We are in a fast-paced world where technology is changing the way we do everything business. And with this rapid pace, there is an ongoing need for employees to consistently add technical knowledge and new skills to their portfolio. Gone are the days when employee training programs were just a nice incentive to lure people in – if you want to stay relevant and competitive, employee trainings are a MUST. It is, therefore, your responsibility to ensure that those who represent your business need to be up-to-date on trends, new industry developments, and have access to the best technology.
Employers can provide this type of training and development through UPSKILLING. So the question is what is upskilling? Why is it so important at this time, and what is the best way to go about upskilling your employees?
WHAT IS UPSKILLING?
In layman’s term, upskilling literally means upping your skills. More technically, upskilling is the process of teaching and training employees on new knowledge and skills that help them do their work better.
Like earlier stated, technology has sped up the need for upskilling because as it evolves, new skills are required almost on the go, and job requirements constantly evolve as well. Upskilling becomes that bridge that helps employees stay on top of the matter through ongoing trainings. Workforce upskilling helps your employees stay on top of newer and better business practices and ensures your company stays competitive.
WHY IS UPSKILLING SO IMPORTANT?
Now more than ever before, there is a huge challenge for businesses to recruit top talents to fill skill and knowledge gaps in order to stay competitive. Rather than continually shop for these top talents, companies can use upskilling to improve and add to the skills of their current employees. Some of the reasons that make upskilling so important are that it satisfies the learning needs of employees and also helps the business stay competitive. Besides these, upskilling also helps in boosting the morale, motivation, and performance of employees, which overall, helps the business and it also saves the business the cost of having to recruit new employees.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST WAYS TO GO ABOUT UPSKILLING?
The first and most important factor to determine before upskilling is recognizing your company’s skill and knowledge needs by stating clearly your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Every company is uniquely different, so knowing your skill and knowledge gap as far as your company is concerned, will help ensure your upskilling effort bridges that knowledge gap and align with your employee’s knowledge needs.
After figuring out the specific knowledge and skill needs of your business, understanding each employee’s goals, and working out a plan for each individual comes next. Upskilling is about addressing specific skills and knowledge gaps. An employee’s upskilling needs will depend on their current skills, role within the organization, how the role is changing, and technology requirements to do the job successfully. Taking all these into consideration will help in tailoring
The next step is to ensure that in meeting the learning needs of your employees, you are building training programs in ways that best suit your business and tackles the specific skill or knowledge need. You get to ask yourself questions such as “would this training be best done as a one-on-one or group training?” Can I do my training with my internal team, or do I need to outsource to external educational institutions? What type of learning opportunities make the most sense – mentoring, virtual learning, hands-on training sessions, etc?”
After this, providing access to and adding incentives to employee training programs are also another great way to go about upskilling your employees as it motivates employees to learn new skills.
Most times, internally developing training programs for upskilling of employees can be more expensive and time-consuming, so companies tend to outsource these trainings to external learning institutions such as Alula Learning. Outsourcing this training is relatively less expensive and is usually designed to be bespoke to meet the specific need of your employees.