June 4, 2020 Last updated June 4th, 2020 259 Reads share

Thinking Of Upskilling Your Employees? Do It.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

As advanced technologies automate our world in different ways, it has become imperative for companies of all sizes and from different industries to evolve accordingly to avoid facing the danger of becoming obsolete.

However, the constant growth and change in businesses worldwide due to rapidly-evolving technologies has led to one talent-related issue – the demand for skilled labor is now high. The skills that held employees in good stead ten years ago are no longer enough, and 61 percent of professionals agree as per a BCG report.

Moreover, given the global uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the general slowdown in business, employees are at greater risk of being laid off if they do not prove themselves invaluable to their companies.

This is where upskilling plays a significant role. According to a World Economic Forum study, 54 percent of all employees will require considerable upskilling and reskilling in at some point within the next three years.

Employees that rapidly pick up new skills and can apply them to multiple contexts will be able to ride the wave of change and adapt to the changing business requirements.

If you are thinking of investing in employee upskilling, you can benefit in multiple ways, irrespective of whether or not your employees work remotely:

Attract a Larger Talent Pool

As your employees grow with new learning opportunities and feel happier at their workplace (read: home office), they are likely to talk favorably about your company to their families and friends. They, in turn, may be drawn towards seeking new jobs here.

This is ideal for any company, as they now have a larger talent pool to pick from. Moreover, as the word goes out about the upskilling opportunities provided, your business will automatically acquire higher status in the minds of job-seekers out there and earn more respect from the rest of the industry.

Increase Customer Satisfaction

The more skilled your employee is, the better he or she can do the job. Employees equipped with new skills and updated on the latest market trends can advise their clients better and drive faster, more efficient results.

This enhances the customer experience and increases the clients’ willingness to continue working with your company. At this crucial hour, clients need to be kept satisfied. Moreover, happy clients are excellent brand advocates.

They will recommend your company to their colleagues and friends and encourage them to collaborate with you as well – a big win for the business!

Create an Improved Learning Culture

Companies that encourage learning and upskilling enable their employees to become more dynamic in general. As employees learn more and keep up with the trends, they become more receptive to change and can make decisions more quickly. This strengthens the company’s ability to respond to urgent needs and thus helps them progress more nimbly.

Improve Employee Retention Rate

Just as companies need skilled employees who can deliver their best, employees need to know that their employer is willing and ready to invest in them. You, therefore, should consistently empower your team members through training sessions, online courses, and workshops where they can pick up new skills under suitable guidance.

That will help your employees to grow with changing needs and foster a spirit of healthy competition across teams. Simultaneously, you should recognize employees who have successfully demonstrated improved skills and help them feel valued and appreciated.

Boost Employee Morale

Employees who are consistently given new opportunities to learn and grow are more optimistic about their company prospects. They become eager to prove their new skills and to take on more challenges – which is good for any business.

This also encourages them to stay loyal to their company rather than looking for other jobs and to apply themselves to contributing in newer ways, above and beyond what they are required to do.

When employees work towards bettering themselves, they have a deeper sense of purpose to give their 100% to their job.

Three Upskilling Techniques to Apply Remotely

1.Conduct SWOT Analysis to Identify Skill Gaps

Assess your employees’ strengths and weaknesses as a group, and identify opportunities they can tap into if they are equipped with the right skills. Some might be good with IT-based practices, some with hardware.

Based on that, create a list of certification programs or online workshops they might be interested in undertaking. Of course, training isn’t cheap, so if you can round up senior professionals to take online sessions with them, that would be great.

2. Time Allocation During the Day

Functioning remotely is not every company’s cup of tea, so you have to ensure you don’t micromanage your employees all the time, or function without a remote team playbook.

If they have signed up for training, individually or as a group, allow them to adjust their schedules to accommodate that. While you can’t provide a suitable physical environment for them to study at the moment, you can still give them mental peace.

3. Reinforce Their Skills Post-Training

Many companies invest heavily in employee training to realize that newly acquired skills are not being applied to the job. No wonder employees forget nearly all training in less than a week. Hence, reinforcement strategies must be applied.

That could include asking the trained employees to apply a new skill or core concept in their day-to-day job, giving monthly quizzes around that training, or giving a presentation to impart knowledge to those who didn’t take any training. The good news is all of it can be done remotely.

End Notes: Remember to Strengthen Business Agility

The pandemic has disrupted business operations, cash flow, and supply chains, forcing massive changes in workforce arrangements. With exercised foresight and proactive crisis management, employees can prepare better for the long haul.

Being digitally ready paired with the right skillset can become a critical driver between those who are empowered to achieve their goals and those who are not. Today, it is more than necessary for companies to upskill their employees and nudge them to adopt a digital mindset to make a difference.

training employees -DepositPhotos

Pratik Dholakiya

Pratik Dholakiya

Pratik Dholakiya is the Founder of Growfusely, a content marketing agency specializing in content & data-driven SEO and PRmention, a digital PR agency. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Digital PR. Pratik has spoken at 80th Annual Conference of Florida Public Relations Association, Accounting & Finance Show, Singapore, NextBigWhat’s UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, SEMrush Meetup, MICA, IIT-Roorkee and other major events. As a passionate SEO & content marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge in publications like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web, YourStory and Inc42 to name a few.

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