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Evolving workplace demographics

Opinion piece: WITS Commercial Enterprise / Learning and working in the future

The workforce in today’s companies is diverse, spanning multiple generations, different cultures and backgrounds, varying degrees of skill and disparate levels of experience. Effectively upskilling and developing the ever evolving demographics within the ranks requires more creative approach to training and development – and how they are offered.

Training and development describes the formal, ongoing efforts that are made within organizations to improve the performance and self-fulfillment of their employees through a variety of educational methods and programmes.

“Companies can realise dramatic improvements in performance when they move away from simply offering more training programmes and measuring headcount to encouraging continuous learning by offering engaging and highly personalised opportunities for training and career advancement. Millennials specifically want support, mentorship and paths to advancement. It is about helping people to get better at their jobs while they are doing them by offering the right tools and content at the right time,” says Dr Tim Hutton at WITS Commercial Enterprise.

Tim points out that working and learning simultaneously is time consuming and can be overwhelming. Providing relevant content that can be applied easily to help employees in their daily duties is therefore critical to ensuring that employees remain engaged with their training.

Today’s worker is time strapped and they don’t typically perform a static job. Training content that gives employees tools and quick ‘take-aways’ that they can apply in their jobs immediately will help to keep them engaged and more likely to use what they learn. It also inspires new ideas and innovation.

“Building a culture of innovation has become a business imperative to improve performance, drive efficiencies and increase competitiveness. The business need to nurture innovation is therefore also impacting on how development programmes are designed and delivered, as well as how learning takes place. When training and development programmes inspire people to innovate and implement new ideas, it helps to create a climate of continuous learning,” says Dr Hutton

The importance of creating an environment for continuous learning cannot be underestimated. Research done through LinkedIn found that the main way for employees to be productive and achieve goals is for employers to provide them with opportunities for continuous learning. This helps employees continue to improve their skills and be more flexible and adaptable, as changes related to technology and other workplace matters can arise quickly. When continuous learning is supported employees feel valued, helping boost employee engagement and retention.

Technology has changed the way in which people live and work, it is also shaping how training and development is happening in today’s workplace. Learning and technology are inextricably linked. Now more than ever before, training should equip employees with skills that are aligned with the way in which we learn in the high tech world. As technology innovations grow and diversify, so do the opportunities to create better training programmes, as well as the methods for delivering training.

WITS Enterprise’s Short Courses unit is the benchmark in the delivery of relevant short courses and learning experiences for people that want to enhance their skills to go further, as well as companies that want to give their employees the edge with our online partner; WITS Digital Campus, we are able to bring learning even closer to your desk with their variety of online offerings.

A trusted provider of the best short courses in Gauteng, WITS Enterprise’s Short Courses also provides turnkey training solutions and customised learning experiences that are tailored to specific needs. These learning solutions are multidisciplinary, drawn from the length and breadth of the University of Witwatersrand faculties.

WITS Enterprise Short Courses’ flexibility, agility and capacity to leverage multiple disciplines mean that it can deliver a holistic and comprehensive solution that can be customised to meet requirements in a short timeframe.

For more information on WITS Enterprise Short Courses, please go to https://wits-enterprise.co.za/short-courses

For more information on learning through our Digital Campus, please visit https://digitalcampus.co.za/