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If companies want to remain competitive, they need to constantly respond to changing market trends. We live in a time of ongoing innovation and change, and if we want to keep up, education is a necessity for further development and growth. Every company is primarily about people, and therefore the rule is that if the company’s employees, including its managers, develop professionally, the whole company grows. In order to look at education through the eyes of experts, we invited HR professionals, experts and representatives of educational institutions to this year's Invest MORE conference. Here is a brief summary of key insights from the event.
Diversity in work teams as a way to creativity
The conference was opened by Radek Špicar who is the Vice President of the Confederation of Industry and Transport of the Czech Republic. Špicar mentioned the importance of companies investing in research and development as well as the benefits of diversifying work teams. According to him, a diversified workforce is a key element in the development of creativity, which is crucial for the growth of companies. It can be said that this is a business necessity. Companies should not be afraid to create teams and collectives that are made up of employees across generations, genders, and national or other social groups. Their diverse qualities, opinions and approaches can complement each other, creating a solid part of the company that is able to respond better and more creatively to rapidly changing market requirements.
Active communication of companies with schools and universities
If companies want school and university graduates to be adequately prepared for employment, they need to take the first step. Therefore, it is important that companies not only cooperate with schools or universities and focus on students in recent years, but companies should also actively communicate with educational institutions. Such communication allows them to correctly define their requirements and schools can understand the current demands on the labour market and be able to adapt accordingly.
Šárka Plačková, an expert for the development of cooperation between secondary schools and companies in the Moravian-Silesian Employment Pact (MS PAKT), comments on the topic:
“With our invited representatives of secondary schools and their cooperating companies, we tried to show what cooperation between a particular school and a particular company actually entails. Each cooperation is individual and can include, for example, practical training at the employer’s workplace, adjustment of school plans based on the company's suggestions, participation of the company in PR and recruitment activities of the school, professional development of teachers in the company, student excursions in the company and many other activities. During the event we also mentioned that the key person in the whole collaboration is the instructor who must be properly motivated. The main goal of the whole cooperation for the school is to educate a quality student who will subsequently become a quality employee of the company and remain living and working in our beautiful region.”
Personnel manager Petra Klementová and education specialist Lucie Mahrová from Ferrit also shared their experiences with us at the conference. By showing examples from the practice, they presented about the important pillars of their company.
Petra Klementová shares the following:
“Management support and sophisticated communication with the company are very important for education in the company, and this also applies in regards to cooperation with schools. There are four pillars at our company that we follow to improve development and education - cooperation with schools, adaptation process for newcomers, internal teaching team and digitization. Within schools, we have tried to involve pupils since primary schools and developed a set of activities for high school students - from excursions, through professional workshops, to internships for vocational training teachers. We do not forget about high schools and universities, for example, in the form of cooperation on diploma theses. We use diversity with internal lecturers, we connect experienced technicians with young talents.”
Internal lecturer in the company as a helping hand for your colleagues
An internal lecturer can be a specialist in a company with enough knowledge and experience that they can pass on to their colleagues. However, it is often encountered that a person is a highly qualified professional, but unfortunately he/she has no experience in teaching others, which is an obstacle that can be prevented. It is therefore necessary to work properly with these people and help them manage their role by ensuring that the company’s lecturer can effectively share his / her know-how with his / her colleagues through appropriate training tools and programs. So keep in mind that the company’s trainer needs to also train themselves from time to time.
Up-skilling and Re-skilling of employees
The terms up-skilling and re-skilling were also mentioned at the conference during the panel discussions. These are becoming more and more topical in the world of business and HR. In short, these are processes that prepare your employees for the future by improving their skills and helping them better adapt to new changes.
However, there is less difference between them. Up-skilling focuses on bridging the skills and knowledge differences caused by age and digitalisation. Re-skilling is very similar, but it is a process by which existing employees acquire, for example, a new role or position in your company.
In conclusion - education is an investment that pays off several times over and it is worth it to pay enough attention to it, both in companies and in personal life.