If anything has become clear in recent years, it’s that there is an urgent and pressing need for organisations to be able to take control of skills development within their workforce. In the face of very real skills and labour shortages, combined with wide-ranging changes such as digital transformation and the movement towards a net zero economy, organisations cannot rely on the labour market to provide the skills that they require for success. Being able to foster internal talent and curate and/or improve required skills will be an essential component of success, presenting a challenge for enterprise organisations and an opportunity for higher education.
In this blog post, we look at ten of the skills that organisations have identified as pivotal for workforce development. We will explore each skill’s significance, the potential market for skills development, and discuss the benefits to enterprise organisations of seeking partners to facilitate skills training.
In a 2022 survey by the Australian Industry Group, digital skills were reported as the number one most pressing skills need among organisations. While organisations are looking to improve a range of digital capabilities, including cybersecurity and human-machine interfaces, a majority of organisations listed basic digital skills as one of the most critical areas of workforce development.
With growth often being a primary goal for most organisations, it places increased demands upon the workforce. It’s hardly surprising that the need to improve management skills is influencing workforce development priorities. Management skills are a key contributor to the motivation, engagement and productivity of an organisations’ staff, and organisations who invest in developing these skills often enjoy increased productivity, streamlined operations, and a more cohesive work environment.
Communication is at the heart of every business. The rise of hybrid and remote work - along with the plethora of communications platforms that form a part of modern business, has further amplified the need for workers to be able to clearly and meaningfully communicate in a range of different styles. Improving worker’s communication skills can enhance teamwork, help foster positive relationships with clients, and improve problem-solving capabilities across an organisation.
Customer Service Skills
In a customer-centric business world, providing exceptional service is non-negotiable. Customer service skills go beyond a friendly demeanour; they encompass the ability to empathise, understand customer needs, and resolve issues promptly and effectively. A majority of buyers say that the customer service experience a company provides is as important as the quality of their products or services, making customer service skills absolutely essential across the entire organisation.
Foundational skills, including basic numeracy and financial literacy, are often underestimated but crucial skills for all employees, not just those in finance or accounting roles. Australian Industry’s research indicates a continuing need for foundational skills within a range of roles, including managers, technicians and trade workers, professionals, clerical and sales workers, with organisations reporting that difficulties in completing workplace documents was the number one issue created by a dearth of such skills.
Project Management Skills
Project management skills are invaluable in ensuring the efficient operation of an organisation. Whether it's a small team project or a large-scale initiative, the ability to plan, execute, and deliver results on time and within budget is a critical skill. This becomes especially important when dealing with cross-functional or geographically widespread teams, project management skills help enable organisations to streamline their operations, reduce risks, and deliver better results.
Analytical skills involve the capacity to gather, interpret, and draw meaningful insights from data. With increasing amounts of data being available and integral to organisations, these skills are indispensable. Employees who can analyse data effectively can oftentimes make more informed decisions, better identify trends, which drives positive growth. With an ever-increasing need for both capability and autonomy from workers, developing the ability for workers to gather, analyse and correctly react to information is becoming an essential component of an organisation’s skills strategy.
Negotiation is a fundamental skill that extends beyond sales and procurement. It is ever present in almost all aspects of business operations be that; establishing and managing deadlines, setting goals, resolving conflicts, securing deals, right through to navigating complex partnerships. Negotiation skills impact an individual’s performance in a range of roles and situations, and maintaining a workforce that can approach situations with tact and capability increases the likelihood of better overall outcomes and smoother business relationships.
Sales skills aren't just for sales teams. Every employee can benefit from the ability to persuade, influence, and problem solve. Recruiters, customer-facing staff, managers and executives all use sales skills when attempting to secure the best outcomes for the organisation. Whether it's selling products, ideas, or solutions, organisations that can build effective sales skills will find it easier to achieve success where it counts.
Marketing skills encompass a range of activities, from market research and product positioning to content creation and advertising. As with sales, marketing skills can be employed across a wider range of positions than just the marketing team. Every employee can benefit from an increased ability to research the needs of a customer or opportunity, interpret data and use it to drive the decision making process. Marketing skills can help in everything from product development to determining company strategy, making marketing a key skill to consider developing across a variety of roles.
Enterprise Organisations and Skills Training Partnerships
Enterprise organisations must recognise that they can't address skills gaps in isolation. Partnering with the right training providers is key to staying competitive in a skills-scarce environment. Here's why it's crucial:
Training providers are experts in their field, with access to dedicated learning designers and a knowledge of how to get the best results from your learning program. They can deliver targeted, up-to-date training that aligns with organisational goals and delivers meaningful, real-world change.
In-house training programs can be costly and time-consuming to develop. Many organisations do not have in-house learning developers, and for those that do, many in-house teams lack the resources to develop the right learning solution in the right timeframe. Partnering with training providers can offer cost-effective solutions, allowing organisations to focus on core business activities.
Training providers can work alongside an organisation to understand their needs and create tailored learning solutions; Guroo Learning provides support and advice that can help make this process even smoother, with our Enterprise Education Canvas helping guide organisations through this discovery process to create the right learning program.
With hybrid and remote working now a permanent part of many organisations, it is important to make learning easily available – especially as Guroo Learning’s market research has identified that the time required to complete a course is the main barrier to participation. Training partnerships can help facilitate remote learning that can more easily adapt to a learner’s schedule, through their own platforms or alternatives such as Guroo Learning’s Academy.
Many training providers offer industry-recognised certifications, both as individual credentials or micro-credentials, or as learning that can provide partial credit towards a larger formal qualification. These credentials can boost employees' confidence and marketability, and provide meaningful recognition of the skills they have developed.
In the face of ongoing skills and labour shortages, workforce development is paramount. The top 10 skills we've discussed in this blog—management, communication, customer service, numeracy, digital skills, project management, analytical skills, negotiation, sales, and marketing—are crucial drivers of organisational success. Partnering with training providers allows businesses to tap into the expertise and resources of their partners, helping to create more cost-effective, practical and impactful learning products that can help them to reach their goals and make workplace skills development a key part of their organisation’s DNA.
If you are looking to find the ideal learning partner, or if you would like to become a partner of choice for workplace skills development, then get in touch with Guroo Learning to set up a meeting to discuss how we can help you to realise your goals.