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5 ways to upskill your workforce

We live in a state of continuous progress that sometimes moves by leaps and bounds. Businesses have to keep the same pace; otherwise, they are doomed. It is impossible to develop the company without the implementation of new technologies. Automation is introduced in every part of the workplace, so it’s vital to get more value from each employee’s working time. 

A required set of skills is becoming more and more scarce, and staff training is the only solution to avoid unnecessary turnover. According to the World Economic Forum, 54% of all employees will need significant upskilling by 2022. This strategy is already widely practiced in all business spheres. For example, Amazon is ready to invest $700 million to upskill approximately 30% of its workforce over the next five years. Keep reading to learn how other businesses can fill the skills gap.

What are the company benefits for staff training?

Employee retention. Workforce turnover brings considerable losses. A replacement of one employee can cost as much as his 9-month salary. On average, it is $25-30,000. And labor turnover reached 20.3% in the US in 2016. Investments in career development is a powerful motivation element for employees. Thus, upskilling opportunities become a powerful driver for employee engagement. LinkedIn’s report revealed that 94% of employees would stay in a company that offers to learn.  

Increased morale. Training helps keep the main priorities and values of the organizational culture among employees, supports, and develops the organizational strategy. The ability to learn helps the team see the way to career promotion. The HR specialists from CV writing services point fairly, “Upskilling gets employees excited about their future with the company. They develop a deeper sense of the purpose they need to achieve at work.”

Customer satisfaction. Happy employees mean happy customers. Satisfied workers perform their duties better. Upskilling allows them to stay up to date with the latest business trends. And customers appreciate the knowledgeable and active service. They are even ready to pay more for it. Thus, employee learning contributes to company reputation.

Additional reading: 10 questions for employee satisfaction surveys

Attract new talents. The main value for any company lies not only in profit and resources but also in highly professional personnel. It is qualified workers who are able to ensure the effectiveness and stability of work in the company. Continuous investment in workforce training generates strong brand advocacy. The employees are more likely to advertise and recommend the company all around. And it will attract more talents to choose from.

Ways to introduce upskilling in office routine

1. Make it simple. Heavy workloads and tight schedules are a serious obstacle to traditional learning. But small-portioned education or micro-learning can solve this issue. People increasingly consume more information content, especially in small portions. Upskilling can shift the focus from traditional forms to micro-learning when a large course is divided into small pieces, and one part takes from 5 to 15 minutes.

This format is attractive to Generation Z, modern young people living in the online space. If the course is well composed, the materials are presented in an interesting, interactive manner. This approach allows employees to feel the respect and trust of the employer. Moreover, the use of mobile technologies in education helps absorb new knowledge more effectively.

2. Engage a mentorMentoring is one of the methods of staff training when a more experienced employee shares his knowledge, skills, and abilities with an inexperienced novice for a certain time. Now, this system is moving into new areas, such as mentoring in the technical field.

Mentoring combines the attributes of coaching and teaching. An employee acquires both a theoretical base and practical skills. The mentor first tells the theory, then shows an example, and only then asks to complete the task and receive feedback.

3. Encourage self-training. The method makes it possible to independently select material on the topic or use the recommended one. The advantage of the method is that you can choose the appropriate intensive training and get enough new knowledge on any budget.

Today, self-training is greatly simplified by the advent of video courses, or other multimedia materials. The companies can stimulate self-training by introducing incentives such as paid training time, rewards for independent upskilling, and flexible schedule allowing time for learning.

4.  Use case studies. For effective upskilling, you can try case training. Its purpose is examining practical situations (cases) in which a group of employees analyzes and discusses a real or possible situation related to their immediate activities.

This approach allows people to be encouraged to think alternatively. Each participant has the right to express his opinion and correlate it with others’ opinions. However, a very highly qualified supervisor is needed. Such simulations allow employees to use their knowledge here and now, which strengthens information retention.

5. Implement mind mapping and storytelling. Mind mapping’s task is to offer as many options as possible in a short time. Under stress, the brain begins to generate ideas feverishly. And some of them do contain a rational kernel. The method helps encourage even the most indecisive employees and teach people to listen to other opinions.

Storytelling is an excellent tool for onboarding new employees. They tell new staff about the traditions and atmosphere of the company. Action learning becomes of the most popular element of the storytelling method. In this case, participants work not with exercises and simulated situations, but with real tasks.

Learn to master the art of employer branding storytelling with our guide

Conclusion

It is crucial to let employees learn at a convenient time, and from the devices, they like to use the most. If the company allows employees to use their preferred training format, the results will be visible in the shortest time. Workforce upskilling successfully solves problems associated with the latest work trends and enables the company to maintain the desired level of competitiveness in the market.

After an employee has been trained, it is extremely important to evaluate its effectiveness. This analysis allows us to take the appropriate corrective steps in future upskilling initiatives.

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