7 Ways You Can Upskill Your Employees

Upskilling is an important part of keeping your company growing. It allows you to train your employees effectively and also creates a better working environment for everyone. Upskilling is the process of letting employees enhance and further develop their skills and knowledge. This article will demonstrate some of the ways your employees can upskill to make your organisation a high performance workplace

Extending further, the Australian Government has enacted a myriad of upskilling programs and grants that incentivise business owners to train their employees further, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about what you can access under the JobTrainer program, click here.

How To Upskill Your Employees

1. Courses

Employees taking part in externally run courses such as Tafe or university can prove to be beneficial for the business. If an employee can provide a number of reasons why the particular course could be beneficial, then an employer should consider paying for it.

This will allow employees to improve on their skills as well as seek and develop other skills and knowledge. Employers have their own discretion to make a decision as to whether they believe the course will be practical or not. 

2. Mentors

Mentors are a great way to ensure employees aren’t feeling too overwhelmed when learning about different skills. Having an experienced co-worker be a mentor is more effective than having someone with no prior professional relationship to the trainee. Mentoring not only allows the lesser experienced employee to enhance their skills, it also enables the mentor to acknowledge their own strengths and weaknesses. 

Further, colleagues teaching each other different skills can prove to be more effective than having an externally run group class. In the long run, leading employees to be more innovative as they aren’t afraid of making mistakes. As there is a well defined relationship between themselves and their mentor – who they know will support them.

3. Coaching

Another way of upskilling your employees is having regular coaching sessions. These sessions allow both the employee and employer to collaborate together. Some things you can go through in coaching sessions are short-term goals and long term-goals. These can include meeting KPIs for the month and developing further skills respectively. 

Further, you are able to create individual goals for each employee during these sessions. Individualised goals are important because more often than not, you will have employees with varying levels of knowledge and skills. Therefore, creating a program or schedule that tailors to individual needs is far more effective than a general approach. 

4. On-The-Job Training

On-the-job training provides employees with first-hand experience. This allows them to practically understand what they need to do in order to further develop their skills. For example, say you were wanting to upskill your employees skills with new software. The best way for them to actually develop their skills with the software would be to physically use it in person as a part of their job. This allows them to effectively deepen their knowledge and engage in new and different skills. 

5. Self-training 

Allowing employees to train themselves is another practical method of upskilling them. Not only does this ensure they are working independently, but it is also a way of allowing them to learn and develop their skills on their own. It also means that you are not going to be micromanaging them and instead give them the freedom and opportunity to learn on their own. Of course you would be there for any and all questions they have, but it allows them to be in the driver’s seat for once. 

6. Group Classes 

Organising group-based learning activities is another way to upskill your employees. Not only is it a bit more comfortable than one on one learning, but it also allows employees to help each other. Group classes specifically designed to upskill employees can be more generally based. Enabling these classes to be taken by everyone at their own pace would create a better learning environment. Furthermore, group classes allow everyone to participate and even share their own tips and tricks as they progress. This both upskills and boosts morale in the workplace. 

7. Job Responsibilities

All employees have a set list of responsibilities that they need to undertake in a given day. Expanding this list enables employees to understand other key skills and development goals they may seek in the company. Allowing them to understand opportunities within the firm for personal career development. It also shows whether they are capable of adapting to these changes. Engaging employees by adding these extra responsibilities and targets ensures that they are being upskilled in different areas of their job. 

What Are The Benefits Of Upskilling?

Upskilling provides benefits to both the company and employees. Below are just a few benefits we can provide:

  1. Employees have a boost of productivity and an increase in morale. This is due to the fact that they know they are more qualified and have a deeper understanding of their job.
  2. Shows new employees the company values as well as how as an employer, they can further an individual’s career development
  3. Decreases employee turnover and reduces the requirement to hire and train new staff members
  4. Allows the workplace to be high performing and a successful place for both employees and employers.

It’s important to have a long term focus when it comes to upskilling employees. It is commonly accepted that as a small business owner, you may find it difficult to find both the time and money to accomodate the means listed above. But in the long run, highly skilled staff not only leads to lower capital overheads, but increased productivity and better workplace culture.

Concluding Thoughts

Upskilling your employees is a great way to ensure that they are up to date with the requirements of their job. Further, it boosts productivity and morale as well as proving beneficial to the company to upskill their current employees rather than having to hire and train new workers. For more information on how to upskill employees click here.

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