Upskilling: Why This Is Essential for Your Company's Future
In today’s intensely competitive business environment, upskilling your team members is incredibly important—not only for filling in critical skill gaps in your workforce but also for your company’s increased productivity and further success.
When people learn how to improve in their respective roles, they'll feel more confident in their abilities, and may even end up putting more effort into their work. At the same time, when they see that the management is actively taking steps to invest in them and their career, their loyalty and commitment to the company may also increase.
Turnover is extremely costly for businesses, so it’s good to have strategies for retaining high-performing individuals.
If there are specific areas in which your team members excel, it can also give you a better idea of what future roles you can place them in—plus, it helps with succession planning.
So how can you support your team’s development and help them gain new knowledge and skills?
As a business owner, you of course want to be confident that the time and money you’re investing is worth it. First, you need to make sure your approach directly improves your people and their capabilities in the office. Then, make sure that the implementation matches the planning—don't do anything haphazardly.
After all, your team is one of your most valuable resources.
Start by identifying the skills that your current team already possesses as well as what they lack. Then, determine who in your team can be upskilled or retrained in new techniques or technology. These don’t necessarily mean age—what matters is that they have the right attitude and are open to learning. You will likely need to collaborate with your managers to gain a more granular perspective.
Once you have narrowed down where upskilling is most needed and who would best benefit from continued education and training, you can now choose the methods that you will utilize. Do you want to hire an experienced consultant to conduct classes for your team members or register them in online training courses and webinars?
Another option is manager coaching. Consider establishing a formal mentorship program where staff members can get guidance and support from the more senior members in your organization who possess the skills they need. This helps them develop in ways that are a perfect match for your company, and could even help you identify who might show potential in a leadership position.
You can also tap other skilled colleagues to provide hands-on training or peer coaching. The benefit of peer coaching is that the intimidation factor is eliminated. Your team members feel more at ease in clarifying things, which allows them to grasp the concepts and processes much faster and more efficiently.
Whatever method you decide on, you need to make sure that you do not overwhelm your team members with tons of learning materials and long training sessions.
You will also have to find the right balance of time and effort. It is best that the upskilling be done during working hours, as it will be challenging to keep your staff motivated if they have to render overtime for it. Also, make sure that it doesn’t add too much to their existing workload—after all, they still have daily tasks they need to accomplish to keep the organization running.
If the training feels like it’s more effort than it is worth or doesn’t seem to give any immediate value, your staff may also be liable to skip training altogether or do work during sessions.
Remember to also have a post-training plan. To retain and gain confidence in their new skills, they must also have ample opportunities to apply these in real-life situations.
There you have it!
We’ve just covered the benefits of upskilling your team, and some tips for implementing it in your organization! We hope it helps you incorporate what you’ve learned into your growth strategies and produce a well-equipped and inspired team that can take your company to the next level.
For more useful tips and insight, check out our blog.