Upskilling. It's a word you hear a lot in the workplace, but what exactly is it? In a nutshell, upskilling means expanding the repertoire of skills within your team. The benefits of upskilling are numerous: from more satisfied employees and customers to greater innovation, productivity, and talent.
Upskilling can be expensive—in time and money, but the ROI of your learning and development program could be enormous.
There are many tactics you can use for upskilling. Here are some of the most effective ones to get started.
How would your team feel if there was another training program handed down? Every time you introduce a new program, you need to consider the amount of time your intended audience has available. If they’re already stretched thin, you need to account for additional hours just to make sure they have time to complete the materials. This is the best way to ensure full engagement from your employees.
Assess current knowledge and identify gaps
Assess the current skills of your team. What are they doing well, and what needs improvement? Identify the skills that are missing or the onboarding that is lacking. Find out if any members of your team have a strong interest in, or talent for, skill and look at how you can nurture this. Involve your team members in the process so they feel included.
In any mentoring relationship, people need to clearly understand what is expected from both parties. To create these parameters, mentor and mentee must discuss their goals, concerns, and expectations. They should establish a timeline for meetings, determine how often they will meet, and plan for dynamic agendas. Even if a formal mentoring program isn’t possible, encourage senior employees to share their knowledge and experience with junior team members – the sharing of knowledge and experience is a powerful way to promote upskilling of staff.
eLearning is a great way for your team to gather the knowledge, skills and even motivation to perform at their best. When team members can train on their own terms and at their own pace, they’re able to learn in the most effective way for them. On average, eLearning courses are three times quicker to complete than face-to-face training, are cheaper to deliver, are easily scalable as your organisation grows. E-Learning courses are easy to incorporate into onboarding programs, upskilling pathways and career development plans.
Plan, plan, plan!
A concrete plan for executing the new skills will help you to identify obstacles and overcome them. It will also help you to visualise how long it will take to execute the changes, so you can plan accordingly, communicate with others around you, and make any necessary adjustments to your timeline.
Investing in employee development can be incredibly beneficial for your team, and great development experiences can also help your organisation retain top talent. It's also an important step to attracting leaders – at least 50% of employees say that professional growth and development opportunities are a deciding factor when accepting a job.