market. For those workers set to remain in their roles, the share of core skills that will change in the next five years is 40%, and 50% of all employees will need reskilling.
By 2025, many job roles will look very different from what we know them from today. From blue-collar jobs in manufacturing and logistics to traditional office jobs, these changes will affect all teams in different professions.
Companies and employees must tackle this challenge in time because if they don’t act, they may not be able to survive the challenges of the future. Continuous professional development, especially through digital formats, is a very powerful way to meet new challenges. In our fast-paced and digital world workplace professional training is no longer just nice-to-have, it is a must-have!
But what benefits does a professional education strategy offer both companies and employees?
Why are companies without a modern professional education strategy losing the competition?
Attracting and retaining employees
Today, companies are under more pressure than ever to find qualified and suitable employees. Competition is fierce and skilled workers are highly sought out in the market. Continuing education is an important tool for increasing the attractiveness of a company. In its study "Weiterbildung 2025", Bitkom summarizes the challenges that companies without a proper learning strategy will face, stating that:
In 2025, the war for talent has intensified further. Employers with the most attractive continuing education offerings will win the best employees for their company. Since there is a shortage of skilled workers, organizations are investing massively in further training.
Considering that professional training has a long tradition in Germany, most companies may find the conclusions of this finding unsurprising. Nevertheless, these companies may not have accounted for the rate at which new learning techniques are developed and must be integrated. It is no longer sufficient to send employees to a three-day-long seminar and hope that their learnings stick. Individuals forced to sit for long hours in a dimly lit room and listen to a single speaker may become demotivated. As a result, valuable information is likely to fall of deaf ears.
Employees from the X and Z generations in particular notice when their potential employers place little value on professional development or use outdated methods. But it's not just young people who need to develop their skills; continuing education is also essential for those who have been working in their field for a long time. Regularly refreshing knowledge or integrating new expertise into the job strengthens one's own competitiveness.
1. Takeaway: Through professional development offerings, companies attract the best talent and retain existing employees better.
Saving costs, time & effort
Companies often decide against restructuring their training strategy with the assumption that it would save costs and effort. However, when comparing the resources required for on-site training versus digital learning offerings, it quickly becomes clear that updating in-house training offerings and deploying new strategies results in positive long-term effects.
Hein & Oetting, one of the leading system providers in the field of precision mechatronics and precision engineering, has had exactly this experience and says:
This gives companies the opportunity to use the newly available resources in other ways. For example, HR managers have more time for new recruiting, employer branding, and other initiatives. Continuous training also reduces turn-over rate because HR managers do not have to seek new employees with a specific skill. They can invest and train their current employees for skills in demand.
2. Takeaway: By using a digital learning platform, companies save costs, time, and effort.
How do Employees Benefit from Continuous Training Opportunities?
Companies are not the only ones that need professional development in order to remain competitive in the market. It is also a crucial factor for employees to meet the demands of their jobs and continue to develop for leadership positions and new roles. Considering the speed at which both jobs and areas of responsibility are changing, it becomes clear that professional development is extremely important for employees to have a real chance in the labor market - both now and in the future!
A study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung also suggests this:
Even today, job profiles change over time, both in terms of the formal content of professional training and the activities performed in practice. Thus, adaptability over time is a given in many cases. Technologically induced changes in professional profiles also rarely occur abruptly, but allow for gradual adaptation or further development within a manageable time frame.
Continuous professional development helps employees to cope with this change in the best way possible. Learners refresh their knowledge, develop new skills, and improve their ability to adapt to new circumstances, through some of our courses such as: “FutureProof Your Skills for the Modern World”, “Gen Z at Work” or “The Future of Digital Transformation”.
And this doesn't just apply to preparing for future changes in your own job. Innovation cycles are getting shorter and shorter as we are continuously flooded with new technologies and innovative apps. Staying on track is a challenge, especially if learning is limited only to free time. Professional development that is not only relevant to specialist areas, but also impacts knowledge on socially relevant topics and technological trends is extremely valuable for every employee, whether they are dealing with digital tools like Microsoft Office Suite, improving soft skills, all the way to understanding topics such as sustainability or digital transformation.
3. Takeaway: Jobs and tasks are changing rapidly. Professional training is therefore absolutely essential for employees in order to survive in the market.
A very practical "side effect" is that employees increase their own market value through more knowledge. The chances of prevailing in a current role or being promoted increase the more is invested in skill and knowledge acquisition. Furthermore, additional qualifications are in advantage with employers and can be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing between applicants. The fast-moving development on the job market puts the focus on soft skills in particular. According to Forbes, soft skills are the new hard skills (Forbes 2020), which means that developing personal and social competencies, such as adaptability, resilience, or critical thinking, and conflict resolution, empathy or communication respectively, will be more important in the future than particular hard skills alone.
4. Takeaway: Employees increase their market value through professional development and are more competitive in the labor market.
Digital learning platforms pave the way to the top
Both scientific studies and ongoing discussions with our customers and partners clearly show that the way companies understand and use corporate training is changing. Although many companies cannot yet say adios to 100% face-to-face events - and they don't have to - there is a clear trend toward digital formats. Digital learning platforms are one of the most important elements for implementing a successful training strategy. Traditional on-site formats cannot offer this much flexibility, content diversity, analysis options, or motivational incentives.