Companies looking for a competitive advantage should look no further than their own front-line employees. While business goals and objectives are usually set by management, it is primarily the front-line supervisors and workers who are responsible for executing them. If these workers lack the skills needed to implement organizational strategies and initiatives, the results can range from mediocre to catastrophic.
There are many reasons why organizations should provide skills upgrade training to their frontline workers, but among the most important are:
- To address the critical skills shortage among current and potential employees
- To retain employees and reduce the high cost of turnover
- To strengthen organizational culture and loyalty
The current demand for skilled workers is outpacing the supply, and economic data indicates this trend is likely to continue and worsen. The unmet need for skilled workers means that many job roles remain unfilled. Recruiting and training new hires requires time and expense that can hinder the progress of companies in today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment. Developing the current frontline workforce to step into higher skilled roles can be a more efficient and effective way to manage this talent pipeline issue.
As cited in a recent Deloitte report, Talent Edge 2020, opportunity for career progression is the top retention incentive, while lack of career upward mobility is the primary driver of turnover. When asked what would keep them with their current employer, over half the employees surveyed cited opportunities for promotion/advancement over compensation, bonuses, benefits or any other reason, while almost a third cited lack of career progress as their top reason for looking for a new job. Training frontline workers provides opportunities for them to move into higher skilled roles, which fills job openings from within and furthers employee engagement and retention.
Culture and Loyalty
The opportunities for upgrading skills and the resulting prospects for workplace advancement have been shown to be primary motivators for workers not only to stay with their current employers, but also to feel more connected to the values and vision of the organization. Aligning the shared values and behaviors of employees with a company’s vision and objectives can help create opportunities for greater success for both the employees and the company.
Employers who invest in their frontline workers by providing skills upgrade training will benefit from their investment through more effective internal talent management, increased employee retention and a stronger organizational culture.