How To Upskill Your Employees Overview: Being an employer goes over and above the actual hiring itself. In fact, it can be argued that finding a suitable candidate is the easy bit. Retaining employees, ensuring they remain productive and that their skills grow with their role is far much trickier than filling a position.
One of the things employees have to think about if they are to remain competitive is upskilling. Essentially, this means acquiring new and more relevant competencies to seal and/or prevent current and future skills gaps.
Four Steps To Upskill Your Employees
There are various ways to upskill your employees, even though some methods work better in certain industries than they do in others. Here are some upskilling techniques to implement in your company.
1. Learning and Development
L&D is a great place to start when thinking of upskilling employees. Luckily, this is much easier to do today, thanks to corporate e-learning. As always, the L&D program must be guided by an organization’s learning and development strategy. A common method to develop this uses the following four phases:
- An assessment of training needs, say through an analysis of skills gaps;
- Specification of the objectives to be met through a training program;
- Designing of training methods and content;
- Monitoring and evaluation.
2. Role Rotation
Having one person or a limited number of people that can perform a certain task can be risky business, as their unavailability can stall some processes. If you want to transfer some business or industry-specific competencies and knowledge, job rotation is an excellent choice. These are often lateral and temporary, meaning each employee goes back to their original role.
You can, for example, have HR in business management roles so they can learn business skills. You can also have managers rotate through different departments before getting senior management positions.
3. Peer Coaching
With peer coaching, two or more colleagues are linked to work together. This teamwork is meant to refine skills, expand knowledge, build new skills, create teachable moments, and bring creative problem-solving.
An advantage of peer coaching is that it exposes employees to a wide range of workplace skills. Not just that, but the informal nature of peer coaching provides a more relaxed learning environment. Peers can talk more directly to each other, ask questions, and learn by shadowing each other.
Aside from job-specific skills, your employees learn teamwork, leadership, communication, and coaching skills.
4. Become Pro Skill-Addition
Many companies will claim to support their employees’ needs to improve their skill set. However, few create the necessary environment for this.
If you are to upskill your employees, you need to put your money where your mouth is. Constantly be on the lookout for opportunities that could benefit your employees. Think seminars, industry events, conferences, workshops, and so on. Even better if you can have a budget for this and sponsor employees to attend these events from time to time.