As employers struggle to fill skilled technical roles, more businesses are turning inward and investing in employee development. And with a whopping 94% of workers indicating they’d stay longer at a company that invests in their career development, it’s a win-win situation. Businesses build a more skilled workforce to address their needs, and employees feel valued and motivated to stay and grow with the company.  

Of course, upskilling and retraining are challenges on their own – and this is where technology can play a starring role. By leveraging technology, you can guide employees through training courses, make resources available, and keep track of skill-building as it happens. With streamlined training, you can upskill your existing employees, bridging the gap between your needs and their capabilities.  

Here’s what you need to know:

The growing skills gap

‘Skills gap’ doesn’t necessarily indicate an overall shortage of workers. It’s a term that describes the widening gulf between the capabilities employers need and the skillsets of people looking for work.  

According to a 2023 government report, 36% of sectors in Australia are dealing with significant skills shortages, with businesses related to health, ICT, engineering and science finding it particularly hard to fill empty roles with skilled employees. In New Zealand, a recent recruitment survey found that 90% of respondents struggled to fill vacancies, with 71% reporting that highly skilled roles were hardest to fill.   

There’s no single cause for the skills crisis – but here are some of the key drivers:  

  • Rapid tech evolution – skills must develop quickly to keep up as new technology emerges.  
  • Demographic shifts – New Zealand and Australia have ageing populations, which means more skilled and specialist workers are leaving the workforce.   
  • Changing business needs – according to Forbes, employers are now looking for a mix of technical and softer skills, like digital literacy, communication and problem-solving.  

The challenges associated with the skills gap are clear. If your business can’t fill capability gaps, you could struggle to maximise the benefits of new tech, fall behind your competition, or simply miss growth opportunities because your business isn’t operating efficiently.   

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The growth and development challenge

Developing employee skills and capabilities can have major benefits beyond bridging the skills gap. Giving your people the chance to build new, valuable skills can boost employee satisfaction, aid retention, and help make your business more appealing to prospective employees. 

But, while businesses are keen to deliver learning and development courses, the numbers show that many are not having the impact they would like. According to the Harvard Business Review, only 12% of employees apply skills learned in professional development to the job, while just 25% of employees surveyed felt that training measurably improved their performance.  

Those statistics speak to the importance of a thoughtful development strategy. Poorly delivered or inadequate training, courses that don’t align with skills shortages, a lack of support or time to complete training – it all adds up to frustration for employees, who may leave your business. Your HR team, on the other hand, could drown in work, struggling to deliver development without an adequate framework.   

Boosting skillsets and employee satisfaction with ServiceNow

What if, instead of relying on your overloaded HR team to plan, manage, and deliver skills training, a tech solution could help you manage it all in one place while shielding employees from back-end complexities? That’s where the ServiceNow HR Service Delivery (HRSD) platform comes in.  

Purpose-built to seamlessly connect all your HR and talent systems, ServiceNow gives busy HR teams an effective way to train, track, and manage employee training. It’s designed to help you identify capability shortages, simplify access to employee resources, and create personalised learning journeys for teams or individuals in your workplace, empowering them to take ownership of their career development. 

It’s about having the tools you need to manage employee development programmes that bridge the skills gap and deliver a range of tangible benefits in the long term. 

1. Identify capability gaps 

An effective employee development programme starts by identifying skills shortages and employees in need of upskilling. For example, you might need more employees who can use a specific software program so the burden doesn’t fall on one or two people. More broadly, you may want your employees to develop stronger digital literacy skills or learn how to use a new program.  

With ServiceNow, you can collect information about existing employee skills and identify those gaps early in the process, then use that data to create learning pathways.  

2. Create powerful learning journeys

How do you guide employees through complex training or skill development without in-person teaching or one-on-one support? With ServiceNow’s Employee Journey Management toolkit, you can create custom learning workflows for teams or specific employees.  

Here’s how journey creating works:

  • Create and edit tasks in an automated learning pathway.
  • Embed content from outside sources like Cornerstone, Pluralsight and even YouTube.
  • Add personalised reminders and nudges.
  • Include mentoring from more experienced staff members.

Because key learning journeys are automated and accessible through your employee portal, your people can access and complete tasks from anywhere, simplifying skills development for flexible and hybrid workplaces.  

HR and training teams can also use the platform to make real-time recommendations throughout the development process – for example, as an employee completes one training course, you might recommend a seminar, self-guided course or another piece of content that builds on their knowledge. 

3. Put knowledge in reach

With ServiceNow, you can give your people continuous access to work resources and information through an HR service delivery portal – your Employee Centre. Instead of searching through an employee handbook or asking around the office, everyone gets access to the same resources as and when they need them.

For example, if you’re training employees to use a new software system, you can save resources, FAQs and user guides to your Employee Centre for easy reference.  

This connected approach takes the administrative burden off your HR team and makes upskilling less frustrating for everyone involved. It’s a stark contrast to older learning and development programs, which often led to dissatisfaction among employees. One study found that over 80 different employee-facing systems increased frustration thanks to disconnected experiences, unclear development actions, and an inability to track employee progress.

eBook: Overloaded HR Teams!

5 ways to regain control with automated service management

Overloaded HR Teams eBook

4. Support your people 

two businessmen brainstorming solutions

The Manager Hub is your portal for employee support and engagement, helping your HR team connect with employees and guide them as they develop new skills. Uniquely, the platform includes a survey feature that lets you capture employee feedback and improve their experience.  

By embedding feedback requests at specific touchpoints, you can gather quick insights in real-time – employees tell you about their training experiences just after they’ve completed them. From there, you can view responses to survey questions, check employee scores and feedback trends, and feed that information back into your employee journeys. For example, if you notice that a particular task or training course is receiving low scores, you might look for another provider or offer one-on-one support to help employees through it.

5. Boost satisfaction, career progression and retention 

Most employees don’t want to stay in the same role forever. With an effective learning and development programme, you can help them move upwards, filling skilled roles and boosting employee satisfaction at the same time. A recent survey of global employment trends found that employers with strong skill development programmes had a 15% higher internal mobility rate than companies that don’t prioritise training.

By making training accessible for employees and giving HR managers a way to track progress and fill skilled vacancies, ServiceNow can also help you boost retention. One report found that employees who get the chance to upskill have a 34% higher retention rate than those who don’t. 

6. Improve your reputation in the hiring market 

In the long term, creating a flexible, effective training program with ServiceNow can also help you improve your reputation. Prospective employees care about training and development opportunities and will actively look for employers who offer those opportunities. According to the Harvard Business Review, a staggering 86% of professionals said they would move jobs if a prospective employer offered better training and development.

Fusion5 - your partner in employee development with ServiceNow

The benefits of ServiceNow as an employee growth and development tool are clear – but how do you kickstart the implementation process and maximise the benefits of the platform? As a long-time service management solutions provider, Fusion5 is your implementation partner for ServiceNow. The most effective way to implement ServiceNow is with a partner like Fusion5. We’ll ensure it integrates with your existing software and customise automations and workflows to fit your specific business needs. If you’re looking for support to change how you grow and develop your people, we’re here to help. 

Great outcomes start with great conversations

Great outcomes start with great conversations

Ready to say YES to profitability, happy employees, and great customer experience?

Request a consultation today and let our local experts help you to digitise, optimise and automate your way to success with ServiceNow.

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