extra job skills

Getting the pace right acquiring extra job skills

The race between Technology and Education

There is currently today a major shortfall between the skills required by organisations to compete successfully in today’s high technology and marketplace and candidates and employees who are trained and already hold those skills.

The need for on the job training.

Given this shortfall the only real option is for employers to make available to its employees on the job training to make up for these skill shortages. To compound the issue not only do staff need this extra training to catch up with the skills and technology but they also have to keep up to date with all the current issues and learning’s relevant to their sector. However it is very easy to overload employees with these training demands which in turn can vey easily result in information overload and burnout of staff which is exactly what a company does not want. When you add all this to the knowledge staff are expected to have regarding topics like Health and Safety, Security, Quality, Presentations and Finance etc you can easily imagine the onus on staff to learn and to continue to learn.

One of the major consequences of overload is that people start making decisions using intuition and not the evidence based methods that yield the best and most consistently right results plus staff can get very frustrated and angry because they don’t know the answer.

The solution to the knowledge shortfall

The first consideration is to have an understanding of what exactly is the amount of training a person applying for a particular role is able to undertake and absorb. It of course does very much depend on the role and the person and an example would be a person who isn’t particularly inclined to continue to learn after gaining a job wouldn’t choose to be a medical student. The expectations regarding training must be set out as part of the interview process because that will get the buy-in from the staff.

Next the training should be properly prioritised. Management/staff must determine what needs to be learnt first, etc, and then each learning must build on the knowledge already gained. This makes the training efficient and easier to absorb.

Lastly the training must be made relevant to the role. Only the skills needed to do a particular role should be taught. There is no point at this stage teaching superfluous knowledge as that can be done after the staff member becomes competent in the role. The mentoring processes have to be made as efficient as possible because so often those doing a role are expected to teach a new person but this is not often successful as not everybody can teach.

So good luck to you when acquiring those extra job skills.

Steve Blythe (Recruitment and Social Media Commentator).

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