Upskilling & Retraining Talent for Success
When large companies like Amazon are investing millions in training and industries like nursing are facing massive talent shortages, the need for upskilling and retraining becomes more pronounced. If you want your company to keep up with demand, training your talent is the best thing you can do.
What is Upskilling and Retraining?
Upskilling is the act of improving your workers through training and continuous learning opportunities. Instead of continually replacing employees, you invest money back into the loyal employees you have. When you upskill your employees, you are investing in the continued health of your organization. Here's the thing, you already have several stellar employees at your fingertips. Instead of starting from scratch and making costly hiring decisions, you can save a considerable amount of money by investing in your employees and helping them uplevel their skillset instead.
Why Should you Upskill and Retrain Your Workforce?
According to the World Economic Forum, “at least 54% of all employees will need reskilling and upskilling by 2022.” There are talent shortages across the world, and we need our employees to be ready for this change.
Upskilling and retraining our workforce is also great for tackling sudden new growth at your company. For example, if you recently decided to go into a new sector, you could retrain some of your employees to take over those new positions instead of hiring outside help to take them over. Upskilling allows our employees to move upward in our company. Another reason we need to upskill and retrain our employees? Other companies are doing it! According to a recently published LinkedIn report, identifying and assessing skills gaps is a top priority for talent developers right now.
Three Best Practices for Upskilling Your Employees
Are you looking to make some quick strides when it comes to upskilling your employees? Here are three best practices you can use to upskill your employees, no matter your budget.
Work With Local Community Colleges To Improve Workers
You likely have access to a tuition reimbursement program. While these programs create fantastic opportunities for your employees, many companies are taking a more hands-on approach by partnering with local colleges.
How do you create a different experience? Here are some ideas:
- Focus your money on specific programs. Instead of letting your employees pick what they want to learn, focus on a few majors or classes that appeal to your company’s needs.
- Set up your own curriculum through the community college.
- Create strong relationships with the professors who teach to make sure they are preparing future and current employees for life in your field.
According to LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning And Development Report, more company leaders are working with business partners than ever before. This study is a strong sign that collaboration will be your company’s best asset.
Make Sure Your Employees Have The Access They Need To Learn
Phones, computers, and tablets have helped us make tremendous strides in our business. As much as we love these devices, they may not be available to our employees all the time. If you work with rural employees, time-crunched parents, workers with long commutes, etc. they may not be able to access your learning material as frequently as you’d like.
Work with your employees to make sure that they can access the materials you create for them. Accessibility may mean letting employees learn on the clock, creating printouts of some learning material, or breaking lessons into bite-sized chunks that are easier to digest. Your learning and development program can only be successful if it’s accessible, so take your time to understand what your employees need.
Use Gamification To Make Learning Fun
Last but not least, gamification can be a brilliant way to make learning fun. Everyone needs to advance their skills, but many employees might struggle with learning. Use things like hands-on training, virtual reality, learning leaderboards, and more to gamify the learning experience. Get your employees involved in the learning process so that they can get excited to take your courses and improve their skillsets.
Upskilling and retraining is an integral part of the future of work right now. We have a unique problem right now: we have amazing employees, but their skills aren't as excellent as we'd like. Thankfully, we have a unique solution that will save us hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. Upskilling is a fantastic solution that companies of any size can effectively leverage.
Here's your homework: connect with leadership across your company. What skills gaps have they noticed in your company? Go through your employee roster to confirm these suspicions and then start creating a program to address those skill shortages. Before you know it, you'll have a group of employees who can proudly step up into the roles and positions you need filled.