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January 29

A Simple Solution to the Labor Shortage Problem, According to an HR Specialist

Labor shortage, digital transformation, and employee retention. All hot topics in the human resources sector. Marie-Pier Blouin, Human Resources Specialist at Panthera Dental and Bodycad, gives us her views on these major issues appearing increasingly on the agenda of SMEs (small and medium enterprises).

A simple solution to the labor shortage problem to implement
      

A solution to the labor shortage problem of work, according to an HR Specialist

As we know, the shortage of manpower is the subject of the hour, the one that everyone is talking about.

Why? It's simple. All businesses, without exception, are affected. 

It's good to talk about it over and over again, but shouldn't we rather change angles?

Talking about solutions and no longer about the crisis we are facing?

What are the best readily available strategies and tools that we can use to reduce the negative effects of this crisis on our businesses?

We will tell ourselves, the shortage has started and this is only the beginning, the next ten years will undoubtedly be tinged with this reality, whether we like it or not.

This will certainly make our recruitment process more complex than before in addition to evolving in a market in the midst of a war for talent.

Indeed, the current market is imbued with these questions: who will offer the best salaries, the best benefits, the greatest flexibility, the most beautiful offices and the best "job"?

What if, on the contrary, as an organization, we could offer professional development by allowing continuous training and enrich the expertise of our employees rather than relying solely on monetary values?

And what if we were to leverage our internal resources, develop them to make them ambassadors of our employer brand, of our corporate colors?

Think differently

So let's roll up our sleeves and apply the best practices available. Let us retain our talents and eliminate the loss of knowledge of our businesses resulting from retirements or the conquest of new challenges. 

The first solution we have to think about is that of developing the skills of our employees.

To do this, it is important to combine our knowledge, our know-how, and our interpersonal skills which circulate and live in our company. It is necessary to use our content experts, our "elders" who have experienced the evolution of the business to accumulate every corner of information that shapes the identity of our organization.

Once this step is completed, what do we do with this large amount of information? 

In fact, at this point, it is important to codify it.

Although this exercise may seem tedious, it is important to do it early in your business and not postpone it until tomorrow. As you grow, the longer you wait, the bigger the task will become.

It is at this moment that it becomes necessary to take these intangible resources which circulate free as the air in our organization and to put them on paper. Then sort it out. Yes, sort them!

It is important to keep only true and up-to-date information to avoid the spread of erroneous data.

It is also at this time that it is important to think about using the tools at our disposal to simplify our lives, such as a customizable training platform, easily accessible on the web, which will allow you to bring together in one place this information and knowledge.

By combining and structuring your information, you will be able to easily develop your own training and distribute your own content internally using a specialized management tool. Didacte represents a good example of this type of tool at your disposal.

What would you gain from using such a platform?

The benefits are numerous.

First, flexibility, lots of flexibility. Both in terms of knowledge acquisition and accessibility to your content. 

A training management platform offers you online access, without time or travel constraints. Constant access 24/7 and anywhere!

Whether to allow periodic refreshment or the posting of new training, Didacte allows you the speed of execution and access without geographic restriction.
 
Whether your employees are located in remote regions or even in another country, an online platform is ideal for transferring uniform knowledge from one end of the world to the other!

Indeed, a cloud platform increases your reach at local, regional, national and international level!

By managing the content yourself, you also choose the language in which you distribute it to your employees, while ensuring the quality and veracity of what you distribute as information.

It is also a greater flexibility in the learning approach of your learners who will now be able to respect their own learning rhythm, by taking breaks or by reviewing a passage which has been less well-received.

Respect for the learning styles of your learners, through the use of diversified learning strategies, can significantly increase information retention.

Through the use of videos, tests, readings, you will allow a more interactive pedagogy and adapted to several learning styles.

Yes, all this is possible to set up with a little sweat and Didacte! 
 
You will also gain by promoting the autonomy and empowerment of your employees.

They become active learners by having to take charge of their training and their own development. They will go at their own pace and develop the best methods to promote their learning.
 
You will have a significant return on investment in your training budget!

Once your training has been developed and posted online, all you have to do is keep it up-to-date according to developments and the evolution of your company or your products.

You will be able to use and reuse each training and put your energy into developing new courses.

No more expensive room reservations and payment of travel expenses!

From anywhere and anytime, everything will be available on Didacte!
 
You will make better use of your training budget.

Once you have used your content experts to develop tests and exercises, content and videos, you have just released them for all future training that will be done online rather than in the classroom, for example. 

This saves you resources which had to reserve time to train one or more employees at the same time for several hours.

In addition, once everything is condensed on a training platform, your expert becomes free again so that he directs his energy on his main tasks and projects, while at the same time developing your resources.

A good three for one, in terms of saving time and efficiency and reducing costs!
 

Fears and risk management

Let us recall our context of labor shortage, a particular context where companies are constantly in a war for talent.

What are we doing to attract this workforce?

Many companies are currently revisiting their corporate image and culture, dangling it from left to right to attract the best talent.

If you are looking to stand out, rest assured that you will give off a modern image by using innovative technologies that are easy to use and easily accessible!

A great attraction for young and old alike attracted by technology! 

Sounds good, listing all these benefits, but you still have to take action.

This action can nevertheless intimidate several types of people:

  • The person who has never had to develop training or work with an e-learning platform like Didacte.
  • The person for whom technology is a barrier.
  • The person who needs personal support, to see and be present in real-time. 

Indeed, it is important to talk about our fears, because they exist and can be a brake preventing us from putting into place tools that can greatly improve our lives.

So let's go, let's talk about it!
 
"A platform that allows me all of this is for sure expensive!"

Think of all the training that you currently offer in your organization. Take only the onboarding training, the one about health and safety at work, the one about your quality system and finally the time invested in companionship.

Now, to make it more easily explicit and tangible, let's add quantitative data to make it less abstract. 

Let's say that the total time invested in training is 40h for a new employee, it is also 40h investment for a trainer. Let's say we are able to reduce at 15h time invested by your house trainer, it gives you already a gain of 25hours. At an average salary of $ 23/hour, you already save $ 575, but at this stage, you do not calculate that your trainer who has been released will be able to perform these tasks with added value for the organization, so it will be a gain of 25 hours for production, for example.

For a product that takes 1 hour to make by this person only, I therefore have a gain of 25 products made by this person. At an average profit of $ 500 per item, I therefore have a gain of $ 7,500 in production. In the end, for a new employee, it is a little more than $ 8000 in gain that I have. I let you calculate according to your number of annual hires! 

This example only considers pecuniary benefits! To this must be added the efficiency gains of your HR department in terms of progress monitoring, training planning, re-planning of training for absentees, etc.

Once your information is coded, we gain in retention of this information and we eliminate the risk of loss during an involuntary departure.
 
"I never used an E-Learning platform and even less edited videos!"

My philosophy in life is that everything can be learned. There are many technologies that allow you to quickly, efficiently and inexpensively learn the knowledge you need to develop.

We are talking, for example, about the good old Youtube with which you are certainly able to watch some tutorials to learn about editing videos, and this, absolutely for free! 

With a little practice and certainly some beginner mistakes, you will be able to quickly and easily develop your video capsules.

Otherwise, who says that someone around you is not knowledgeable in the field and would not be happy to pass these tips and tricks on to you.

Didacte is a platform made and developed by people who have knowledge of the market and the technological reality that surrounds the world of training.

By listening to the needs of the different market players, they adapted their platform so that they really correspond to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses.

Their goal was to make everything as user-friendly as possible!

What does it mean?

This is because the platform has been strategically developed so that each step is simply the logical continuity of a process for creating training. On paper and via the web, Didacte will not make you lose your bearings, they will direct you to the next step. 

In case you are really lost and disoriented, know that the Didacte team will be able to quickly answer your questions to develop your training without problems and pitfalls, they will certainly not leave you in misery! 

"It will never be as effective as training with a trainer face to face!"

I grant you, it's not the same. It depends greatly on the points of view, openness, and interest in the technological aspect.

For my part, I prefer to see it as a positive aspect.

We know that human beings experience a lot of emotions and cross many states of mind daily. Thus, he may not be in a good state of listening and absorbing the information that is transmitted to him.

It may be that a major project has recently arrived in his chair and that the planned three-hour classroom training is really bad for him.

Therefore, allowing an employee to train by himself during a period during which he is in a better position to promote his learning is definitely a gain for the organization.

Indeed, if he can back up, start listening again, pause to take notes, then the employee is autonomous and learns at his own pace. This flexibility greatly promotes learning. 

Have any questions? The content expert or colleagues remain accessible for the refinement of the information transmitted and to be acquired since this is not all that can be taught via a web platform.

Remember that unless your expert leaves, interactions and communication remain key elements for your organization. It is important to combine the technological aspect and the human aspect to efficiently transmit the richest and fairest information possible to your employees.

Your trainer will have to send feedback to his student to allow him to improve while recognizing his faults and weaknesses and making him able and autonomous to carry out his tasks.
 
Technology always comes with technical problems.

In fact, technology can sometimes be capricious by putting a stick on our wheels. A little bug here, a little bug there. Is this enough to justify the status quo? Should we continue to push back the inevitable? When we accept that some minor problems may arise from time to time, we can direct our decision-making process accordingly.

When you're looking for tools and systems, don't shop around for a list of features. Instead, assess the customer experience.

The goal is not to look for a tool that has no bugs, but rather to find the best provider that will be available to assist you when that happens.

Yes, every technological element that adds to our lives comes with its share of problems and adjustments.

Don't worry, with the Didacte team, you will quickly have access to someone. Yes a real human being made of flesh and bones, which will quickly respond to your need. This is one of the things that sets the business apart from the competition. Beyond the tool, the team itself is part of the added value.

Let’s take a look at the beneficial effects it brings and bet on the gains rather than the few irritants we may encounter.

Remember that as you use it, nothing prevents you from making suggestions for improvement so that the product meets even more needs. 

Presenting such a project to our bosses

What would be your strategy, as an HR, to have this project unlocked with your Chief Financial Officer or your boss?

As a Human Resources Specialist, I understand and see that the reality of the job market and recruitment is changing.

No matter what type of industry, we are all starting to feel the effects of a labor shortage.

Within five years, I would have to practically triple the number of employees, and this, only in Quebec City. This, without counting the international development which will lead us to recruit employees in various European countries and in Oceania.

Unfortunately, the reality is that the number of applications I receive is decreasing, despite all the initiatives we are putting in place. So, my goal is to keep my current team in place and develop them further. Provide them with the elements necessary to improve their productivity and equip them to continuously improve their working methods.

As the professions that we have within our organization are all more specialized than each other, I often seek to find juniors whom I will develop in the image of my organization.

Currently, we are pairing them with our experts for long-term support, which slows down the achievement of our production objectives.

Using a platform like Didacte would allow me to free up at least 20 to 40% of the training and coaching time, which can be used to continue production. There would remain only the continuous and precision support that comes with the production of 100% custom products. 

You should know that it does not only improve the lives of trainers and trainees but ours for HR too.

How you may ask? Well, if you're like me, you manage Bill 90 (1% law) with the tools you currently have at your disposal, a good old Excel spreadsheet, for example. 

You manually enter each hour of training, each salary and each training cost to ensure you have enough investment to meet the criteria of the law. You take the time to take each timesheet and enter it in your table.

In the past, I spent almost five to seven hours a week doing these operations.

Thanks to Didacte's dashboard which updates in real-time, get the latest information on your most recent activities and accumulate your data for Bill 90 as and when training is carried out on your platform! What better way to save processing time and data entry?

Do you bathe, or even drown, in the attendance registers, training certificate and exams?

You dream of a zero paper management!

Do you spend days scanning documents to keep your proofs?

Increase your efficiency via the Didacte online platform!

Among other things, it will allow you to enter your training material: videos, images, text and PDF files, in addition to allowing you to develop quizzes to validate the knowledge acquired. 

That's not all, transmit skills recognition via automatic success transmission directly in the user's profile. Didacte also allows you to issue recognized professional certificates! 

Conclusion

Technology surrounds us and will continue to shape the reality of the job market. We will evolve with it with the aim of improving our lives and our performance at work.

In today's environment, technology seems to me like a lifeline. The one that will allow us to keep our heads above water and the business afloat. The one which, once back on solid ground, will allow businesses to flourish, grow and develop.

However, for a business to continue to flourish and grow, it still needs people who will guide it in the right direction.

Let's put these exceptional resources on these people, who make our businesses what they are.

Let's bet on them so that they become ambassadors of our knowledge and performance. 

Let's do it by using technologies that allow us multiple gains. Let's do it with specialized tools to simplify our quick, as with Didacte, your online training platform

Marie-Pier Blouin

Marie-Pier Blouin is a Human Resources Advisor at Panthera Dental and Bodycad, two fast-growing companies based out of Quebec City. Her interests in training best practices, organizational development and HR strategy make her very knowledgeable and her points of view are always refreshing.