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— by Jessica StillmanLearning developmentTraining
After several years on life support, the American economy is starting to show stirrings of life. But it’s clear that even if unemployment numbers are dropping, we aren’t soon likely to return to our parents’ economy (or our grandparents’, for that matter).
Between fierce competition and lightening-fast technology improvements, we’re now in an age of perpetual job uncertainty.
And that poses a three-pronged challenge to workers, employers, and training professionals: How should these they handle the reality that stable, decades-long jobs are a thing of the past? For workers, there’s no shortage of interesting reading material on how to embrace instability, from entire books of advice to Fast Company‘s recent series on “Generation Flux,” which claims that the future of business is “pure chaos.”
For companies, it creates another quandary: If workers are liable to leave after just a few years, should they even bother investing in improving their skills? Ben Casnocha, an entrepreneur, blogger, and co-author of The Start-Up of You, says yes. While it may be tempting to slash training and insist on only hiring job-ready candidates, Casnocha advocates for the opposite. He urges companies to embrace training, not despite the resiliency it requires from employees, but because of it:
“Instead of denying the job-hopping, opportunity-seeking ways of young talent today, it seems wiser for companies to face the reality and embrace it. Help employees develop transferrable skills. … And be very explicit with new hires about the expectations: ‘We expect you to give us a really strong tour of duty for 2-3 years. When you leave, we expect you to be part of our corporate alumni group. We want you to be part of our corporate alumni network. We want you to help recruit new employees. We want you to be lifelong ambassadors and evangelists for our products and services.'”
Training your talent to toughen up to deal with the rough-and-tumble economic realities isn’t just altruism (though employees are bound to appreciate it), it’s also a way to motivate them to perform at their peak while they’re with you, and arm them with the skills to excel at their jobs. Plus, as Casnocha points out, it’s pretty good for your brand.
That point was echoed recently by the Washington Post’s Capital Business blog. “Having career-resilient workers is not just good for the employees,” according to Joyce E. A. Russell, the director of the Leadership Development Program at the University of Maryland’s School of Business, “it is also critical for employers if they hope to be successful in tomorrow’s rapidly changing competitive world.” Russell suggests several ways employees can help build their workers’ resiliency:
Do you think toughening up your current talent through training is a worthwhile investment?
Image used under Creative Commons by Flickr user tibchris.
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Trakstar is a multi-product HR software provider helping organizations put the people back in people management. Develop and align your staff through better recruiting and applicant tracking, performance management, and learning management. For a more integrated solution to talent management, check out our website and request a live demonstration today.