What is “Upskilling?” Oxford simply defines it as teaching or learning additional skills. From an employee’s perspective, it can mean increased job satisfaction and a higher level of perceived value placed upon them by their employer. To a business, upskilling your workforce can create a more agile, responsive team that can adapt to new challenges as they arise. Well-trained employees often feel valued by their employer and are less likely to leave. As the famous quote from Zig Ziglar goes, “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”
Are Your Employees the Best They Can Be?
It is likely safe to assume that your current employees are performing their functions adequately. Imagine for a moment that you are thinking of going to eat at a nice restaurant for a special occasion. Place One is a popular destination nearby. Their atmosphere is adequate. Their cooks, service staff, and management know their jobs well and are all quite adequate. Place Two has a highly engaged workforce that operates seamlessly to solely focus on your enjoyment of your meal. Which do you choose?
Imagine this from the employees’ perspective. Would you prefer to be adequate, or do you want to be exceptional? Most employees would prefer operating on a higher level. They understand that training them to increase their talents is costly to their employer. Knowing they are valued provides a sense of job security and being part of a skilled team provides a sense that the company is on solid ground.
Would More Productive Employees Increase Profits?
Skilled employees are able to do more work in less time. This is not a novel concept. The trick is to give them the skills they need to be more productive while at the same time feeling like they are contributing to something meaningful. Training an employee to master one particular task will no doubt make that employee capable of performing that task adequately. Training that employee to take on a larger role that includes that task will provide the employee with a stronger sense of purpose and drive them to perform that task with passion.
We have all washed our car at some point. The car gets dirty, the weather is nice, so we wash it. Maybe we really like this car, so we do a good job, but it is still only adequate. Now imagine we are washing our car to go on a first date. Now washing the car is not just about having a clean car. Now that task is part of a greater goal. Now the task of washing our car has taken on some passion.
Studies show that 80% of employees and 90% of employers believe that upskilling increases productivity. It is evident that time and money spent on upskilling your workforce will provide a return on investment in terms of not only productivity but in employee satisfaction as well.
How Are Your Employees’ Soft Skills?
An employee’s soft skills are often only evaluated during their interview. After they are part of the team, these skills are overlooked in favor of other key metrics. Teams with an increased soft skill set including communication, adaptability, and resilience will not only provide a better face to your customers and clients, but they will also operate more harmoniously.
Increasing your team’s soft skills will improve their problem-solving and allow them to embrace new challenges. Providing training on a specific new software for example is adequate. Teaching your team why that new software is vital to their role is exceptional.
Are Your Employees Afraid of New Technology?
It is no secret that over the last several decades ever-increasing technology has resulted in some jobs becoming obsolete. When was the last time you saw someone walking the streets on stilts lighting gas street lamps? It is important for your employees to know they offer more to the team than simply maintaining the current technology.
One way to make them feel more comfortable adopting new technology is to show them how their job will change after adopting it. Will they gain new responsibilities or perhaps a broader scope of work after the new technology is implemented? Upskilling your employees to take advantage of technological advancement is crucial to your business and your team.
How Engaged is Your Workforce?
It is true that some employees want nothing more than to clock in, do as little as possible, clock out, and go home never giving the company any more brainpower than required. If you are not upskilling your workforce, this is the kind of employee you are fostering. Exceptional employees need to be engaged and feel valued, and they will change jobs to find what they need. This will leave you with an adequate workforce if you cannot provide your employees with the sense of value and engagement they desire.
Promoting From Within
As your workforce becomes increasingly capable, the opportunity to find your next rising star increases as well. Managers that rise from within the organization are innately more familiar with day-to-day operations, process improvement potential, and are likely more dedicated to the well-being of the company as a whole.
Learning for the Joy of Learning
Studies show that most employees enjoy learning new things simply for the joy of learning. While it is true that employees acquiring new skills realize their worth, it is not always true that the reward for this increased self-worth must always be monetary. Increased autonomy and responsibility is often its own reward. A more productive, engaged, and professional workforce will allow increased revenue for all to share as well.
It is important to not allow training to become a matter of routine or just another box to be checked. In order to truly upskill your workforce, training must be meaningful, relevant, and engaging. Developing training on this level can be daunting, but we are here to help. See how our Learning Management System can help you upskill your workforce.
About Platinum Group
We offer a full range of HR solutions including helpful tools like Certifications and Awards to Performance Engagement. Not every company can afford to have a dedicated in-house HR team, but every company can benefit from having an experienced HR team on their side. Our services can provide you with that, and much more.
Platinum Group is a full service human capital management (HCM) resource that allows businesses to manage their payroll, benefits compliance, track time and attendance and other various human resources functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and eliminates redundancies with the platform, iSolved. For more information about Platinum Group or to schedule a demo of iSolved please visit our website.