Strategic continuing education helps companies to counter the shortage of skilled workers by identifying the expertise needed going forward in good time and equipping their employees with the appropriate skills. According to the study “The Future of Training and Development”, every second continuing education program is currently geared towards conveying skills that will be needed in the future. Yet, 53 percent of participants criticize that their supervisors do not coordinate with the HR departments enough when designing the programs. For this study, more than 1,000 employees across Germany were surveyed on behalf of the Staufen Academy.
“The change in demographics has resulted in the lack of skilled professionals in almost every company”, says Lea Buchmüller, Head of Academy at Staufen AG. “It would be a mistake, though, to only try to close these gaps be recruiting from external sources. Continuously preparing the existing technical staff as well as the next generation from our own ranks for the future is just as important.” Topics such as tapping into new business areas, increasing automation, and the use of new technologies are thus making in-service training a success factor within the company.
Many companies fail to take advantage of these levers. As an example, more than half (55 percent) of the employees surveyed have taken part in a continuing education measure in the past twelve months. In fact, close to half of the continuing education measures (53 percent) are geared towards skills that will be required in the future, whereas in more than a third (37 percent), technical gaps in knowledge are filled.
Head of Academy
Consistent steering of the learning processes is essential
“Businesses should identify personnel bottlenecks early as part of strategic continuing education, analyze the need for professional development in their teams, and respond flexibly to changing requirements,” advises continuing education expert Buchmüller. Nevertheless, the culture of ongoing learning that this requires calls for the learning processes to be systematically managed. As such, it is the responsibility of a modern supervisor to determine the individual continuing education needs of each team member. On the other hand, the HR department has a good overview of the most appropriate options that the market offers. “To leverage the greatest possible potential, managers and HR developers must exchange ideas directly to find the most suitable measures to train all of their staff with a view to achieving the company’s goals,” Buchmüller adds. However, when it comes to cooperation, there is still plenty of room for improvement: 49 percent of respondents believe that their employer’s HR department and executives are not working hand in hand.
Digital formats to complement the traditional face-to-face events
Not only that, but the way in which knowledge is conveyed is also changing. The Staufen Academy study shows that many employees no longer want to spend a lot of time in a classroom for training, or in the company. As such, the traditional event formats should be supplemented with digital formats. 30 percent of respondents prefer live online training, which can be better integrated into everyday working life, as can on-demand formats such as learning videos or a combination of online and classroom training. Similarly, the time spent on continuing education is increasingly important in achieving a better work-life balance: 37 percent feel that half a day of continuing education is sufficient to learn effectively. Lea Buchmüller: “The method of how knowledge is conveyed depends primarily on the topics. The future lies in find a way to intelligently dovetail new and proven learning methods.”
About “The Future of Training and Development” study
For “The Future of Training and Development” study, the Staufen Academy surveyed a total of 1,045 employees from a range of sectors (i.e. industrial, chemical, IT/telecommunications, banking/insurance, retail and energy) across Germany. The survey was conducted in May 2023. The study can be downloaded for free:
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