18 Feb How to engage with management to build the future through apprenticeships
4 Minute Read
With more companies seeing the benefits of Apprenticeships across all levels of business, its key this message is relayed in the correct way to your line managers. It is vital to making sure that your company is highlighting the right areas to spend your apprenticeship levy.
If your Managers are not even looking at skills gaps or areas for expansion requiring new skills, then your business will be the one to lose out. Business Administration to Accountancy departments, your line managers, could be on the receiving end of the benefits of Apprenticeships, helping to increase the skill level within their teams or opening up for an area of possible automation with the help of new skills.
So do you start? Creating an environment in which everyone has the freedom and comfort to think and approach problems in their way can give employees a sense of belonging that will lead to better creativity and engagement across the company.
Sharing and engaging with your managers not only gives them perspective about how their efforts fit into the big picture. It also drives organisational success and increases the odds that they will share their unique insights and ideas with you.
In increasingly diverse workplaces going forward, winning organisations will grasp the enormous value of engaging their middle management team as their catalyst for significant success.
How to highlight a skills gap within your team
- New skills & Efficiency impact
Both new skills and efficient are things that will be noted by your management team as part of a new daily project or planning towards future tasks. Your managers are the best people to see how and where these new skills and knowledge will be put to best use.
If you take advantage of the Skills gap analytics tools, this will be able to show if the skills gap still exists, if it is shown to be again highlighting the same areas you will be able to refer to that team member’s manager. Seek to find out if they are just not utilising the new skills within their team or request a skill performance evaluation on the staff member.
While on an Apprenticeships you will have the full support of your Apprenticeship Training provider and their team of skilled tutors, so if you find that a staff member is having an issue adjusting to the new training or is not continuing to develop these skills within the working environment your Apprenticeship training provider can help.
Sometimes, asking your employee directly (e.g. through a training evaluation questionnaire) will give you surprisingly good insight on such issues.
One obvious way to check for differences in efficiency is by comparing the before and after of various operational metrics. That could be, for example, Administrations tasks completed per hour (Business Administration staff members), successfully concluded calls (Telephone/support centre staff), etc. Again, to evaluate the impact of your employee training program, you will need to have a baseline to compare, so we suggest that you start building your list of trackable operation metrics before you start your training programme.
- Cultural impact
Happy staff can mean a better and more positive company image, and this can be seen on social media channels with staff members
- Employee satisfaction
Employee happiness should be one of your main aims, filling a skill gap with an Apprentice will reduce stress levels and help increase staff retention
Staff retention increased
- Economic impact
The real effect of filling a skills gap will be the financial impact your business sees in its revenue because of the change.
Unfortunately, this will be one of your hardest to track and yet most important, since there are numerous aspects to be eliminated or taken into account to gain an accurate picture. (With shifts in a marketplace or even season influences all being possible contributing factors to a visible increase.)
You can still obtain an approximation of these, by checking the effect on your revenue of things like the productivity and workflow improvements, a faster delivery system, project completions or employee retention increase resulting in a reduction in recruitment spend, as examples, will all be directly linked in any increased revenue.
Other training-related changes might affect a different part of the logistics of your production, resulting in increased efficiencies, etc.
Once you’ve identified a quantifiable change, it’s usually quite easy to translate it into changes in revenue. Adding all of these up, and compensating for seasonal fluctuations and market factors will give you a rough idea of the impact of your training program in your company’s bottom line.
Take everything and improve on it
Once you have a process in place to review, highlight and resolve skill gaps, this will need to be set as part of your business planning and development plans going forward. Each time this process is used by your Managers, it will become further ingrained until your business is no longer looking for ways to fill skills gaps, but how to create new ones for future expansion and growth.