When you up-skill your workforce, they are learning additional skills which can help improve their quality of work. All employees should be given the opportunity to up-skill. This can be done through training and development or just encouraging and assisting your employees to learn more complex tasks and new skills within their current job. If an employee seems to be having difficulty within the business, instead of getting frustrated, angry or even terminating their employment, invest in training and up-skilling them. It may end up being a lot cheaper focusing on training an employee than going through the process of hiring a new one! You will create more well-rounded, multifunctional employees helping to increase your overall teams’ efficiency and effectiveness.
Examples of certain skills you could assist your employees to improve on are technology programs, digital skills, leadership, communication, job specific tasks, self-motivation, the lists could go on and on!
How to Up-skill your Employees
Up-skilling your employees does not have to be a daunting or difficult task. It could be as easy as coaching them through one of the more difficult jobs you perform, giving them greater responsibility or just advocating them to complete a quick online course on many available platforms just like LinkedIn learn.
There are many ways as a manager you can help to improve your employee’s skills.
This well researched principle is a great way for you as a leader to properly integrate up skilling and improve the skillset of your entire workforce. The rule suggests that you need three different elements to effectively learn. 70% challenging assignments, 20% developmental relationships and lastly 10% course work and training.
When discussing one of the most important elements of the principle challenging assignments, it is important to remember that these stem from personal workplace experiences and mistakes. An employee learns most through being given new tasks to perform. You will see a greater rate of growth and development of an employee’s knowledge when they are doing tasks that are challenging for them. It’s important to remember to put a large amount of your time on ensuring your employees are individually problem solving, taking on responsibility and trying new roles, to maximise the results of the method.
Your employees should then integrate themselves into 20% informal learning, while you coach, mentor and help them to do more difficult tasks.
The final 10% should be used to do more formal learning, this is when as a manager you can use online courses like LinkedIn, to further up-skill them.
Training and Development
Up-Skilling your employees closely ties in with training and development. It is important that you make training and development opportunities readily available at your workplace. Coach and encourage your employees to do different tasks from their usual. Allow your workforce to choose the kinds of skills and learning they want to partake in whether this is improving their skills on a digital program, or further improving their communication skills, customer service etc.
Make external programs or online learning available for them to use
As discussed earlier, many websites like ‘LinkedIn Learn’ are creating an easier way of learning new job specific tasks. Many apps, programs and courses have been developed to teach and train a wide variety of easy to learn skills, which can help expand employee’s knowledge. Tell your employees about these great easy to use sites and offer your encouragement and guidance for them to do so. It could be as easy as sending them an email with all the sources you’ve found to get them on the right track.
Allocate time for them to Up-Skill
If you have given your employees the opportunity to choose the skill they would like to improve on, now give them a time for them to complete this. It is important through your encouragement and support that you allow them time in their working day to complete their Up-skill training. Whether this means allocating a set time in the afternoon to complete or helping them at a time that suits you both.
Offer Job Specific Training
Job specific training can be a great way to enhance the skills an employee already has. This kind of training will help make them an expert in their current line of work. This could be done through couching and mentoring, e-learning, module work or any way that best suits your business. It’s important to remember that all employees learn skills differently. Whether this is through visual learning, auditory, kinaesthetic or verbal as a manager try to individualise the learning based on the employee to maximise the results.
Whilst offering this training keep the 70:20:10 method in mind! Try to push your employees to enter new challenging tasks alone so they can dramatically improve in the long run.
You may think that the cost of Up-skilling all your employees is not worth the investment, but we think you should reconsider! There are ample benefits that come from putting the time, effort and money into working and training with your employees to better their skillset.
Employees will have a high appreciation for you as a manager when you show them that you want them to develop and improve throughout their career. You are investing in your employees and trust us they will love you for it! Your employee turnover will be down, as more employees will have an improved skillset and have a brighter more positive outlook on their future at the company.
Boosts Employee Job Satisfaction
Giving your team the skills required to perform their job to an exceptional standard will mean lower levels of stress for them! Allowing them to up-skill and grow will give them a better outlook for the future and instil a greater sense of purpose at the company. If your employees love their job and know they can perform at their best, it results in a high level of job satisfaction at the organisation. All the team will have a more positive mind frame helping improve your overall corporate culture!
Increase Customer Satisfaction
With a happier team this will lead to happier customers. All employees will also be at a greater and more expanded range of skillset further improving customer service. They will be up to date on any industry changes and trends helping to give more insightful product or service information.
Creates Significant Competitive Advantage
Your up-skilled workforce will be performing at a higher capacity than your competitor’s! Higher levels of innovation, communication and technical skills as well as greater overall team connectedness will get you closer to reaching those KPIS. Further creating a great advantage over your competitors.
The current working climate has been heavily affected by the coronavirus. However, has allowed more opportunity for employee up-skilling. You may be wondering how you can assist your employees with Up-Skilling during lockdown, but that is not as difficult as you think. Make sure you keep up your regular catch ups during lockdown or remote working in preparation for your reopening. Allow your employees to try new tasks or new ways of working so they can learn from this overall experience. You can still e-assist them with the handy use of technology.
An improvement in your employee’s soft skills and up-skilling opportunities can create a stronger overall team position post COVID-19. Speak to your team to create a good individualised up-skilling plan best suited to their skillset and get started expanding knowledge now!