The results of the 2013 ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices Survey offer a snapshot of the various approaches to training and developing employees that are being taken by Northeast Ohio employers. Highlights from these methods are outlined below.
Making technology work for you
If your organization is looking to help existing employees develop their skills at your organization, technology can be one of your strongest allies. Overall, about 71% of employers indicated they utilize some type of web-based trainings as at least one portion of their larger training program.
For practical reasons, it is unsurprising that non-manufacturing type organizations tend to use these web-based trainings more frequently than manufacturing organizations. No matter what your industry and depending on your specific training needs, web-based trainings can often be more cost effective for you the employer as well as offering a nearly unlimited list of topics to fit the needs and interests of your employees to help them grow their career.
Grooming talented professionals
Although high-tech methods of training are an area of continued growth, on the other end of the spectrum more personalized, one-on-one development programs are also increasing in popularity. The percent of organizations with mentorship programs in place increased by about 4% from 2012, up to 29% of participants in 2013.
By pairing new hires with more seasoned employees, organizations can help to transition these new employees successfully into both their job itself and the culture of the organization. Although the survey did not differentiate between new hire mentorship programs and those designed for existing employees, these mentor/mentee relationships between two existing employees can be beneficial for grooming high potential talent and offers an opportunity for the more senior mentor to build their own leadership skills as well.
Manufacturers vs. non-manufacturers
Another method of building this talent pool that is being used by local organizations is career development programs or initiatives. Much like the mentoring and even the web-based training options, career development programs tend to be more common among non-manufacturers with 41% of these organizations offering this option, compared to 22% of their manufacturing counterparts surveyed.
Although non-manufacturers may appear to have stronger programs in these professional development areas, when asked whether they make a financial contribution to upgrade their employees’ skills, manufacturers actually tend to respond “yes” more frequently than non-manufacturers. So while they do trail behind non-manufacturers in some of the more “soft-skill” development areas, due to the ever-changing and highly technical skills required in manufacturing jobs, employers in this later group have made an ongoing financial investment to upgrading the skills in their workforce.
A serious commitment
In terms of the overall financial contribution towards these development opportunities, the percent of organizations providing financial assistance to employees for training and development did see a slight decrease in comparison to 2012. However, it is important to note that despite 2013's small decrease, tuition assistance and job training are still offered by the vast majority of participating organizations (78%). Ultimately, most organizations appear to have made a strong commitment to training and development, both financially and otherwise, as they strive to successfully attract and retain top talent.
This survey reports information from 122 Northeast Ohio employers on their workforces as well as on benefits, compensation, recruiting, hiring, communication, training, development, and safety practices at their organizations.