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Strengthening Your Technical Workforce

The technical workforce is often saddled with the responsibility of the most difficult – and often most dangerous – jobs in the world today. For decades, technical organizations have faced a widening skills gap.

This is a problem that cannot be ignored. Ensuring that your workforce has the skills to perform at their highest level is vital to the success of your organization at large, as well as to the safety of each individual worker.

Why are you training?

There’s an old aphorism: to a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. To carry the metaphor, someone trying to sell your organization an off-the-shelf, one-size fits all, training program will likely identify many ways their solution will help you improve. But the reality is that a simplified training program isn’t always the solution, and training budget dollars are typically precious. The best place to start is identifying the business drivers, and what gaps you are trying to find solutions for.  Is the training intended to upskill specific job duties and tasks or is it knowledge based?

It is important to align solutions to fit your specific business needs. Often, further training will not solve the root cause of an organizational misfire. What if there is a cultural issue? What if the modality being used to support a specific job is insufficient? Throwing limited training dollars at these problems typically won’t help without identifying your current state and what gaps exist to target exactly what is needed to make an impact.

Begin with a needs analysis

Most organizations are currently experiencing a multi-generational, blended workforce with an ever-widening skills-gap. The first step on developing your program should be to determine where your workforce currently is, versus where you need them to be. Taking an analysis approach will ensure you select the right tools, modalities, and solutions to properly fit the specific needs of your workforce. All solutions should support the learner in the moment of need and be scalable to various personas.

Beginning your transformation with an understanding of the specific job duties, as well as the skills needed for individual roles, will allow you to put in place tools that truly support those roles. This will also allow you to align your training to your overall organizational vision.

A typical learning assessment can also include a Design session, allowing your organization to workshop solutions for the full project or workforce lifecycle.

Hybrid learning models

It is important to understand how much time in the field is required for hands-on learning, but also to recognize which training can be self-paced, or virtual. Many organizations are seeking ways to further innovate and provide blended solutions to meet their specific workforce needs. Because learning needs differ from person to person, and position to position – some professional development can be absolutely done via a virtual or hybrid model. However, virtual learning is not appropriate for every position. Maintenance training, for example, should typically be done through hands-on training, or on training simulations or equipment where other topics could lend towards a virtual solution. Hybrid work is here to stay, and that means hybrid learning is here to stay.

How GP Strategies partners with you

Over 50 years of workforce transformation has taught GP Strategies that every organization is like a fingerprint – no two are the same. We help you perform a fit/gap analysis on the workforce, your learning programs, your culture and align a solution to fit your goals.

Beyond the learning assessment, GP Strategies also has teams in place to support the development and delivery of your technical workforce transformation, as well. 

If you’re ready to fast-track the reinforcement and strengthening of your technical workforce, contact us today to get started with your needs analysis.

For More on This Topic

Research Report | Bridging the Skills Gap: Workforce Development in Changing Times

Blog | Connected Technologies: Reduce Skill Gaps and Create Opportunity

Article | Developing a Holistic Approach to Enable the Hybrid Workforce

About the Authors

Ashley Johnson
Ashley specializes in global performance improvement strategies using technology-based solutions and technical resources to reduce cost, eliminate waste, and improve safety, efficiency, and overall performance of the organization. Ashley works to provide customers with strategies for achieving operational excellence and measurable changes to help promote growth, and in some cases, overall transformation.

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