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Back to school: Giving employees the tools and training they need

Posted by Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on Tuesday, Aug 11, 2015

Blog Aug 11 - doing more with lessIt's not just kids who need an education, and this is the perfect time of year to assess your company's training and development programs.

The Hays 2015 Salary Guide finds employers trying to increase productivity without increasing headcount, which is increasing workplace stress and decreasing morale. This is especially noticeable in functions such as IT, office professionals and HR. However, for forward-thinking companies, the right training and development can help reduce the impact on employee stress and morale.

More than a quarter of employers are creating new hybrid roles to manage workloads, according to the Salary Guide. While this is an effective way to improve productivity, it can create a pressure cooker situation for employees. More than a third of employers say increased workloads and employee pressure is driving up stress leave and general inefficiencies, and contributing to lower office morale.

You cannot expect employees to take on new tasks and responsibilities without sufficient training. Workers who do not feel confident in their tasks quickly become demotivated and frustrated.

  • Ensure all employees are sufficiently trained for the tasks they are responsible for. Cover all processes, programs, and health and safety components so workers can confidently complete their objectives.
  • Move beyond the basics by training in soft skills such as time management, people leadership or customer service depending on what an employee needs to succeed. This not only makes them a better employee in their current role, but sets them up for future career progression.
  • Create an environment where on-going learning is standard, and where people can ask for help and feel supported to foster morale and engagement. Some approaches include a suggestion box, town-hall meetings, or open forums for employees to ask questions and learn. Set a good example from the top down - encourage senior leaders and line managers to ask questions and demonstrate that they are also always learning.

As Canadian companies see business activity increase, eventually permanent headcounts will have to increase, but in the meantime strategic use of training and development, along with flexible workforce options and effective benefits, will ensure your company can meet its business objectives, while maintaining margins.

Do you need targeted workforce support? Contact our temporary and contract team for skilled, pre-screened candidates. 

Talk to Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on the Canadian labour market.

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