7 tips to upskill your workforce

7 tips to upskill your workforce

In today’s busy, evolving and time-poor business environment it is essential to be able to motivate your employees and team-members to gain new skills in order to stay competitive. 

The acquisition of new skills is also a crucial element in both employee engagement and retention. When people stop learning and believing that they can gain fresh knowledge at the organization they work, they start looking elsewhere. 

However, with today’s large workloads and hectic action-packed schedules, for many people setting aside time for learning is almost impossible. But not completely. 

Let’s take a look at seven ways it is possible to upskill your workforce. 

  • Provide relevant training

One of the biggest mistakes the organizations do with their training programmes is to develop a “one size fits all” training solution. Human factor is being neglected for the sake of convenience and cost.  

Instead, it is much more effective and productive to create a tailored approach to every single employee’s needs and desires. It should be an inspiring and motivating experience, not a dreadful chore. 

  • Introduce a coaching culture

Having a strong coaching culture within the organisation, a lot of the learning is happening on the job, because managers are not just your co-workers, they are your coaches. 

By adopting an approach where you have training ingrained into the every-day process, will help managers not just to become accustomed to coaching, but better at it through quickly identifying the skill gaps each individual might have and providing timely guidance and help. 

  • Mentoring

Encourage key talent to seek a mentor to develop their leadership capabilities. External mentor programmes are highly effective and beneficial to introduce new experience and knowledge into your system.  

It goes without saying that allowing your employees to schedule mentoring meetings and talks during work-hours should not only be allowed, but welcome. 

  • Don’t overwhelm your staff

Full training days can be daunting: they are difficult to conduct and even more difficult to digest. Time investment is high, but the level of knowledge retention is usually low, making training days not very effective and sometimes even counter-productive. 

Looking to develop a training solution, which would provide bite-sized training information on an individual basis is a much better alternative. 

  • Online Learning

Online learning offers a lot of flexibility, allowing individuals to complete their training at the most convenient of times and requires little supervision. However, it needs to be executed correctly. 

One option is to direct team members to work through an e-learning module before convening the group to have a conversation about what they learnt. Even with online training it is important to have a face-to-face component. 

  • Internal Coaching Talent

Finding a good coach is very difficult. Looking for internal talent that can help deliver training to develop new capabilities is the path that many organizations take. It allows them to develop “home-grown” coaches, simplifying selection process and increasing effectiveness and morale among employees. Knowing that the upper-management are welcome to seeing you grow and passing knowledge to new team-members is highly inspiring. 

  • Always Debrief

Creating a post-training action plan to get the most out of the learning experience is a very good idea. Offer participants 30-minute one-on-one sessions to debrief after each workshop, where they can provide feedback and discuss how they can apply theory to practice. 

Always remember that training is not just a tick on your list of running a successful team of individuals. It is an investment into the future of your organization and your people. It is a sign of good manager, who cares.