Is It Time to Start “Upskilling” Your Workforce?

 

When you are battling with a skills gap on your team, hiring a new employee to fill that void isn’t always the ideal approach. Recruiting can be expensive, and you may not have the budget to support another salary, making hiring someone new essentially off the table.

Luckily, if you have a few talented team members who are open to learning new skills, upskilling could be a cost-effective alternative. Not only will it give you access to the skills your company needs to thrive, but it also serves as a benefit to top-notch professionals who want to continue learning and growing in the field.

Plus, your existing employees are known quantities, unlike new hires. You understand their capabilities, interests and motivations, allowing you to provide training opportunities in a way that creates the most value.

Essentially, upskilling creates a win-win scenario for you and the employee. If you are wondering how you can integrating upskilling into your workplace paradigm, here’s what you need to know.

Identify Your Skill Gaps

If you aren’t sure where to begin with upskilling, take a look at your existing skill gaps. Any area that isn’t well covered by your team’s current capabilities should be a priority target, especially if those skills are genuinely needed today or will be vital to an upcoming project or initiative.

Don’t just focus on skills where no one is able to handle those duties. Instead, also include skills that aren’t well covered, such as in cases where only one team member is adept in that area. That way, you can create coverage or a succession plan, ensuring operations can run smoothly even if one team member departs or is unexpectedly absent.

Create Career Pathways

Upskilling does more than just offer you an opportunity to close skill gaps; it also enables you to create career pathways and prepare for future needs. Many leading professionals prefer environments where they can grow and advance, so having clear paths and supporting training opportunities can significantly boost retention.

Plus, you end up with an opportunity to craft your leaders of tomorrow. By offering upskilling opportunities to your best and brightest, you can cultivate their capabilities in a way that best suits the company’s long-term needs while supporting their progression. Essentially, by investing in the future of your workers, you invest in the future of the business as well, making it a win-win scenario.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should force an employee down a specific path. Instead, consider their career aspirations and how they can align with the organization’s objectives. This allows workers to be placed on paths that meet everyone’s needs and not just your own.

Embrace Several Training Mechanisms

Technology has made learning more adaptable than ever. Instead of having to rely on classroom learning, e-learning and virtual classrooms can be used as a flexible alternative. Informal options, like lunch-time sessions or mobile-friendly microlearning courses, can also integrate learning into the workplace culture with greater ease, all without disrupting normal operations.

Ultimately, upskilling your workforce is a cost-effective option for closing skill gaps and creating the leaders of tomorrow.

The Advance Group can help you find employees with the right skills for your workplace. Click here to check out our Talent Showcase and find employees with the skills you’re looking for, or contact our experienced recruiters to learn more.

 

 

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