Businesses in Canada are striving to equip their workforce with the expertise they need to excel in a post-pandemic world. Many are trying to fill emerging roles in digital transformation in an effort to manage the constant change that comes with an increasingly globalized workforce. A recent survey reveals that nearly 70% of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses struggle to find employees with the right skills.

D2L, a global learning technology company, believes the answer lies in developing the talent companies already have. That’s why they launched D2L Wave, an online catalog of high-quality learning options from leading educational institutions, to help bridge the skills gap and simplify professional development.

“High turnover hurts businesses, any CEO will tell you. But it’s usually a symptom of a deeper job satisfaction issue, which is itself driven by learning and development,” says John Baker, President and CEO of D2L. “Don’t get stuck in a downward spiral. Build positive momentum, with people learning new skills, sharing ideas with others and ultimately helping the business grow and transform. It all starts with making sure your employees can see a path to personal growth through learning and development. »

“Having a learning plan and a system in place to support that plan helps with growth and retention,” says Baker. “In a world where talent is one of every CEO’s top three issues, we need to move quickly to create a better learning experience, for onboarding, upskilling and leadership development. No leader wants to lose the talent they have and the key is to invest in the growth of every employee. Improving skills drives retention, supports transformation efforts and creates a culture of growth. It is essential for retaining talent and attracting people who see your company as the best place to grow in their career.”

Develop skilled (and happy) employees

Employee training has an impressive list of benefits. A 2019 LinkedIn study found that 94% of employees would stay in their current job if the company invested in their learning and career goals. In addition to increasing employee retention, training leads to a happier, more productive workforce and a company that more easily attracts top talent.

It also reduces recruitment costs. According to Canadian accounting firm Enkel, “when the real costs of hiring are counted, including business disruption, training, reduced productivity, etc., it can cost between 40% and 200% of annual salary. position, depending on skills. and experience required.

D2L Wave, on the other hand, is free, with employers only paying for courses taken by their employees. All learning options on the platform are sourced from top academic partners and are pre-approved by the employer to ensure they align with company goals and strategy.

While companies must continually invest time and effort to help employees keep up with technological change, Baker suggests there’s another kind of skill to consider. “We’ve found that the most enduring skills are actually what some people consider soft skills: leadership, entrepreneurship, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving,” he says. “Building these skills is a great investment for employers. This leads to creative and new thinking in the company and satisfied employees who can confidently make a valuable contribution to the success of the company.

Lloyd Rang, CEO of LRC, a Canadian business communications and information company, has implemented D2L Wave in the professional development of his business. “It makes learning a lot lighter for companies like ours that want to invest in our talent, but lack the time to do it well,” Rang says.

“I don’t have any formal business training,” Rang says. “D2L Wave has been helpful to me as I realize my blind spots. Other team members have taken courses that augment existing skills or add new ones, which is critical in a startup where every team member wears at least two different hats.

Make learning accessible

Professional development platforms like D2L Wave also help address another challenge in today’s job market: equity and equal access. A recent report from Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute on job polarization in Canada highlights the decline in middle-skilled jobs and how “the pandemic has exacerbated the division of the labor market based on credentials and skills.” D2L Wave helps remove barriers to employee learning, regardless of a company’s learning and development budget. D2L calls this kind of upskilling “the future of work.”

“Every industry is experiencing massive transformation and there is enormous pressure to stay ahead of the curve. We are all looking to seize new opportunities. The question is how? said Baker. “One way is to make sure we reach everyone, no matter who they are or what their job is, and give them the chance to learn, improve their skills and grow. This enables the entire company to move faster and with greater agility. That’s why I think D2L Wave is an amazing tool. It helps everyone, and every business, seize opportunities to learn and grow together.

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