Upskilling employees is essential for businesses to stay competitive in the ever-changing market of today. In 2021, research by Gartner found that 58% of the workforce will need new skill sets in order to do their jobs successfully.
Upskilling can increase productivity and give employees a better understanding of their role in the organization. It can also improve employee engagement and morale as they learn new skills and gain more confidence in their abilities.
With proper training, businesses can benefit from increased efficiency, improved customer service, and better financial performance. To make your upskilling efforts successful, in the article below we share 6 best practices to develop your employees at the pace needed to stay relevant, productive, and competitive.
The first thing to do when looking to upskill you employees is to train them in a way that’s relevant and consistent. Implementing comprehensive training programs will help you cut costs, reduce errors and improve customer service, as your employees will be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to perform their jobs efficiently.
If you want to upskill your employees, consider using robust training software for employees as a smart, cost-effective, and convenient way to help them develop new skills without leaving the office. This type of software solution can help with onboarding, training, SOPs, and document processing. It will also help your employees focus on strategic initiatives that help the company achieve its long-term objectives.
Not only can employee training and development help with upskilling, but it can also lead to an increase in workplace morale, satisfaction at work, and retention.
Identify Skills Gaps and Priority Areas
Although most employees will benefit from upskilling their skills, companies can see the best return on investment by identifying priority areas and skill sets based on company goals and vision. An organization might want to make sure that its logistics team has the latest industry software, or ensure that its marketing and sales teams are using social media networks to the fullest extent.
To determine where your team or organization needs to develop, conduct a skills gap analysis. Leaders of teams and companies should focus on the skills that will have the greatest impact and prioritize them. They can then upskill employees who will need those skills down the line.
Match Employees with a Mentor
Mentorship programs have been on the rise for a good reason. Forbes reported that approximately 70% of Fortune 500 firms have a mentoring program. By connecting experienced employees to newer team members, you can foster a sense of community and complement existing training programs.
Mentorship is particularly helpful when someone is about to move up the corporate ladder. More experienced mentors can provide encouragement and guidance to mentees as they take on a new position.
You should be aware that the people with the most expertise to share will also often be the ones who are the busiest. Mentorship programs should be promoted and encouraged within your organization. This includes a dedicated time where mentors and mentees can connect.
Create a Post-Training Plan
The skills that one member of your team gains from an upskilling course sponsored by your company should be beneficial to the whole team. It’s, therefore, a good idea for the employee to share their newly acquired knowledge with the team after completing the training.
You’ll get a long-term ROI if you implement a post-training program as it establishes an effective path for knowledge transfer in your company. Even if your employee leaves the company because they get better job offers, you will still reap the benefits of the investment.
A post-training program can also help newly-trained employees better understand their acquired skills. If the employee attended a coding camp, they can share what they learned with their teammates and this will allow them to practice and perfect their coding skills.
Use Real-Life Simulations or Case Studies
Busy employees need to be convinced that the time they spend away from their desks is worth it. Case studies allow people to immediately see the benefits whereas simulations allow them to apply their knowledge immediately, increasing information retention.
It might be best to use this method for sales. The team can alternate between playing the representative and the customer.
Track and Follow up on Progress
Measuring the ROI of employee training is crucial to iteration and improvement. It’s essential to track what works and doesn’t work to help employees improve and learn new skills, and this also helps managers who are looking for ways to upskill their employees.
Depending on the skill, the tactics can vary. You may ask the employee to do an assessment, test project, or write a report on their learnings.
The modern workplace is constantly evolving, and companies must ensure that their employees are up to date with the latest skills and technologies. With the tips outlined in the article above, you can help employees gain new skills required for career progression and grow your business.