It’s no secret that adequate commercial awareness is crucial for any business, particularly when it comes to those in senior management positions.

Anyone in charge of making decisions that may in one way or another have an impact on the business, regarding growth, financially, or even operations, must possess a level of commercial skills suitable to make said decisions.

Companies with a distinct lack of commercial awareness amongst their talent pool are likely to struggle to see the longer-term implications their actions, both positive and negative, which can leave them at a distinct disadvantage amongst their competitors.

Demonstrating commercial acumen seems to be a struggle for many employees, particularly those who fall into the Millennial generation. Despite many boasting this as a key trait on paper, the actual implementation of commercial skills is not only difficult to measure, but also, in some ways subjective.

As a general rule, high-quality commercial skills develop a distinct understanding of commercial awareness, but commercial skills training can help to improve an employee’s knowledge of commercial skills, particularly when the training itself is catered towards the business specifically.

But how can businesses ensure that their employees possess the commercial skills that are essential for the success of their business?

Employees must understand the organisation and industry in order to develop commercial awareness

It is very difficult for any employee to develop a good level of commercial skills, without having an excellent understanding of commercial awareness, based on the organisation specifically.

This area, is in part, down to the employer to disclose enough information to allow each employee to feel valued, but also relies on the employee having a certain level of interest in the organisation itself.

Everyone within your organisation should possess a level of commercial awareness, even if your business is within the public or charitable sectors.

Employees who demonstrate commercial awareness are of much higher value to the organisation than those who don’t and are more likely to possess the skills to progress into more senior roles - a crucial element for any HR department regarding succession planning.

Employers must provide tailored and sufficient commercial skills training programmes

Structured employee onboarding processes can be a good way to ensure each employee receives the same level of help and guidance in terms of the business missions and aims to allow them to develop adequate commercial awareness.

Although commercial awareness relies on the employee to take an interest, even outside of working hours in the overall well being of the business, this, in turn, requires them to feel valued by the employer.

Providing training for your employees is a fantastic way to show to them you are interested in investing in them personally as well as investing in the future of your own business.