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Leadership

How to Stay Competitive in an Ever-Evolving Market

There aren’t many constants in the business world, except that the market and your competition constantly change. 

Remain stagnant, and you risk falling behind. But if you can be agile and continue to evolve, you can survive and thrive during times of uncertainty. 

While the specific keys to success can vary by industry, there are some essential components to help your employees and your business be resilient in an ever-changing world.

Discover insights from three learning and development (L&D) and enablement leaders on the critical components you need to help your team adapt and evolve. 

Building with scale in mind

Organizations are always looking for better, faster ways to complete tasks and hit goals to remain competitive. Therefore, identifying opportunities to automate tasks to lower costs and scale to boost efficiency is essential.    

For Colby Wolford, Training and Development Coordinator at PDC Machines, innovation is about developing a process to automate training and streamline tasks. Ongoing employee training is vital to help team members upskill and reskill, which helps fill skill gaps that hinder performance. But part of successful innovation is creating processes that can grow and evolve with your company.

“If we don’t think it through and build in scalability at the very beginning, we’re not going to have anything that will work down the line,” he says. “Then, we’ll have to reinvent the wheel when we have 500 or a thousand employees. I would rather take the time and build the foundation and then tweak it from there versus recreating everything.”

Constant change and flexibility are integral parts of growth and innovation. You may find yourself frequently revisiting your process and strategy, but if you take the time to lay the groundwork, you will save time and money when making changes in the future.

“You need to communicate that this is the foundation of the training; if you take it away, the whole building crumbles,” he says. “You have to be strong in the process and setup, but you have to be flexible in what you can tweak and what is foundationally needed.” 

Virtual onboarding

Onboarding helps new hires acclimate to a new company or position, enables employees to be productive faster, and helps with retention. Sixty-nine percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience great onboarding. Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 50 percent greater new hire productivity. 

Data projections indicate that 25 percent of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. And, 74 percent of U.S. companies either currently offer or plan to implement a permanent hybrid work model. Therefore, organizations must develop successful virtual onboarding programs with many remote and hybrid teams.

Employees who onboard in a remote setting must set up new equipment and software, tech issues may arise, and they may not know who to contact for help. Communication can also be challenging, and remote employees may feel isolated or disconnected from other teams. The challenge is to rethink the old way of doing things and find ways to help employees feel connected. 

“Onboarding can be difficult in a fully virtual world,” according to Jen Vitone, Learning and Development Manager at Madison Logic. “So one thing we did this year to give people more understanding about all the different teams within Madison Logic is we started hosting monthly 101 sessions. During these sessions, new hires meet with department leaders and learn about the function and how they play a key role in the business. We have received great reviews because it helps people feel connected. We want to ensure that people feel invested in and understand the different departments and where they fit in.”

As more teams shift to remote and hybrid environments, organizations need to create a sense of belonging and help employees feel like valued members of the team beyond the onboarding process. In addition, you can prioritize employee engagement and well-being by promoting role-based compensation and developing a resilient workforce.  

Company culture 

Your employees are your most valuable asset. Businesses with engaged employees outperform their competition by up to 202 percent. Building a strong company culture where team members enjoy their work and feel valued can help you retain top talent and attract future candidates in a competitive market. 

Creating a positive company culture should always be top of mind, but it’s even more critical and sometimes more challenging during volatility and change. 

“It’s very easy to have a positive company culture when things are going well,” says Celine Grey, Enablement Director at Normative.io. “When things are not-so-great, and change starts happening, this is where you’ll find the truth about the people, the leadership, the behavior, and the best practices.”

Celine shares that promoting positive changes to improve company culture is a cross-team, collaborative effort that extends beyond the HR and people teams. Often, creating lasting change can be a long, arduous process.

“Any change, whether a slow burner or drastic change, requires a change management approach,” she says. “The key here is not to demand change but rather facilitate it. Change interrupts patterns of thoughts and behavior, so if you push it through the organization, you are going to get push-back, risk potential attrition, and not get the expected outcome. By enabling change through a strong vision, deep collaboration, and multiple communication points, you can empower people to act upon that vision and truly embed that change.”  

Positive company culture can boost employee engagement and help team members feel comfortable at work. Still, it can also help you attract top performers, which can help your overall performance. According to Gallup data, creating a culture that attracts star talent can lead to a 33 percent increase in revenue. 

Preparing for an unknown future

Innovation and training, onboarding, and company culture are vital ingredients for a successful, resilient organization. To keep up with an ever-evolving world, you must embrace continuous learning. Promoting L&D can help employees acquire the skills and knowledge they need to adapt and thrive in a fast-paced environment. 

Learn more about how WorkRamp can help you create a culture of learning at your organization; contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo. 

 

Maile Timon

Maile Timon is WorkRamp’s Content Strategist. She has more than 11 years of experience in content marketing and SEO and has written for several publications and industries, including B2B, marketing, lifestyle, health, and more. When she’s not writing or developing content strategies, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.

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