It is very popular in today’s society to talk about the younger generations’ negative personality traits. I, as a member of these younger generations, always assumed this was just an unfair but not unusual tendency of older generations to complain about “what the world is coming to.”
However, this belief that younger people are lacking certain skills has spread beyond the casual conversation and has become a talking point in the workplace.
According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employers around the country believe that the workforce is ill-prepared to meet today’s business challenges. A majority of hiring managers interviewed said that those just entering the workforce are missing both the soft and hard skills necessary to succeed.
With the Baby Boomer generation slowly retiring out of the workplace, and no qualified replacements joining the workforce, employers must now take steps to build up and retain their employees to prevent major talent gaps.
But this is easier said than done. While nearly half of the SHRM responding companies provide employee training programs, 58.2% of those companies feel these programs are less-than successful.
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So what do we do? We must recognize the weaknesses of traditional workforce readiness and training programs.
- Instead of shipping employees off to mind-numbing trainings, provide them flexible learning programs and opportunities to learn directly from more experienced workers.
- Allow employees to learn about subjects that interest them and practice skills directly applicable to their positions.
- Leverage the power of today’s newest technology and networking platforms. Encourage employees to use social media to connect with industry leaders, to study successful companies and apply that learning to their new positions.
No matter what steps you take, we must all commit ourselves to understanding the skills gap within the workforce, our personal weaknesses and continually invest in programs and opportunities that prepare us all for success now and in the future.