Investing in human capital is necessary to adequately prepare the South African workforce for promotional positions and to fast-track business growth.
Yet, according to a 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) Report titled: The Future of Jobs and Skills in Africa; sub-Saharan Africa is far removed from making optimal use of its human capital potential and underprepared for the disruption of jobs and skills brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Further, the report indicates that between 15-20 million increasingly well-educated young people are expected to enter the African workforce every year for the next three decades. Therefore, delivering an ecosystem for quality jobs and future skills to match this is imperative.
“So many organisations simply lack the talent they need to optimise their business and achieve their goals. Turning this around is important for business growth and it’s high time we prioritise it,” says Richard Rayne, CEO of iLearn – a leading South African learning solutions-based business that offers accredited and non-accredited learning programmes and digital learning solutions to address skills shortages in organisations.
To increase an organisation’s talent pipeline and equip would-be leaders with the necessary skills, Rayne advises that employers adopt an in-house Organisational Learning Culture, which encourages a continuous culture of learning, grows and develops competent employees and helps to prepare them for promotional positions. According to Rayne upskilling and developing leaders in-house is one of the biggest challenges employers face. Too often employees are promoted into leadership positions based on long service, technical expertise or a “good feel” for the candidate’s ability.
“To move into a promotional position, potential leaders need to be adequately trained. They need the skills and expertise to lead. Promoting the top sales executive into the sales manager’s positon could be detrimental to the business if he/she lacks leadership skills,” he says.
To address this, iLearn has partnered with a number of private sector organisations including global footwear manufacturer and retailer – Bata to deliver a strategic approach to leadership development that focuses on four key elements:
· Leadership development structure and strategy
· Progression learning
· Succession and planning toolkit