We live in an era of digital transformation. To help organisations remain competitive in this ever-changing landscape, employee upskilling is key. In short, it is the process where employees gain innovative and appropriate skills that are needed today or in the near future to help them move the business forward.
According to a report by the World Economic Forum, 54% of employees will need considerable upskilling by 2022. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of training your employees and share some tips on how you can build a strategy to empower your workforce.
Benefits Of Upskilling Your Workforce
Close Skills Gaps
A skills gap occurs when there is a difference between the skills needed for a job and the skills that the workforce actually has. This can render employees unable to perform their duties as required, leading to a decrease in productivity. In turn, this can have a negative impact on the organisation’s profitability, ability to retain top talent, and its general effectiveness.
Organisations can face skills gaps due to continuous digital innovations, such as in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. They need employees who are digitally skilled to use these technologies.
However, it is often a challenge for employees to learn these things on their own, with no motivation from their employer. Training can close skills gaps and improve employees’ performance.
Better Employee Satisfaction And Retention
According to a LinkedIn report, the number one reason why an employee leaves their job is for a better career opportunity.
If your organisation is not actively involved in upskilling its employees or carving out a path for career growth, they may feel stagnant in their role and be tempted to look elsewhere for opportunities.
Training can prevent this from happening. It can lead to better employee satisfaction, not to mention an improved employee experience, meaning that you retain your workforce for longer as well.
Tips On Building A Strategy To Empower Your Workforce
Devise A Learning And Development Strategy
Upskill your employees by making use of your Learning and Development (L&D) strategy. This is an essential tool that allows an organisation to align its employee’s training needs with its overall objectives and vision.
If you do not currently have an L&D strategy, it’s time to develop one. You will first need to do a skills gap analysis to determine the type of training your employees need. Based on the skills gap analysis, identify the aims and objectives that you want to achieve through the L&D strategy.
Next, focus on the design of the training curriculum and the method through which it will be taught, for example, through online courses or seminars.
Lastly, you need to put a system in place that will allow you to monitor and evaluate the outcomes of the strategy. This is a crucial aspect as it will allow you to determine the effectiveness of learning and development in the organisation, as well as create opportunities for improvement.
Use Innovative Mentoring Approaches
Mentoring in the workplace has long been an effective strategy for retaining talent and ensuring that skills are passed on. Traditionally, the mentoring practice has been for senior employees to mentor junior employees. Interestingly, it can be beneficial both ways though. Research has shown that senior employees may actually benefit from reverse mentoring, meaning that they are the ones to receive the guidance and tuition.
Be innovative with your mentoring practices. Try to match a junior employee with a senior employee but make it a two-way learning process, where both people can learn something from each other.
During the mentoring phase, the mentor needs to first explain the theory and then demonstrate it using a practical example. The mentor then gives the mentee an assignment to complete and gives feedback to improve the learning process.
Learn With Case Studies
Case studies can prove to be very effective in upskilling your workforce. Their objective is to make your employees analyse and discuss practical business scenarios.
You will need an experienced person to lead the process and prompt participation and support each employee for better learning outcomes. By using case studies, your employees will be able to share their knowledge and expertise on specific topics and learn from one another.
If you want your organisation to stay ahead of the curve, you need to empower your workforce by upskilling employees. Remember that your organisation can only make progress if they feel equipped and supported with the required skills to perform their duties.