Upskilling Your Workforce? Here’s What You Need to Know
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Because of the severe skills gap issue, 58% of employees require new skills in order to perform their jobs properly, according to a recent Gartner study. A crucial answer to this problem is upskilling, increasing a worker’s skill set (often by adding to an existing body of knowledge). And it’s a world problem. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published a paper outlining the importance of upskilling for the economy. It makes the case that now is a crucial time for businesses to launch a “upskilling revolution” that enables workers everywhere to fully immerse themselves in the future of work, regardless of what it would involve.
Why upskilling is key for the future of work
Acquiring additional skills is extremely important for both employees and their companies. The impending “Great Resignation” poses a significant risk to employers since it encourages employees to seek opportunities elsewhere, particularly those that pay more.
Employee retention rates will increase when talent executives can provide employees with opportunities to improve their skills. If their employer made an investment in their professional growth, 94% of workers would be content to remain with that firm. There is a growing sense of unease among workers around the possibility of their jobs being automated because of artificial intelligence. 46% of workers are worried that their present skill sets would become obsolete by the year 2024. Those who will update their skills may be eligible for an average wage increase of 8.6%, which is comparable to an increase of $8,000 in annual income.
But most important? According to a study conducted by Amazon, two out of every three employees believe that increasing their level of education has enhanced both their quality of life and standard of living. And there is little room for debate there.
6 Best Strategies for Upskilling Your Workforce
Even while the task may seem overwhelming, with proper preparation and focused investments, your team may function at its peak in remarkably little time. For an upskilling programme to be effective, it must have a diverse approach. Here are six strategies for staff upskilling.
Determine the skills and areas of priority
Although most employees can benefit from upskilling, businesses will receive the most return on their investment when they prioritise areas and skills based on their own objectives and strategic plans. An organisation could want to make sure, for instance, that its logistics team is up to speed on industry software or that its sales and marketing teams are making the most of social media. The talents that are most likely to make a difference should be prioritised by team and company leaders, and they should concentrate on upskilling people whose responsibilities will require those abilities in the future.
Integrate upskilling into employee development and performance plans
Organization and research and development team can emphasise how upskilling will advance individuals’ careers to win support from their team or the larger organisation. For instance, acquiring particular abilities might be integrated into a worker’s annual goals or connected to a potential promotion. Employers’ responsibilities may need to be adjusted, if necessary, in order to offer their staff, the time they need to concentrate on learning new skills. Company executives must also acknowledge and prioritise the time which training and retraining requires.
Engage Employees in Training Programs or Courses
There is no alternative to formal education when learning certain talents. Online professional courses are an option for businesses who want to educate their staff on machine learning or get them ready for new leadership chances. Many services offered by Emeritus were developed in association with prestigious colleges. Most of them offer opportunity to work on specific firm projects and fit around a professional’s busy schedules.
Make use of both internal and outside experts
Organizations frequently have some personnel with a specific skill set, but not enough. Companies might encourage knowledgeable workers to assume the role of a mentor or even a trainer in this circumstance. Companies may connect an employee who possesses a specific ability with one who aspires to gain it for one-on-one tutoring, depending on the skills in question. They might also encourage knowledgeable workers to offer longer-term educational opportunities, such as multi-week training courses or onetime speeches. No, in-house specialists or trainers? For group training session on particular tools or abilities, many businesses find success hiring outside trainers who specialise in a particular field.
Offer challenging assignments to help employees improve
Stretch opportunities, or tasks outside of a worker’s current responsibilities and job description, allow workers the chance to pick up new skills on the job while demonstrating their capacity to take on new challenges. For instance, an employee might take on an additional responsibility in a project, or an individual contributor might be granted control over a project team in a stretch assignment (such as analysing data or creating a marketing strategy). Naturally, for extension projects to be successful, staff members must be given the help and tools necessary to rise to the challenge and develop new abilities.
Follow-up and Progress Monitoring
Measuring results is crucial to iteration and progress, just like with any other business investment. Employees can continue to develop and pick up new skills with the aid of tracking what works and what doesn’t, which also benefits other managers who are considering how to upskill their staff. Asking the employee to complete a test project, report on their teachings, or complete an assessment are just a few strategies; however, they may vary based on the skill at hand.
If you invest in the training and development of your workforce, you cannot distinguish yourself from the other businesses in your industry by having employees who are adaptable, diverse, and creative and who are always learning, adapting, and gaining new skills, but you will also be able to avoid the financial pitfalls that come with recruiting new workers.