Many developed countries are coping with a sudden shortage of skilled labor. Economies are revving back up, and the types of skills that companies need in order to expand are in high-demand – increasing employee turnover. Typically companies hire from the labor pool within their own country, but this is no longer the case for a number of regions, including the US and Australia. Some countries are revisiting their immigration laws to loosen restrictions on skilled workers that wish to immigrate into their country to fill some of these jobs. The problem with this is that certain politicians oppose such a move. Australia just decided to change some of its laws to keep foreigners out, which was done to help the native workforce find jobs. This is affecting the country as a whole, but also individual employers like you. You need some of these positions filled right away or you risk dealing with a loss of marketshare. One thing that savvy employers are doing is motivating their employees to step forward and find ways to improve their skills through higher education. Below I’ve compiled some educational initiatives that can help employers like you improve your organization from within. Implement Social Media Marketing Training It is no secret that social media is becoming increasingly important to business owners. People want to connect to the companies they are interested in through the internet in several ways. One of the most effective ways to create buzz, especially for a small business, is through social media, but this must be done correctly. This is where a social media marketing specialist comes in. These types of marketers are becoming quite expensive when hired as freelancers, so it may be wise to hire from within. Thankfully, social media marketing is not an incredibly laborious skill to master, so an interested employee should be able to finish the courses quickly – many of which can be completed online. Encourage Accounting Courses Accounting may seem like a background task to business owners, but it is an important job that should not be taken lightly. You may want to pass it on to an accounting agency, but doing that could cost you dearly if you trust the wrong company. And accounting software can make expensive mistakes. This is why it is vital that you encourage someone within your company to continue his or her education in this field for the sake of the company. Outsourcing accounting services can cost more than you think – especially over time. Sponsoring an in-house employee or suggesting a few good accounting courses to someone interested in a bump in responsibilities and pay may end up being worth it. Sure, this does represent a significant investment, but this should pay off. Most accountants are going to be in charge of performing basic financial tasks, like collection and going over the numbers to ensure accuracy. The accountant should also record all details for further review and analysis. This information is normally formatted in a fashion that is easily understood so that it can be easily presented to the business and interested parties later on. Going over some of the duties you expect from your ambitious employee should help give him or her direction that is ultimately going to help both of you. Cybersecurity Courses Many businesses, including several small businesses, ignore the dangers that cyber attacks pose. These digital criminals not only target your data but also your customers’ data. An incident like this could damage a business’ reputation. This can be hard to recover from, not to mention the trust issue customers are going to have. Customers may understand that a cyber attack was not your fault, but they will be unforgiving if it turns out that you deployed low-grade cybersecurity measures. Nobody wants to go through this, but hiring a cybersecurity expert can cost a business more than some are willing to pay. No one is saying this step is not important, but the problem is hard to address when there are so many other pressing matters. This is the reason you should consider having a member of your staff take up the responsibility. Cybersecurity is another short-term career that can be easily added to an employee’s schedule if they are willing. Granted, you are going to have to cut this person some slack while they attend school so they can absorb and apply the teachings. Just like before, it is important that you discuss what you expect out of your employee so that there are no misunderstandings later on. The Changing Face of HR Employee turnover is an issue that is costing many small businesses a lot of time and money. It is sad to see employees leave in a few months after spending so much time training them, but employers all over the country are dealing with this. One way this issue can be addressed is by using HR specialists to help hire and retain exceptional personnel. Of course, some small businesses outsource the service, but it is better to have an in-house HR representative. Keep in mind that a Human Resource specialist is able to analyze qualities of the staff to see what qualities blend with your company’s working environment. Being able to see these qualities improves the chances of the next person you hire staying. Having someone who understands your company because he or she has worked there for years can be helpful for this endeavor. Gauge interest in some employees, and see if anyone is interested in moving up in their career to a full HR position. Guide the person to classes to earn the necessary skills, which should make this another relatively easy transition for an ambitious employee. It is important that you come to an understanding if you are going to be sponsoring an employee before he or she takes these additional classes. Hopefully, you do not have to worry about vacant positions within your company like many other businesses are dealing with. When employees see that you are investing in them, they are more likely to stay. Companies that empower their teams to achieve success in both their personal and professional lives experience the least employee turnover.