File image: (Reuters). (Andrew Burton).

CAPE TOWN - Twenty-eight percent of South African businesses are helping their employees build their skills, despite a move towards web-based digital learning. 

South Africa is lagging behind in terms of human capital growth.

According to the 2017 Human Capital Trends Report for South Africa by Deloitte, only 28% of organisations are helping employees build their skills. 

This lack of commitment to building employees skills comes although 83% of executives acknowledged careers and learning as very important. 

“Corporates need to take a greater responsibility for skills development and ensure more substantial investment into skills development and their people”, says corporate sales manager of online education company GetSmarter, Theuns Botha. 

“In a changing world, where companies are under pressure to be output and return driven, they should focus on optimising their results and company culture by recruiting the right employees, supporting training and motivating them to achieve those goals.”

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Online courses can potentially motivate employees. 

“When an employee is chosen to do an online course from a top tier university they feel motivated and recognised by their company", says Botha. 

However, the lack of skills-building at organisations shows an imbalance between HR, leadership, and development. 

Botha says that the benefits of online learning outweigh the barriers when it comes to investing in human capital. This is because online learning does not disrupt the day-to-day operations of a company, it offers a level of flexibility. 

He then makes reference to an example from leadership coach Peter Baeklund: 

CFO asks CEO: ‘What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave us?’ CEO responds: ‘What happens if we don’t and they stay?’”

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE