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/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fixtop3blogscn_632472.jpgAccording to Oxford Economics research, less than one-third of surveyed companies worldwide have a strategic enterprise-wide vision for the workforce they want to create. Although growth expectations may be high, many organizations are missing a crucial piece of the puzzle, namely a plan to attract and engage the top talent they need to achieve expansion goals. Based on this report’s findings, including input from Human Resources (HR) industry experts, these are the top three development mistakes companies are making and how to fix them.

Fixing Mistake #1 – Training Gap: Offer the right kind of training

This report reveals a gap between what workers and employers view as the best kind of training. Employees believe the ability to learn and be trained quickly is the most valuable quality to employers. However, executives say the most important quality is a high level of education and institutional learning. Companies would do well to adjust learning programs for speed and relevance. At the same time, employees focused on career development should take steps to show their manager and higher ups their commitment to the company by pursing self-directed learning and other development initiatives.

Fixing Mistake #2 – Misunderstood Workers: Know your workforce

Just 38 percent of executive respondents to this survey say they have ample data about their workforce to understand their strengths and potential vulnerabilities from a skills perspective. Just as worrisome, less than 40 percent say they use quantifiable metrics and benchmarking as part of their workforce development strategy. Some experts are calling for more structured ways of measuring people.

Greta Roberts, CEO at Talent Analytics Corp, sees the emergence of human asset optimization. “Being able to put a lifetime value on each employee, depending on their role and competency, as well as the company’s needs, makes perfect sense since employees are the organization’s greatest asset.”

Fixing Mistake #3 – Inflexibility: Foster productivity by giving workers more choice

Although the use of contingent workers is exploding, few companies (34 percent) offer a flexible working location. This is beginning to change in some places says Kevin Wheeler, founder and president of the San Francisco-based, Future of Talent Institute. For example, in Europe he finds remote workers congregating in shared cafes near their homes.

“Unlike rentable offices of the past, these are open office plans, allowing workers to rent a seat for an hour, day, week, month or year,” said Wheeler. “This appeals to today’s workers seeking the stimulation and creativity of being around a mix of people who aren’t all from the same team every day.”

Of course, there are no quick fixes in today’s complex world. Yet some companies are beginning to realize the value of right-sized education and workplace flexibility to create an ongoing learning culture empowering employees and the company.

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