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By Tim Waldo, UT CIS Workforce Consultant
We hope you had a happy National Workforce Development Month last month! This event that occurs each year in September is a time to celebrate the dedicated workforce development pros across the country. The UT Center for Industrial Services (UT CIS) team would like to thank all of those teaching and training professionals working to fill a stressed talent pipeline across Tennessee. We applaud our friends at the colleges of the Tennessee Board of Regents; the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development; the many nonprofit organizations delivering workforce training; and the many high school Career and Technical Education programs in our state. There are a host of others on the list and we appreciate all of those trainers and educators from K-12 through post-secondary and beyond. The work they do is vital to our state’s success.
The talent pipeline rightly ends at the employer’s door and a great workforce deserves a great workplace. UT CIS is committed to workplace development by helping Tennessee manufacturers create work environments that ensure the workers’ journey through the workforce development system into a great job is a positive experience for all stakeholders. What does a great workplace look like?
A great workplace values people. When employees understand that their efforts are appreciated and their contributions are meaningful, they tend to stick around longer and offer more ideas. They engage in problem solving and continuous improvement that helps the company remain competitive. UT CIS’ Smart Talent Systems (STS) helps companies foster a culture that values people by improving communications, developing leaders’ abilities to coach, and highlighting workplace system connections that add value to relationships.
A great workplace is all about continuous improvement, and that includes its people. An individual’s learning and development doesn’t end when they exit the talent pipeline. Robust, consistent, and well documented on-the-job training programs ensure that every team member is moving forward in their development. Today’s employees value these opportunities for professional growth. STS helps employers to establish development pathways that clearly show an employee their way forward while encouraging continuous improvement through personal development. A great workplace has a culture of learning that celebrates each team member’s progress.
A great workplace listens to their people. Having skilled problem solvers is certainly an advantage for Tennessee manufacturers. But only if a company’s internal system is adept at listening to those problem solvers. A true culture of learning means that all parties are learning together. STS helps establish daily practice routines that help employees and leaders share ideas and solutions that improve the company’s performance.
Exceptional leadership is a must in today’s competitive world. A great workplace that consistently attracts and retains talented people has great leaders. The tools in the STS toolbelt help leaders become coaches and better teachers. Leaders learn how they individually contribute to the success of the company’s people development efforts.
It has never been more challenging to keep the talent pipeline filled. Thankfully, Tennessee’s workforce development system is one of the best in the nation. At the same time, our manufacturing sector is working very hard to create modern workplaces that successfully attracts, trains, and retains the talent needed to keep Tennessee among the nation’s manufacturing leaders. UT CIS is dedicated to supporting these efforts to ensure that well-trained, motivated people get to work in engaging workplaces led by exceptional leaders that value their ideas and abilities.