That popular saying about new generations pushing their way around is more topical than ever due to the arrival of millennials, and even some centennials, the employees of the future, to the labour market. Young people who land in companies with master degrees, courses, languages and knowledge of the latest technologies they have grown up with. Instead of as a menace, these additions should be taken by veteran workers as an incentive to keep on improving and not to ignore their professional development.
Continuous training plays a key role in that, allowing professionals not only to avoid being outdated and therefore compromise their performance, but also to develop personally. This is reflected on the report Vocational education and training is good for you. The social benefits of VET for individuals by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. In it, they claim that there´s a strong link between training and an increase in confidence and self-esteem.
Training also has an influence on job satisfaction, since it allows to take on new challenges, resulting eventually in a positive impact on motivation levels. Not to mention that a well-trained professional is more qualified to make decisions and solve conflicts, thus improving their reputation within the organization. Becoming outdated entails being far from a highly-competitive scenario that requires human capital to be in continuous training. It’s essential that professionals are totally aware of the importance of continuous training, and willing to participate. Likewise, it’s fundamental that the company bets on training and new trends focusing on individual capabilities and needs.
New trends in continuous training
During a seminar on labour market hosted by the Spanish Fundación Empresa y Sociedad entitled What’s new in HR?, the participants, HR and Innovation managers from large companies and prominent entrepreneurs specialized in the field, identified the changes to be implemented in the training model. One of the most important is to transition from a mainly bureaucratic training model to an experiential one, enjoyable and quality-based. For that to happen, a bet must be placed on open solutions where professionals have a vision of self-development that contributes to their motivation. Likewise, it is essential that technical contents are merged with personal experiences in order to link training with its usefulness in the person’s everyday life.
Another suggested alteration is to make professional training shorter, accessible and practical, so that new knowledge can be applied inmmediately, and to have the possibility of choosing what to learn available. A professional knows, better than anyone, his shortcomings when compared to other coworkers and which areas to improve upon so as not to fall behind. An effort must be made to align the interests of the organization and those of its members so that they stay motivated throughout the learning process and see it as it is: an opportunity for professional development, not an obligation.
During the seminar, professionals over the age of 50 were encouraged to step outside their comfort zone and approach training as a way to begin a new stage in their working life.
This second stage may also be linked to training, not only as students, but also as teachers. There are organizations that take advantage of their own talent to train their human capital.
Nowadays, companies require that their management is capable of making decisions quickly and also that professionals are onus for their own development. If members of human capital don’t want to come across as outdated when compared to new additions, they must seize that responsibility.
Sources: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, Fundación Empresa y Sociedad, Cinco Días and Noelia López-Cheda