No-Shave November/Movember. Turkey Day. Black Friday. There’s a lot to commemorate in November, and it’s also National Career Development Month: a time for employees to assess their current skills and organizations to reflect on their learning and development offerings.
In addition to wanting more career training, the modern workforce also requires ongoing feedback. Fortunately, training and feedback go hand-in-hand. When we combine skill assessments with competency development, we can help employees identify personal skills gaps and relevant training. That’s why we recommend learning and development tech tools and other resources to help people improve their skills and work performance.
Leadership, cooperation, communication, and management are all skills that are in high demand in the current workforce, and there is no better time to hit reset on daily duties to learn a few new skills and hone current ones. Whether you are 20, 40, or 60 years old, the challenge is to continue developing the skills you already have in addition to learning how to apply and relate these to new technology.
In honor of National Career Development Month, here are some tips that encourage ongoing training and development:
Employees should take inventory of their own skills gaps:
Nearly 70 percent of employees aren’t engaged in their current jobs. Continuous employee development is contingent upon the drive to become a better version of yourself. Take a step back and take a look at what you do on a daily basis. Take inventory of the tasks, ideas, or teams that motivate you and find what constitutes the gap between your current position and where you want to be. Is it a lack of managerial experience? Maybe you don’t have the writing skills necessary to work as effectively as you want with a new team. Deciding where you can expand your horizons will get the gears turning.
Managers and employees can collaborate to set a plan in motion:
Communicate your goals to your manager and create a development plan. Discuss skills gaps and create individual plans to address those gaps. Championing yourself and being proactive about asking for feedback loops, constructive criticism, and areas to improve will show your employer that you are invested in the work you do and want to grow. Then, your management team can help you achieve your goals by offering you access to training, certain team meetings, or activities you hope to add to your skills portfolio.
Employees should utilize resources at their disposal:
Currently, only 10 percent of employees use development tools. Online training resources provide workers with anytime access to a library of career development content. When employees have the freedom and flexibility to learn on their terms, the results are quite telling. Bridge offers learning and development opportunities involving the option for employees to self-enroll in learning paths that interest them. They can engage in development beyond the workplace, too. Whether it’s attending a night class, signing up for a webinar, or hearing a speaker at a local library, employees need to make use of any opportunity to engage in lifelong learning. Career Development Month is a great time to start.
Want to learn more about improving ongoing development? Sign up for our upcoming webinar, “Creating an Employee-Centric Culture of Learning.”