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Staff Development: Critical in Difficult Times

Eroding business confidence, the falling value of the pound, big name business closures and whether its slow sales or job losses one thing is clear:  business managers and leaders have a lot to deal with going into 2012!

How businesses meet their customers’ needs, how employees manage themselves and, as an employer, how you demonstrate you are capable of leading your teams through the downturn are all critical issues to consider when fighting for survival in these turbulent times.

During the recession of the early 1990’s there were similar concerns amongst UK businesses and many believed that part of the answer was to cut back on staff development and surprisingly, it seems many companies are again adopting this view.Wasn’t this lack of investment in the future, at least in part, responsible for the skills shortages we’re now seeing in many industries?

Where businesses seem to be stepping back, individuals are stepping up:  18% of those surveyed indicated they intend to change jobs in the coming year and even more plan to get qualifications or develop transferable skills, mainly due to a perception that qualifications are a route to employability.

The main point in all this is that those employers who recognise the importance of offering skills development will be more likely to retain top talent and be better positioned to deal with the challenges the current economic climate is likely to throw their way. Yes, there’s a cost associated with developing skills and increasing levels of competency within an organisation but this is nothing compared to the cost associated with incompetence, failure and mistakes, especially in these difficult times.




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