Upskilling your employees only serves to benefit your workforce and your business.
Not only can it increase productivity and improve your work processes, it can also help you attract new staff to your company and keep your team happy at work.
Why do employers upskill workers?
Employers upskill workers for a number of reasons such as:
- Developing skills they may have lost through attrition
- Improving efficiency by having a multi-skilled workforce
- Providing consistency in the way things are done or viewed
- Improving awareness of the needs of the business
- Improving skills that are needed to develop or protect the business
- Stabilising the business culturally
- Ensuring employee satisfaction and happiness
Should I upskill new or existing workers?
It depends on what your business needs. Both new and existing employees can benefit from training programmes that help them to gain a deeper understanding of their role within the business or build on skills they already have.
In-house training programmes and apprenticeships can be used for all your employees, including those who have recently been promoted or those who have joined the business to fill a post somebody may have left.
It’s ultimately up to you whether you think they would benefit from a shorter bespoke in-house training programme or a fully-funded apprenticeship that will take longer to complete.
How can upskilling workers benefit the workforce?
There’s no doubt that upskilling workers can benefit the workforce. As well as bringing new skills into the business by training your employees, you’re also future-proofing your company and ensuring its success in the future.
In a 2020 Deloitte survey, both Gen-Z’s and millennials rated ‘Learning and development opportunities’ as one of the top reasons they’d chosen the organisation they worked for. Offering your team the chance to upskill can help you to attract and retain talent, saving you money as you won’t have to recruit new employees.
Upskilling also helps your team to become more agile by giving them expertise in multiple areas. That means your workforce becomes multi-talented and can help in different parts of the business.
Ensuring your team members are trained with the most innovative technology as well as the most efficient processes can give your company a competitive edge too.
What practical methods can employers use to upskill their workforce?
There are plenty of training courses to help your team develop their skills and knowledge.
A fully-funded apprenticeship programme may be a great fit for your business, with a trusted training provider who can offer you plenty of support and impartial advice throughout. A training provider such as TSW Training can help you get the funding you’re entitled to, and make sure that the programme is aligned with your business needs.
Alternatively, you could opt for an in-house bespoke training course that runs over a few days or a couple of weeks. This type of programme can upskill your team quickly and efficiently while you work with a trusted partner.
When you work with a training provider you can rely on, they’ll be able to let you know how you can get the best results for your people and your business.
Six tips for upskilling your workers
Training your workers shouldn’t be a case of sending them off on a training course for a few days and never thinking about it again. To get the most out of any upskilling opportunity, you should support and involve your people at every step of the process.
- Outline what you want to achieve. It’s important to set goals and establish exactly what you want to get out of the training programme – whether it’s improved processes to increase productivity or to train new employees in the required qualifications they’ll need to kickstart their career
- Involve employees in the process so they’re invested. Ask your existing team what they’d like to learn more about and build it into their professional development plan. When you help your team achieve their goals, you promote a greater sense of satisfaction within your workplace
- Include incentives such as career progression and promotion. If you put your staff on a training programme and they don’t understand why they’re there, they can sometimes switch off or feel that it’s not really benefitting them. However, incentives such as career progression and a promotion can motivate your team to absorb the knowledge they’ll learn on the course
- Support your people throughout. Whether it’s giving them time to complete assignments in work or taking the time to answer any questions they have, supporting your team is essential to getting the most out of the course.
- Encourage learners to engage with others in the business. There are often plenty of colleagues that those on a training course can learn from so giving them the time to shadow their peers can be hugely beneficial.
- Remember to check in with them afterwards. The most important part of the whole process is putting new skills into action, so don’t forget to check in regularly with your staff to see how they’re getting on.