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  • Writer's pictureGemma Walton

How Do You Encourage Your Workforce To Upskill And Improve Their Career Options

Updated: Apr 25

In short, when you are reskilling employees, you are encouraging them to gain new, relevant skills that will assist with their professional growth, as well as contributing to your own growth as an organisation. The more opportunities you provide to encourage your workforce to upskill and improve their career options, the richer your culture of learning becomes, and the more you grow and evolve as an organisation. In an ideal situation, each and every employee would gladly take part in an upskilling initiative in order to acquire new skills. Upskilling opportunities are becoming a strong incentive to engage employees and retain your top talent.

Upskilling can not only increase employee engagement and retention, it also helps to make sure that you are not falling behind competitors. The importance of upgrading your current employees skills cannot be stressed enough if you want to guarantee the success of your company. If your organisation values its employees, you must believe that upskilling--teaching employees new skills or training them to do the same job in new ways--can make all the difference, such as when there is the threat of automation looming over their work roles as you want to make sure you’re future proofing your business. Did you know there's a lack of over 50's in tech? A key area of your workforce who have some amazing skills and can help develop others given the right training and support.

How Do You Encourage Your Workforce To Upskill And Improve Their Career Options

Many companies already make it a point to provide training for current employees, helping them build skills that will match their changing workplace demands. To convince a team or the wider organisation of a company and a team leader to adopt this idea, company and team leaders could highlight the ways that retraining would benefit your employees careers.

Company and team leaders should prioritise skills that are likely to move the needle, and focus on upgrading employees whose roles will need these skills in the future. Company leaders also need to acknowledge and prioritise the time upskilling takes, and, when needed, adjust employees work loads so they have the bandwidth needed to focus on new skills. While upskilling benefits most employees, organisations will see their investments yield greater returns when they determine the areas and skills priorities that align with their business goals and vision. Taking a deliberate, methodical approach to employee upskilling will help keep you organised and will make it easier to measure the growth in relation to the investment you put into your upskilling process.

Once you do the research within your company to figure out what type of learning journey your employees will want, and then develop and implement an upskilling or reskilling plan, you will have to constantly monitor, measure, and optimise. Tracking what works and what does not helps employees keep improving and getting new skills, as well as helps other managers who are wondering how they can get their employees upskilled. Training helps to maintain core priorities and values in an organisations culture, supports, and builds an organisations strategy.

Training thus supports not just employees individual goals, but the company’s overarching goals. Companies may also want experienced employees to offer more comprehensive learning opportunities, from one-off talks to weeks-long training sessions. In such situations, companies may encourage a skilled employee to assume a mentoring role, or even to become a coach.

Employees who are given opportunities for learning and development are happier in their roles and have a more positive view on their futures at the company. Employees choose to work at companies that prioritise their careers and provide ways for them to upgrade. When companies demonstrate genuine interest in helping workers build skills and achieve their career goals, employees tend to flourish. By investing in the career development of your employees, not only are you showing you value their position at your company, you are confirming you believe in their abilities.

Investing in career growth is a powerful motivating factor for employees. Providing employees with opportunities to learn and grow--both personally and professionally--is critical for optimising and retaining talent. By offering specialized training programs or an allowance to pursue continuing education opportunities, employers can compete for the best talent, improve employee satisfaction, and demonstrate to any prospective talent that they are investing in their future.

How Do You Encourage Your Workforce To Upskill And Improve Their Career Options

Next, training opportunities improve employee morale, performance, and retention. In addition to setting aside time to study, employers can encourage skill-building by offering access to various helpful resources. In short, upskilling allows working individuals to control their own career mobility, while employers also gain top-notch talent. Companies can encourage self-training by providing incentives like paid time off to train, rewards for self-directed upskilling, and flexible scheduling that allows for learning time.

Management can also encourage employees to chart their own training paths by eliminating barriers and building incentives. By encouraging set amounts of time, employees will flourish on newer skills, and companies will see positive impacts. If you have successfully demonstrated the value of the valuable new skills you have acquired in that time, then you may want to look into negotiating for a raise or a promotion. In addition to learning new skills and getting a glimpse into industry trends, through a class or outside seminar, your employees will have a chance to connect with peers in their field.

With peer mentoring, a more experienced employee teaches the less experienced employee about the knowledge and skills. Not only is peer learning helpful for employers, who must teach new skills to workers in order to deal with new technologies and policies, it is important for employees, who want to develop themselves and have a more complete set of skills. Upskilling employees could prove crucial to the future of work - not only to employers, who will need to train employees on new and different approaches and technologies, but to their workers, who are hungry to learn, adapt, and keep playing valuable roles.

Companies need not only to hire employees with a strong understanding of the digital world in order to remain competitive, they need to invest in continuous training in order to retain their best talent. After all, employees are every company’s most important resource, and need nurture and relevant training to stay ahead of the changing landscape to futureproof their business. The benefits of job rotation to both employers and employees include updated knowledge and skills, increased performance and productivity, cross-trained workers able to cover for various roles on short notice, stronger relationships among employees from different departments, and greater appreciation of all of the challenges that each person faces in their jobs.

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