With all of the priorities businesses face and all of the pressures on employees’ time and energies, I am sometimes asked the question – “Heide, what do you recommend as the ten essential courses all employees should take?” This is akin to asking parents to pick their favorite child. Skillsoft’s business skills portfolio offers so many invaluable courses that it is challenging to narrow the possibilities down to ten.
But difficult as it is to formulate, I actually do have an answer to this question. My essential top ten course list is below. I believe that these are the ten courses that best help employees address the business needs of the modern organization operating in the digital economy. Of course, there are many more courses I could add to the list, but here’s my list (in no particular order) along with why each made the essential top ten.
Defining Alternative Solutions to a Problem
Everyone needs a plan B. Employees must understand how to use objective business criteria to develop and evaluate alternative courses of action, and then make effective and timely decisions based on the possible solutions available. This course helps individuals develop that skillset.
Managing Motivation During Organizational Change
Organizational change is a constant in today’s business world, and employees need to respond effectively to a changing context. This course addresses how to adjust their perceptions in accordance with changing circumstances and open themselves to new possibilities and challenges.
Your Role in Workplace Diversity
Improved performance and greater innovation are linked to organizational diversity. Employees with a diversity mind-set respect and value the differences across the workforce and respect the different perspectives each brings to the table. They listen, are inclusive, and readily accommodate others.
Developing a Personal Accountability Framework
Accountable employees meet expectations. They ensure that they deliver on work responsibilities and maintain a personal performance standard that gets the job done and done well every time. This course provides a framework for working to achieve objectives despite challenges and communicating effectively when circumstances interfere with obligations being met.
Encouraging Team Communication and Collaboration
The ability to collaborate effectively with other team members is a core element of the success of everyone in the workplace today. Very little is done by any single individual. This course covers instilling trust and respect for others on the team, involving others in key decisions, carefully considering the perspectives and approaches of others on the team and giving the team credit for successes.
Building Innovation Cultures and Leaders
It is through innovation that the modern organization develops new products and services and refines processes for business advantage. Every employee and their leaders need to understand how innovation can be deployed across the organization. This course helps both leaders and those led improve their competitive advantage through building a culture of creativity and original thinking.
Developing a Growth Mind-Set
Employees today need to take responsibility for their professional growth. Central to this is the belief that new knowledge, behaviors, and skills can be acquired and developed through continuous learning. This course provides insight and actions that encourage the development of a growth mind-set that sees failure and challenge as opportunities to learn and improve. Here’s a short example from our Developing a Growth Mind-Set course. Watch and see for yourself the benefits of believing that with the right attitude you can always grow and get better.
Developing Your Business Acumen
Business acumen enables an employee to develop approaches and objectives that align to the organization’s broader strategy while having a grasp of the business fundamentals necessary to make informed and wise decisions. Individuals with business acumen have an ability to look at organizational issues from a range of perspectives. This course lays out the fundamental of developing and growing this crucial skillset.
Influence Others with Political Savvy
Every employee will benefit from an understanding of their company’s organizational and political realities. It’s essential for influencing and negotiating effectively internally to achieve business objectives. This course helps employees understand the organization’s structure, power coalitions, culture, etc. and how they can use this knowledge to make sure their decisions and behaviors are in alignment.
Forging Ahead with Perseverance and Resilience
The working world is filled with barriers to be broken and obstacles to be overcome. This course helps employees at all levels learn to handle changes, uncertainties, and disappointment in order to enable them to move forward and continue to contribute effectively.
While Skillsoft offers hundreds of business skills courses, ranging from general topics to very specialized skills, these are the essentials, the courses that I recommend every employee take and that every organization consider making mandatory. They are a foundational part of a general workforce enablement learning program for the modern organization.
Heide Abelli is the SVP of Content Product Management at Skillsoft.