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Frequently Asked Questions about Workforce Development

Why develop a workforce development strategy specifically for our company?

Some of the benefits of a strong internal workforce development strategy include:
- Reduced turnover and the costs associated with hiring 
- Improved customer service 
- Gained efficiencies and effectiveness 
A stable and dedicated workforce that has grown alongside the company can help in the creation of new products and ideas because they understand the company, its past and its potential. It can also result in lower recruitment cost when you do need to grow your team. Then there’s the potential of lower liability costs, more efficient use of training dollars, increased potential of business expansion and more. 

We have always just relied on the traditional workforce development system. Why should we change now?

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “The one constant in life is change”. The labor markets have changed, many of the ways we do business have changed. The old thinking about hiring and training workers no longer matches the requirements of most companies today. With the skills gap so evident and the looming retirement of so many of our workers, companies are being forced to adopt new processes for attracting and retaining talent. It is more and more difficult to hire the exact talent needed, when it is needed. Those companies who neglect to develop a workforce strategy that supports its overall business goals will be leaving a critical element of success to the whims of market conditions and prevailing factors that will impact their business.

Isn’t workforce development the human resource departments job?

Your HR team is very important. They take the point when it comes to rules, regulations, recruitment, benefits, arranging training and much more. A great workforce development strategy includes building an engaging company culture, developing training initiatives that match the needs of both the company and the workers and positioning the company well within the community for recruiting efforts. It involves the process of evaluating current workforce needs as well as future workforce needs. So, as you can see, a strategy around how a company will attract and retain the best talent thereby giving the organization the highest probability of achieving all of their strategic goals, is the job of the entire company – from the CEO to the shift supervisors and everyone in between.  

What is involved in implementing a workforce development strategy?

That will depend on your organization’s situation, future plans and goals. Each company is unique, so no two strategies will be the same. Things that will influence your strategy will be the specific level of workforce you need to focus on, the types of development efforts needed, and the timing involved. Ultimately the workforce development strategy should align with the overall business strategy. 

How can we ensure that the new leaders we send to training are actually using what they are taught? 

Leadership development takes time; it takes practice too. Having a system in place to allow new leaders to connect with mentors/coaches is a great place to start, but you can also have them report out to the company’s management team upon returning from training and then periodically afterward. Situations come up every week to challenge leaders. Helping them with ongoing training, feedback and even the chance to fail forward is an important part of the development process. We can help you set up a process that works during the training and after to help new leaders grow and develop. 

How do we determine which leadership training we should select? 

There are multiple options for the types of leadership training. The best place to start is with an assessment of need. Once this is complete we can help you determine the best options. We can also customize training to meet your specific needs. 

What can the Workforce Status Review tell us that we don’t already know? 

The Workforce Status Review (WSR) is a one day assessment designed to look at the major aspects of an organization’s workforce development efforts. As a review, it is intended to look at all of these aspects side by side and help identify possible gaps and opportunities. The WSR may well turn out to be a validation of what you already know; it may also identify some areas that offer additional opportunities.