While much is rightly made of the important role the government can play in fostering the right conditions to ameliorate the skills gap—which includes supporting adult workers in earning a postsecondary degree or credential, encouraging underserved populations to join high growth sectors and assisting veterans in transitioning from service to civilian life—businesses don’t need to wait for government help to improve their workforce. Indeed, in the view of John Streur and George Serafeim, to do so could harm needed efforts to meet talent demands.
The authors assert an obvious, yet important truth: Strategic investment in employees, whether that includes tuition assistance, upskilling, initiatives to encourage engagement and so on, benefits employers and the economy writ large. The emphasis on strategic investment is an important one; as the authors note, it’s crucial to align employees’ interests and goals with company goals, not merely push them in a direction that isn’t a good fit.
As we’ve learned, employee engagement is contingent on employees having ample line-of-sight into potential career advancement opportunities within an organization. When employees are forced into roles that don’t suit them, organizations run the risk of clouding those opportunities that could otherwise encourage employee engagement—and retention.
To read the full Harvard Business Review article by Streur and Serafeim, click here.
Facing a talent gap and looking to strengthen your workforce? CAEL can ensure your efforts will help you meet your business goals. Click here to learn more about how CAEL can leverage its more than 42 years of experience working with higher education and workforce partners to facilitate strategic employee acquisition, retention and development efforts.