Many businesses have had to struggle through the past couple of years – the pandemic, recession, and inflation have not made brilliant conditions for businesses to thrive. The economy has been increasingly unpredictable and has left many businesses wondering how they can take their company to the next level.
One of the best ways you can do this is through upskilling, and many businesses are trying to take their company to the next level through a huge upskilling initiative. But what does upskilling mean, and could it benefit your business? Here is everything you need to know about effectively upskilling your workforce.
What Does Upskilling Mean?
Upskilling simply refers to training, learning, and skills development that helps your workers enhance their careers. The skills and knowledge they learn through upskilling could help them take on more responsibility or get better at their existing job, helping them gain access to more work or expand their business.
There are many different types of skills that could help your workers and help you take your business to the next level, and could be useful to your business. Investing in your staff could have many benefits, especially if you want to work on your business in 2024.
The Benefits of Upskilling
There are many benefits to upskilling that could transform your business prospects and set you apart from the competition. The main benefits often have to do with your staff and talent – but according to the PwC, 90% of CEOs have seen huge benefits due to upskilling their workforce.
For example, all of them reported a significant increase in productivity, which could transform the output of your business and increase your profit margins. Furthermore, when you make upskilling efforts a regular part of your business, many CEOs reported a significant increase in talent acquisition and retention – allowing your company to innovate and introduce more ideas.
Upskilling can make your company more resilient, with the acquired skills allowing your workers to take on more responsibility, effectively delegate, and problem-solve a lot more quickly.
The many benefits of upskilling could be significantly positive for your business – but where should you, as a business owner, begin?
Identify Your Business’ Skill Gaps
Before you start to upskill, it’s important to understand where exactly your business’ skill gaps are. There is no point investing in upskilling if the skills that you are investing in don’t actually help your company run more effectively, or are irrelevant to your industry.
Therefore, it’s important to complete an audit to identify what skills your workers actually need, so you can plan the upskilling courses more effectively. Ensure that you have clearly identified all of the needed skills before rushing into paying for upskilling courses. Furthermore, you should closely identify your employees’ current skills levels, so you’re not paying for redundant training that doesn’t actually benefit their work.
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Treat Your Staff as Individuals
One of the biggest mistakes that employers make when they’re trying to upskill is treating their staff as a monolith. Each member of your staff has their own personality and set of unique skills, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to upskilling your workforce.
When deciding on individual upskilling programmes, you should ensure that you’re working holistically and keeping the identities of your staff in mind. This will allow you to upskill based on their goals, strengths, and interests and increase the likelihood of upskilling benefiting your business.
See If There are Opportunities for Peer Development
Peer-led upskilling programmes could be one of the best things you do for your business. If you have staff that has fantastic skills that you want more members of your workforce to have, initiating a peer-led mentorship programme could be fantastic.
Not only do you cut down on costs from outside training, but you could also strengthen the bonds within your industry. Not only cost-cutting and team-building, it means that your staff have a better understanding of the business and what their co-workers actually do as part of the company. Peer development is one of the best methods for upskilling your business.
Reward Your Staff Through Career Progression
If you want to make your staff more likely to engage with upskilling attempts, rewarding them with career progression is one of the best things you can do. This way, they will be able to see the clear benefits of engaging with upskilling programmes – as it will bring clear benefits to them.
They will be more likely to put more effort in and become more productive if they can see that the company is truly investing in them – meaning that they will invest in your company. Rewarding your staff for engaging with upskilling is a great strategy to optimize the benefits your company receives from upskilling.
Look At the Industry
One of the best things you can do when determining your upskilling efforts is to take a close look at the industry around you. When deciding what skills to develop, you should carefully consider what skills you need to set yourself apart from the competition. What work are your competitors getting instead of you – and why are they doing so? Identifying what skills your company needs to be able to compete is essential if you want to take your company to the next level.
Train for Skills of the Future
One of the most important things you need to keep in mind when deciding to upskill is what skills you’ll need to compete in your market in the next few years. For example, the emergence of the green economy is set to create thousands of jobs in almost every industry – and the push for sustainability isn’t going anywhere.
Equipping your staff to thrive in the emerging green economy with extensive green training is one of the best things you can do for your company. Planning for the future is an essential part of effectively upskilling your workforce, and should be at the forefront of all your upskilling efforts.
Upskilling your company is one of the best things you can do if you want to take your company to the next level – but if you decide to do it, do it well and take into account all of the things on this list.