No matter your industry or which countries you work in, it seems that you can never find enough of the people you need, and most companies realize that they have to grow their own talent instead of recruiting. Two-thirds of global CEOs say it’s likely that their companies’ talent needs during the next three years will be filled using promotions.
Forward-thinking companies are using training and development as a powerful differentiator. Especially in emerging markets, the chance to learn and grow at a company can help attract the most qualified workers. Why? Most of the best and brightest people are more drawn to a career path filled with opportunity for growth than simply a large paycheck.
However, a dispersed workforce is a challenge, because it’s difficult to get employees to participate, retain content and succeed in every location. One size does not fit all.
Use the following best practices to build the global bench strength leaders need and to track results so you can continue to invest in the future.
1) Diversify your learning channels. In-person, instructor-led training isn’t always possible in global organizations. Increased use of video, social and mobile technologies can replace some or all of the training that previously could only happen in a formal setting. Use of video, simulations, sharing sites, and even games can not only help employees to learn but also to retain that knowledge. Most importantly, blended learning approaches allow a program to combine different types of media to develop programs for specific work groups.
2) Create expert networks. Encourage employees to reach out and collaborate with experts across the globe by making it easy to share knowledge and identify experts. Collaboration tools can help you create profiles, libraries of helpful information, and shorter paths to answers.
Talent profiles can include areas of expertise and contact information. If a project manager at an aircraft factory in France needs information about the assembly of a cockpit control panel, she can turn to internal wikis or even reach out to engineers directly.
3) Develop employees through mobile. In many emerging markets, online access is more likely to occur on a hand-held device than a desktop computer. Approximately half of users in Brazil and Russia use their smartphones for more than 50 percent of their total Internet time, and the figure — 68 percent — is even higher in India.
It’s little surprise that workforce adoption of social tools integrated into learning and development is projected to grow 100 percent over the next year as people use mobile devices for more than phone calls.
4) Become country-agnostic. If most of your employees are located in one country, it’s easy to build a bias toward your home country into your talent practices:
>> Building in language flexibility is an essential step to ensure access and maximum adoption.
>> A single learning platform makes it easier for you to deploy training across the globe, but technology will be only one tool in your overall strategy.
>> Understand that some locations may need in-person training or that experts may need to be deployed on the ground in key markets.
>> Your curriculum should also accommodate the diversity of your workforce. Centralized learning establishes consistency, but local responsiveness helps your business compete.
5) Measure results through all learning channels. Participation metrics can measure everything from webinar attendance to social media sharing. A single global platform makes it easier to gather meaningful analytics that can improve your programs and align learning to your company’s goals.
Metrics also make it easier to quickly add needed content. If you see high participation statistics on specific topic message boards, you might want to produce FAQ libraries and make information easier to find.
Measurement also helps you adjust your programs as needs change. One global biotechnology company consistently monitors the effectiveness of its programs through its LMS. The company’s unified global system for learning and development has had to grow through expansion, which required regular measurement and updating of the programs.
—Excerpted from a SuccessFactors whitepaper titled “Best Practices: Six Initiatives for Growing Talent on a Global Scale.” More info: www.success factors.com