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Building skills for a smarter workforce

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It pays to work smarter not harder. According to a study by the IBM Institute for Business Value, organizations that are significantly outperforming their industry peers also happen to be making more headway on newer approaches to work. They are using dynamic, collaborative and connected ways of working to get things done effectively within a constantly changing environment.

How can organizations work smarter? Through IBM’s interactions with clients around the world, we have witnessed a number of practices that are making organizations more agile. These approaches to how work gets done fall into three main categories which make their organizations more:

  • Dynamic- adjusting rapidly to changing business conditions
  • Collaborative- bringing together resources, both internal and external, to share insights and solve problems
  • Connected- enabling access to information regardless of time, distance or organizational silos.

Smarter working practices provide organizations with greater agility.


Source: “IBM Institute for Business Value – A New Way or Working” 2010.

The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) research revealed several interesting findings:

  • Outperformers use smarter working practices far more extensively than their lower-performing peers and they are doing so to fuel growth, not just drive efficiency.
  • For most organizations, the ability to adapt to a constantly changing environment is hampered by capability gaps in three primary areas: process and skill reconfiguration; broader and more embedded collaboration and integrated, real-time information for decision-making.
  • The most dynamic, collaborative and connected companies have widely adopted certain technologies that make smarter working practices viable.

Working together with an IBM Global Training Provider, IBM Clients gain access to skills maps developed for roles and solution areas, a dedicated client team that will work with the client to identify any potential skills gaps and a dynamic plan to address these gaps.

The skills gap is not just about technical ability and driving process efficiencies, nor is it just about engaging employees to make them more productive and to reduce attrition costs. Companies who are significantly outperforming within their industries are already positioning for growth. They are far less worried about operational efficiency, perhaps because they have already addressed the skills gap to outperform in these areas. Instead, they are concentrating on innovation and expansion. Their focus revolves around introducing new (and adapting existing) products and services and addressing regulatory requirements, which also relates to their expansion into new geographies and markets.

Outperformers are already positioning for growth today.


Source “Study by the IBM Institute for Business Value – A New Way or Working”

IBM Training and our IBM Global Training Providers understand the need to leverage the client’s solution combined with the talent of the organization, linking this to the business needs and smarter working practices.

Compared to other companies, outperformers are more than three times as likely to have adopted smarter working practices.


Source: “Study by the IBM Institute for Business Value – A New Way or Working” 2010.

Where outperformers lead!

Outperformers are developing capabilities that allow them to adjust and react more rapidly. Compared to their less adaptable peers, more than twice as many outperformers can:

  • Easily identify individuals with needed skills
  • Display and deliver information to meet the needs of various audiences
  • Quickly build skills to address changing conditions

Our IBM Global Training Providers offer traditional offerings of public and private training but this is significantly augmented by “Smarter Skills Services” such as:

  • Skill Gap Analysis
  • Business Transformational Services
  • Content Customization to make the learning fit
  • Collaborative and Connected Learning Sessions and tools
  • Learning Coaching
  • Boot Camps and Re-Skilling Sessions
  • Enterprise Learning Licensees – where clients that have invested in their own competency centers can leverage IBM and IBM Global Training Provider Content with a right to use or right to modify license.

They are also offering many more dynamic services that adapt to the business and learning needs of today. IBM and its Global Training Providers are also establishing work methods that facilitate and encourage collaboration by leveraging the collective strengths of our customer’s organizations.

Cost of losing your staff investment

Organizations should consider the cost of recruitment and attrition. Although this paper does not attempt to quantify the differing costs of recruitment within a client’s organizations, it is imperative to look at the impact of training on new hire recruitment and the impact of skills on career development and retention.

New Employee Turnover Intentions by Training


Source IBM Smarter Workforce 2013 Training and Tenure Report

“New Employees are 42% more likely to stay when receiving the training they need to do their job properly”

Training and an investment in developing a skills building culture dramatically impacts employee retention. Only 21% of new hires intend to stay at companies that do not offer training for their current jobs. However, the study reveals that 62% of new hires intend to stay when training is provided. This nearly three-fold increase is a powerful example of the positive impact of training on new hire retention.

Employees who do not feel they can achieve their career goals at their current organization are 12 times more likely to consider leaving than employees who do feel they can achieve their career goals. Even worse, this number skyrockets to about 30 times for new employees.

The importance of career development, especially to new employees, again highlights the importance of having an onboarding process and learning management system (LMS). While onboarding and learning management have focused traditionally on job training, IBM Global Training Providers can work with clients to develop processes and systems to help new employees facilitate informal mentoring, foster collaboration across jobs and business functions and identify subject matter experts within the organization.

Turnover Intentions by Ability to Achieve Career Goals by Organizational Tenure


Source IBM Smarter Workforce 2013 Training and Tenure Report


An IBM Global Training Provider can work together with clients to create an always-learning paradigm that can drive solution success and address retaining the right resources in your organization with the right tenure.

In addition they can provide linkage to training in the right modality to facilitate development, access to IBM, third party and company repositories to share technical knowledge.

To contact one of the five authorized IBM Global Training Providers or to search for IBM courses that use official IBM created content please go to

To read more on the Value of Training paper from IBM Training – Click Here

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