How Future-ready is Your Workforce?

CEOs continue to identify critical skills shortage as one of the key people risks to their business. So how can organisations in Singapore develop a culture of learning and development to fill this gap?

How Future-ready is Your Workforce?

17 Nov 2016 by  Zihao Chua

As we come to the close of the year, the market continues to look grim for professionals, managers, executives, and technicians (PMETs), based on the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) latest macroeconomic review. The MAS attributes this to a combination of slow economic growth and skill mismatches—with an increasing number of redundancies also seeing retrenched PMETs struggle to find new jobs. The MAS advises that workers “should equip themselves with the necessary skills to fill the jobs that are currently available and will be in demand in the coming years.”

This sentiment is echoed in Aon’s Best Employers Singapore 2016 study, where 68% of CEOs named critical skills shortage as one of the key people risks to their business. This awareness and foresight has led many Best Employer organisations to respond positively, and deliver the right results.

How can you develop a culture of learning and development?

1. Prepare current employees for future jobs at your organisation.
In this age of disruption, it’s critical to assess the competencies of your current employees in relation to your business strategy for the next 5 to 10 years. Instead of looking outwards for skills that your organisation lacks, look inward to support your current employees in their development needs so that they will be able to acquire the skills required to perform well in the jobs to come.

2. Create an engaging user experience.
The average adult now spends 2.5 hours a day on mobile devices and has come to expect consumer-grade experiences from their employer. Desk-bound training programmes are no longer compelling—instead, employees seek modern and mobile-ready interfaces with programmes prescribed to their needs and interests. Cloud-based learning solutions also enable employees to learn on the go, and at their convenience.

3. Utilise employee feedback to improve programmes.
Adopt a continuous listening strategy, with regular pulse checks throughout the year. Then, make use of the feedback provided to improve your learning and development programmes according to your employees’ requests and requirements.

4. Make learning and development the driving force of integrated talent management.
Equipping your employees with the right skills for future roles is only the first step. Your organisation must also track the effectiveness of your learning and development programmes by putting in place a robust assessment solution to measure impact on performance. With this data, business leaders can get a clear understanding of the overall organisational capability in order to fine-tune business strategy as well as other aspects of the talent management process such as recruitment, succession planning, workforce planning, and more.

What does success look like?

Naturally, the rate of success for your organisation can only be determined by your organisation. However, Aon Best Employers Singapore 2016 have set strong benchmarks:

  • 86% of Best Employers have Learning & Careers as part of their Employee Value Proposition (market average, 50%)
  • 86% of Best Employers focus on helping employees acquire new skills and competencies (market average, 61%)
  • Employees in Best Employers organisations are 17% more likely to be satisfied with Learning & Development

As an organisation, learning and development may be a steep investment to begin with—but they come with great rewards. With a more skilled and sustainable workforce, your organisation will be ready to take on the challenges of these difficult times to come.

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If you need help with strategising, planning, and implementing your organisation's learning and development, get in touch with us today.

Zihao Chua

Zihao is an Associate Consultant with Aon Hewitt Talent & Performance Consulting Team based in Singapore and is currently the Singapore Project Manager for Aon Hewitt’s flagship research study, the Best Employers Asia programme. He has been working on the Aon Best Employers Singapore Program for 3 consecutive cycles (2015, 2016, & 2017). Besides Aon Best Employers, Zihao also works on client delivery and consulting for Employee Engagement, Talent Management & HR Effectiveness.

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