Building a future-ready workforce


    August 28, 2023


    Fostering a culture of training and upskilling our employees to make them future ready


    Jeff Bezos was once quoted, “In business, what’s dangerous is not to evolve.” As a HR professional, I firmly believe this is not true just in the context of business delivering to ever evolving customer needs, like ours, but is equally important when talking about the workforce. Training and developing employees is very important. - for me it is on the “must-do” list. Let me cite a recent example.


    At Signify, our culture of continuous learning creates an environment that allows employees to build your skills and career. We foster this culture as we believe that learning new skills to do your job well, remain competitive and be future ready as together, we are transforming the industry! Upskilling, training, and development at Signify is looked at with a view to develop internal talent to not just be relevant in the case of new technologies but also to become better team members and stronger leaders.


    Earlier this year, globally we chose about hundred employees to take the “iEDGE” people leader program. This selection of employees was made as these employees are new in their capacity as a people manager and we as a company want to invest in their development so they can effectively engage and lead their teams. Our leadership development offer “iEdge” for new people managers covers the fundamentals of effective people management and is the license to operate in line with our leadership principles Lead, Develop, Inspire. For this, we have partnered with HULT EF Business School, recognised, and ranked amongst the best business schools in the world and a track record of delivering leadership development programs across the globe. The leadership programme consists of seven virtual workshops and is spread over a few months covering critical aspects such as becoming a self-aware leader to unlocking the team’s best performance to how strategy can turn into results, when the team comes together.


    On that note, I feel pride in sharing that from the hundred employees chosen globally, three employees were chosen from the UKI team.


    ‘The programme encouraged me to self-reflect and become more self-aware of my leadership style. Also, being in a fast-evolving industry, I am now able to lead and manage change more effectively, both operationally and strategically’- Daniel Maskell, Key Account Manager.


    ‘Aside from the engaging sessions and many takeaways, it was insightful to see how others dealt with similar employee- related situations, and I am glad I got to learn the perspectives of a global group of new managers!’ – Nikita Mahajan, PR Manager.


    Self-awareness is always a power tool, and iEdge gives you the opportunity to explore your behaviours and thoughts whilst giving you tools on how to look and manage situations. The interactive conversations within small teams, will also give you the opportunity to work with a variety of colleagues across different functions and continents.’ – Sarah Quinell, Service Dispatch Team Leader.


    Why is upskilling employees important?


    Its important to understand that the benefits of training or upskilling employees are for employees and the organisations, both, to reap. Here are the top reasons why upskilling is essential:


    Gain a competitive advantage: Companies are looking at different ways to improve the efficiency of their organisation, and upskilling their employees is one of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage. It helps businesses solve problems more effectively. As for aspiring professionals, upskilling gives them a chance to learn new skills pertaining to their job and gives them an advantage over others.


    Increase efficiency: Many job-oriented courses or the development of soft skills increase the efficiency of the candidate pursuing the programme by equipping them with skills, tools, and techniques to thrive in a competitive business environment. As a result, many aspiring candidates upskill to enhance their performance and boost their careers.


    Future-Proof Career A dynamic business environment makes it difficult for candidates with limited skills to adapt and adjust. However, upskilling and getting equipped with the current skills can help future-proof their career from turbulence and uncertainties.


    Retain staff and boost motivation - upskilling shows employees you care about their careers and futures. A boost in employee morale can quickly spread through the team and organisation, making everyone feel more connected in the workplace.

    In summary


    I cannot emphasise enough on the importance of upskilling and developing the talent already in the organisation. One of my suggested reads is a book by Beverly Kaye and Julie Winkle Giulioni called Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go, this book is a must for all people leaders. Invest in your people or you risk losing them.


    Organisations need the agility to adapt to changing external and competitive environments, and who could be better poised to create a positive impact other than your own people!


    The key to unlocking this growth lies in the organisations ability to foster a culture of growth and the willingness to learn (and keep learning) in a world of work that is constantly evolving.

    About the author:

    Mark Gabbitas

    Bren Lumsden


    Head of HR, Signify UK&I

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify UK&I PR Manager

    Nikita Mahajan
    Tel: + 44 (0)7459751618

    Boiler plate template | Signify Company Website

    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2022, we had sales of EUR 7.5 billion, approximately 35,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We achieved carbon neutrality in our operations in 2020, have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for six consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 2017, 2018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

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