Upskilling Your Workforce: How Can Organizations Level Up their Employees?

Published On
Sep 26, 2022
Read Time
4 Minutes
OnBlick Inc

A workforce that constantly upgrades its skills and knowledge has a significant impact on helping an organization gain a competitive advantage. However, the numerous changes in the functioning and operation of companies have made it incredibly challenging for several employees to adapt quickly. To flourish in an increasingly tech-driven world, business owners should ensure to upskill and develop their employees.

This article suggests ways to upskill your workforce and enable them to keep up with the fast-running change-driven industry.

What is upskilling?

Upskilling is about developing new skills and reducing the skills gaps in an organization. By upskilling its employees, a company encourages them to acquire new skills and knowledge required to improve their performance and contribute to the organization’s growth. Several initiatives, such as digital upskilling, cybersecurity, and analytical upskilling, have proved beneficial for businesses.

Upskilling can be done through employee training programs, performance coaching, and peer mentoring. The more opportunities the company provides the employees to upskill, the more they will develop a learning culture and contribute to the company’s growth. The right methods can help companies improve employees’ skills and help sustain themselves in an ever-competitive job market.

Why should businesses consider employee upskilling?

1. One of the significant benefits of upskilling is filling the skills gap. Companies can meet their long-term goals by launching programs that help workers improve their skills.

2. Upskilling programs are a great way to lift employee motivation and engagement.

3. Companies that provide upskilling opportunities to their employees have witnessed higher levels of employee satisfaction.

4. Research on the benefits of upskilling found that it enhances employee retention and reduces recruitment costs.

5. Providing upskill training can also help boost the company’s reputation.

6. Employee upskilling can attract top talent as candidates prefer organizations committed to career development.

7. Organizations should consider digital upskilling. It keeps the company up-to-date with the changes brought about by the technological revolution.

8. Upskilling can help the company develop a dynamic business culture that thrives on creativity and innovation.

Seven strategies to upskill the workforce

If you’re planning to introduce an employee upskilling program, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Set goals

It is vital that managers first identify the skills required for the employees in the long run. The goal of every upskilling journey is to provide the necessary skills that help the business advance. Many triggers can lead to these changes, such as the introduction of new technology, the emergence of a pandemic, or changes in strategic focus.

Managers can conduct discussions with senior management and professionals and identify the skills necessary for the company or its employees to be proficient. Eventually, prepare an action plan and set goals for the company.

2. Measure the level of skills needed

Determining the skill levels your teams require to perform their duties efficiently is essential. This can be done through various assessments and interviews. The skills identified in the first step can then be used to evaluate the current levels of the employees.

Mapping the current behaviors of employees in different departments could help managers define the skills they need to fulfil their roles and responsibilities. This step aids in understanding the areas where skill development is necessary and accordingly make plans to fill the gaps.

3. Examine the skill gap

The difference between the desired skill level and the current state of skills is referred to as the skill gap. Analysis of the skill gap is carried out to identify the different factors that can prevent the creation of the desired value. In addition to examining the skills gap, a business should aim at identifying the factors that can cause disruption and failure to deliver the desired outcome. It’s recommended that managers keenly detect the skill gaps and devise appropriate upskilling programs.

4. Upskilling plans that suit diverse employees

Different people have different learning needs, and effective interventions can be customized to meet their individual needs. You may plan different learning plans for each department, starting from the senior HR professional to the newly added employee. Managers should remember that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when it comes to an upskilling program.

5. Courses to level up the skills

Managers can plan external courses and workshops, allowing team members and individuals to improve their skills and knowledge. Various courses can be utilized based on job and industry requirements. You can arrange a leadership course for the team leaders. While setting up a new skills learning project, planning it with every employee in the organization will also bring an opportunity to connect with industry peers. Supervisors should aim at upskilling courses that benefit the team, build bonds between the members, and upskill them simultaneously.

6. Peer mentoring

One of the best ways to upskill employees is through peer mentoring. This type of coaching involves assigning a peer mentor to an employee. These individuals have varying experiences and skills that they can share. This relationship helps the mentor and mentee develop their skills and support each other.

Peer mentoring has successfully built strong team relationships and improved the work environment. It also helps employees develop soft skills, such as communicating effectively and efficiently. Managers may look for cost-effective ways to serve the purpose.

7. E-learning and Online training

Several businesses have recognized e-learning programs as a great success in the past few years. This type of training can be done through virtual courses, which allow employees to complete their studies at their own pace. Besides being able to work from home, this type of learning also allows employees to keep up with their jobs. Many online learning platforms provide cost-effective and manageable upskill training solutions. Some of these include Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, and HubSpot Academy. With these courses, employees may feel more comfortable learning, and managers can cut costs to a greater extent.

8. Analyze the effectiveness

Supervisors must continue monitoring the employees after introducing the upskilling program. They can plan for a review/ feedback session from their respective departments, review the upskilling progress, find any loopholes, and take immediate action by providing a proper learning platform for their team members.

Summing Up

Recent research reveals that organizations that focus on employee upskilling retain more staff members and improve profitability than their counterparts that don’t offer upskilling programs. Business owners are reminded that upskilling is an investment that can be made to improve the team’s effectiveness. It can help you create a more diverse and well-rounded workforce. We hope you consider the points outlined here while devising an upskilling plan for your teams.

Complete, Update and Retain Your Form I-9s Digitally

Know More