6 Ways Your Business Can Quickly Upskill Its Workforce

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If you are in a business role, you already understand the importance of customer satisfaction. But who ensures that customers have the best experience possible?

Companies often overlook their best asset i.e. their employees. Understandably, they follow the theory that customers come first. But, they should consider the idea that if employees come first, then customers will follow. Let me explain.

Do you remember the Newton's Third Law?

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore it follows that if you want to increase your employees’ productivity, you will have to take some action.

Like any other asset, you will have to put in work with your employees to increase productivity. Moreover, businesses that do not have the best and highly skilled employees without constant and ongoing evolution will need the training to perform better in their day-to-day tasks.

Upskilling your workforce means teaching your employees new skills as technology affords new opportunities and new jobs which require specialized skill sets. Upskilling is a tool that you can use to bridge gaps related to employee engagement and retention. Furthermore, upskilling can fill vacancies from your current workforce and is a good way to increase employee satisfaction

According to a recent PwC study, 55% of employers feel the skills shortage is causing an inability to innovate effectively.

If you will not train your employees, it will lead to skill gaps and a lack of focus and interest towards work. Business is a two-way street in which you can either move in the direction of growth or towards failure. Companies tend to resist change tend to fail. To avoid moving towards failure, it is essential to prepare for and cope with change.

That's where uspkilling comes in.

As a quick personal aside, when I used to ask my previous employer about anything, he would just tell me to google it. Aside from being a bit rude, that's not a long term solution and it leads to wasted effort and fragmented business knowledge.

Before we talk about how you can quickly upskill your workforce, here are some of the advantages of doing so:

Upskilling Improves Retention

We all know that poor employee retention is expensive. If someone leaves, you have to replace them and this costs time and money plus a full hiring process.

Then, you have to train the new employee which could take anywhere between 2-6 months (or more).

These costs add up.

Studies show that the cost of just one employee leaving an organization could be as much as $ 25,000. This shows the importance of including upskilling the workforce in your project scheduling. As an employer, you have to understand that no one wants to work at a company that doesn’t invest enough in its employees’ career development. And by investing in upskilling your workforce, you are indirectly investing in the same.

Upskilling helps you in showing your employees that you care about their career and future, and it also ensures that your employees’ skillsets won’t become obsolete.

Upskilling Boosts Morale

We care about people who care about us.

Employees who receive training and development opportunities tend to be happier in their roles and thus they have a brighter outlook for the company.

Upskilling your staff help them develop a clear vision of their career advancement path.

A clear career development path can boost workforce excitement and encourage a positive attitude for what comes next.

Upskilling Increases Customer Satisfaction

As mentioned earlier, happy employees = happy customers.

Upskilling helps your workforce by keeping them up-to-date on the latest trends and thus this allows them to offer the best recommendations and insights to the clients and the prospects. Clients are willing to pay more for a better experience and you can provide them with a better experience by offering a knowledgeable and proactive team. And when clients are happy, they become loyal clients, and thus they also start word-of-mouth advertisement for you.

Upskilling Attracts New Talent

The best form of advertisement is word-of-mouth advertisement. You must have heard that good work speaks for itself and this is extremely true in this case. As your employees and your customers are happy with their work, they will become dedicated brand advocates for you. This means that they are most likely to recommend your brand/business to their friends and family. Your customers will tell them to shop from you and your employees will tell them to shop + work for you. This will attract a wide pool of diverse talent towards you to choose from.

So, if you are now convinced that upskilling your workplace is an investment that will give you the sky-high ROI, here are some ways your business can quickly upskill its workforce.

6 Ways Your Business Can Quickly Upskill Its Workforce

 1.  Invest in Online Training Courses

The easiest project roadmap to quickly upskill your workforce is to invest in online training courses.

According to a study, more than 41.7% of global fortune 500 companies use e-learning or some kind of technology to train their employees. And if we examine a specific company, let’s say IBM, when they changed their training project scope from traditional training to e-learning, they saved approximately 200 million dollars.

This flexible approach means that staff can access the online training courses whenever they have free time and thus they can learn according to their own speed and pace.

2.  Invest in Retraining

As your business grows you may find yourself in need of employees with new skills. This can be brought about through investments in new technology or the additions of or changes to  the way you do business. Recruitment is one way to fill these gaps, but don't be surprised if you aren't thrilled with the results.

In fact, a CareerBuilder survey has found that 60% of companies cannot fill their open positions with qualified candidates.

If you have spent the time and money developing talented and faithful employees that are already part of your organization, why not invest in training them? You don’t always need to hire new employees; sometimes you just need to fill a skill gap. It follows that if you adopt something new, you should also invest in training your employees to learn that new thing.

Lacking the skills to do your job can be frustrating. If you're making changes your employees will crave training - deliver it, and cultivate a loyal following among your employees.

3.  Update your Experts

Some of your employees are probably tech-savvy and actively pursuing new training and in-demand skills on their own. You know who these employees are. These individuals are a valuable asset to you and if you satiate their need to grow you will reap the benefits.

Keep these people close.

They may be mercurial in the sense that they are actively looking out for number one, so to speak, but their mindset relative to constant growth is an asset. Provide these people with what they need (within reason) and they will help you grow your business in a big way. Of course, the double-edged sword is that you might give them the skills they need to leave you behind.

4.  Microlearning

To round out your upskilling project proposal, create web-based training modules that cover a very specific topic in 5-10 minutes. The shorter the better, but make sure that the training covers the important info.

Focus on shoring up weaknesses in your staff skills base as well as making the most of strengths.

5.  Use Case Studies

An abundance of examples that demonstrate the effects of training in action are a helpful training aid. Focusing on cases where something went wrong and a best practice was used.

Learning from other people’s mistakes or what they did to be successful can be very helpful. Case studies and actionable insight are some of the best tools in your toolbox.

6.  Build Culture of Learning

This tip takes the most time and work to implement, but it will also yield the most gains. Building a culture of continuous improvement (sometimes referred to as kaizen) and one that is comfortable with change, means that both teaching and learning will come easier for you and your organization. The ultimate goal is to build an environment where learning happens on a regular basis and where managers, supervisors, and even front line employees, become coaches and students alike.

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