In today’s work environment, it’s critical that employees have more specified job skills. This is true for new hires, but many companies also overlook the talent that’s hidden within their very own workforce. In fact, with so many organizations struggling to hire right now, a large part of the problem could be solved by upskilling current employees. Despite some employees not meeting current requirements for any particular job, such requirements can be fulfilled through upskilling.
The Skill Gap Problem
Often, we hear people discuss the problem with hiring talent that has the skills needed to complete a specific job. Of course, this makes sense in and of itself. Many positions require workers that have specialized, trained skill sets. For example, jobs in technical fields require workers who have some technical experience or literacy. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the only solution to filling positions is to hire workers who already have those skills prior to starting on the job. You may have plenty of talented employees already working for you, they just need some training.
Additionally, skills gaps also cost organizations a surprisingly large amount of money. Companies are cost money caused by the lack of employees who have the correct qualifications. The financial cost of skills gaps can actually be quite detrimental to your company.
But in addition to teaching employees technical skills, there’s also an increased need for other skills, particularly what’s known as “soft skills.” Such skills include things such as good time management, flexibility, and communication. Such skills are critical to teach employees and make sure that you nurture them so they can continue to flourish in your company.
How to Implement Upskilling
Upskilling your employees is the ultimate answer to problems associated with hiring or filling positions that have a limited number of candidates. Furthermore, upskilling can actually be extremely beneficial to your employees in and of themselves. Many workers will revel in the opportunity to expand their skill set if given the chance. Upskilling employees provides a long-term solution to a problem that all too many organizations face. It enables employees to be of even more value and use in the workplace by training them in new areas or adding new capabilities to their repertoire. Furthermore, upskilling can actually make employees more engaged and improve their productivity. It allows them to feel invested in, as well as helping them to feel as though their career path is being nurtured. Employees who have been trained in more than one area within a company are more likely to feel valued. They’re also more likely to invest themselves in their place of work. Ultimately, it’s a winning situation for everyone involved. To implement upskilling within your company, try following these tips:
Determine Your Skill Needs
The first step is to find out exactly what skillsets you need to train your employees in. You need to determine the needs of your individual organization and where you are lacking in proficient employees. Then, compare the skills your company needs to the ones that it already possesses. From here, you can easily uncover the bigger picture and determine where you need to focus your upskilling efforts. It may be helpful to implement some assessments for current employees to determine where they are at with their current skills. These assessments can also help to uncover areas where a particular employee may have unknown or untapped potential.
Come Up with a Plan
Once you have figured out the needs of your company, you can come up with a plan to help you determine exactly how you want to go about training your workforce. You will also want to bear in mind that upskilling can be an expense, particularly if you intend to train a multitude of employees. So, make sure you carefully consider your budget in your plan. When considering your plan, start by prioritizing what skillsets you need to train employees in and go from there. If you have a critical skill gap and are struggling to find and hire new candidates within a specific area, that should be your first training priority. Also, don’t forget to think about the future and carefully consider what skillsets may be helpful down the line.
Consider How You Will Go About Training
There are a number of ways you can train your employees, and you’ll want to carefully consider the best ways to go about the actual upskilling process. Typically, most organizations find that a learning management system is the best way to train in these circumstances. It allows you to create an engaging and easily accessible training experience for your employees, as well as easily monitor their progress. Make sure that whatever learning management system you choose for your upskilling, that it’s set up to meet your individual organization’s training needs. You should also set up the reporting so it’s easy to track and monitor how your employees are faring on their training journey. Monitoring how your employees are doing during the training process is critical when upskilling, as you want to see which employees are thriving and which are struggling.
Remember, teaching employees new skills correctly does take a lot of time and effort, as well as some expenses upfront. However, upskilling can also be a savior for your organization if implemented correctly. You will want to ensure that everyone, particularly the leaders, within your organization is on board with the process. It won’t be possible to upskill your workforce overnight. It’s going to take some time and dedication to the process. That being said, upskilling can help you save money in the long run, close hiring gaps, and can actually improve the overall satisfaction and productivity of your current employees.