This is an era of automation and changing business priorities where upskilling is taking on new urgency. As the technology industry becomes more competitive employers need to recognize the benefits of upskilling their staff and build strong leadership and succession plans. So, how to upskill employees?
Many CEOs say “We shouldn’t train people because if they leave we lose the skills, time and money invested”. According to me, that is not right. It should be a partnership between employees and the company. That is how a company will evolve. If you get it right employees will stay longer and feel more loyal towards the business.
Just like every technological advancement, we have to make sure that our employees can keep up.
Simple Steps to Upskill the employees?
1. Courses and seminars
Although the job training is successful at upskilling more junior employees, it can teach only what a company’s employees already know. A company should complement this with courses and professional seminars for more senior employees.
Having the headspace to develop new skills is incredibly important and can also lead to innovative progress for a company. Employers are now starting to recognize the long term benefits of upskilling their staff so they can build strong long term strategic plans.
2. A mixture of tactics Up-skill The Team
I feel that no one way is the “right way” and because of this, several senior IT professionals looking to implement a mix of training and upskilling tactics.
Martin Tyley, a Partner at KPMG says “We agree with qualifications and professional development when appropriate but it’s just a matter of how you get it. It takes a cultural organization to get people to do it”. Everyone wants to progress and take on new and more skills, so an employer needs to find an innovative way to allow people to do that.
- 70% Understanding and experience: On the job training with real situations and experiences.
- 20% Proactive mentoring: Structured mentoring that helps employees understand what they are exactly doing and how this will help their careers in a long time.
- 10% Classroom upskilling: Professional development through courses, classroom scenarios that can highlight new skills and new technologies.
This is how a mixture of tactics can help employers upskill their employees.
3. Virtual training
Online courses offer a good way to help get teams up to snuff. This is especially helpful if you are already working with distributed teams. If your company has more than one location then online training courses are the keys to getting your workforce retrained.
I had recently applied for work from home internship. Being a student it is very difficult for me to manage college and internship. The company I was working with had provided me with online training along with paying a good stipend. This was a nice method to train the employees at their convenience.
Online technology is such that all you need to do is schedule a time for employees to log into the system and the facilitator will lead them in the training. Some courses offer what are called microlearning, short web-based units only take 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Traineeships and apprenticeships
If you want to take things up a notch, you can take advantage of traineeships and apprenticeships. Try to give your team the skills they deserve by investing in their future.
Upskilling employees in this way is also a very great strategy to improve retention. If you show your team members you truly believe in what they can do they are more likely to work hard for you.
From the workplace to mentoring to online training courses investing in the future of your employees is guaranteed to pay dividends now and in the long run.
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