Upskilling: What Your Workplace Needs to Know

For many companies, skill gaps are holding the organization back. Without the right capabilities, teams may struggle to work efficiently. In some cases, certain operational choices may end up off the table, all because there isn’t an employee to support that strategy available.

Thankfully, there is a solution to skill gaps: upskilling. By embracing upskilling, companies have the ability to close gaps internally. Plus, there are benefits beyond enhancing the capabilities of your workforce, making it an even more worthwhile venture.

If you’re curious about the world of upskilling, here’s what your workplace needs to know.

The Benefits of Upskilling

Upskilling your workforce provides multiple benefits. The clearest is usually enhancing the capabilities of your teams. By giving them new skills, they’ll be able to use emerging technologies or take on additional responsibilities with greater ease, making them more efficient and productive.

However, upskilling can also do more. If your main reason for filling a role was to secure a specific skill, that might become unnecessary. Along with saving recruitment costs, you’ll have one fewer employee on your payroll, leading to a reduction in workforce-related expenses.

Plus, upskilling boosts loyalty. Your best and brightest often crave challenges and favor workplaces that support their development. By offering upskilling opportunities, you’re addressing both needs. As a result, they’ll be less inclined to look for jobs elsewhere, all because they’re satisfied in their current role.

How to Start Upskilling

Upskilling isn’t something you should approach haphazardly. Instead, it’s best to be strategic, ensuring your training dollars are focused on the proper areas.

Typically, the first step you’ll need to take is analyzing the capabilities of your workforce. This includes examining what teams can do today and exploring the skills employees possess that may fall outside of their current role.

Often, workers have capabilities that they aren’t using today, making them a potential resource for cross-training into different departments or guiding employees in those niches. By looking at their original applications, you may find someone actually has the skill you need; you just weren’t aware.

After you’ve done the analysis, it’s time to identify the skills you need to target. In many cases, you’ll want to start either by researching upcoming projects or examining efficiency upgrades that require new skills. That way, you can have employees participate in training that will provide the earliest benefit to the organization.

How you introduce those skills may depend on your available resources. As mentioned above, cross-training can be a viable option if a capability is present but underrepresented in your workplace. It’s functional and cost-effective.

However, formal training is a solid alternative. A cloud-based learning management system (LMS) is an excellent choice in many cases. You can add modules to cover any skill area, making them accessible through any internet-connected device at any time.

Formal courses can also work in most cases. While they’re harder to coordinate and may cost more, they give employees access to an instructor. If a topic is complex, that may be preferred, ensuring they can turn to an expert if the need arises.

Ultimately, upskilling is critical in today’s landscape. If you’d like to learn more, the staff at The Advance Group wants to hear from you. Contact us today.

 

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