Upskilling Employees: A Top Priority in Learning & Development

Things in our society are changing at such a rapid pace that most workers these days are expected to know more than their original repertoire. Not to mention at unprecedented times when many of us are forced to adjust to a new reality, we’re left with no choice but to develop new skills to deal with the change.

Employee training programs are no longer just a nice perk to have, but an effective way to future-proof your people. While some business owners may have learned it the hard way through last year’s corona outbreak, we should all know by now that to stay competitive, you’ll need top talents that are up to date on trends and have fundamental awareness on today’s technology and its application. One way to ensure this is by upskilling.

What is Upskilling?

Upskilling is the process of teaching current employees new additional skills to expand their capabilities at work. Some examples include taking a coding workshop to build on your programming knowledge, or attending a conference to learn about the latest design trends. Though the concept of upskilling is nothing new and is prevalent among organizations that deal with technology on the regular, it is now considered a top priority for 2021 by Learning & Development pros globally. After a year of major shifts and pivots for workplaces around the world, it’s become increasingly apparent that we need to be adaptable to survive.

Tips for Effective Upskilling

The digitalization of the workplace is inevitable and already happening. What we considered an industrial revolution in prior generations when machinery was introduced to agriculture and manufacturing is happening once again as new developments in artificial intelligence, automation, and other cutting-edge technologies arise. For businesses to stay on track and ahead, it is only right to start investing in upskilling programs for your employees. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Build a training program that makes sense to your organization or the specific team. Analyze the relevant skills that will be useful for the growth of the individual, the team, or the company as a whole.
  • Communicate with your employees to understand their goals and interests. Upskilling in general is a healthy and effective process for a person’s career growth. As opposed to telling them what to do, allow your employees to identify new skills that resonate with them.
  • Once you’ve created a training plan, provide time during the workday for your employees to learn and practice the new skills. People are more likely to attend and engage with learning programs when they’re held within work hours.

Upskilling for Success

Upskilling can bring a number of benefits, from improving job satisfaction and employee retention to saving the company money. Not only does it allow working individuals to take charge of their career growth, but employers get to thrive with skilled talents as well. As the leader, by taking the time to invest in upskilling your people and yourself – together – you can push your organization forward to even greater success.