An organization, irrespective of its strength, needs to consider upskilling as one of the best investments which can provide employees with tools, resources, and the time to develop themselves.
According to researchers, organizations must follow an “upskilling revolution” that enhances employee skills required for their careers. Rather than hiring new employees to stay in the competition, it is better to retain old employees and upskill them for the advancement of an organization.
Let’s discuss various methods to Upskill professional teams for better performance.
Importance of Upskilling
When employees have difficulty with new challenges in an organization, upskilling becomes essential. It is defined as filling the gaps for the enhancement of an organization and the employee.
Let your employees grow, and your company will grow too.
Upskilling is an investment one can yield in the future as it makes the team more valuable. Thus, organizations consider upskilling as a policy, strategy, and cultural shift. However, without a strategy, the process may easily fall apart. Thus an organization must execute only after proper planning.
How do Upskill Employees?
Technology is fast, and customer expectations are changing. Social media has brought business and customer interactions to the fingertips. In such a scenario, organizations must invest in training their employees to help them do their tasks efficiently thus providing a great customer experience. Here are some efficient ways to upskill professional teams to help for better performance.
Here are the Top Ten Ways to Upskill Professional Teams for Better Performance
1. Gauge the Existing Shortage of Skills
Upskilling does not only mean training employees to develop new skills but also strengthening the existing ones. It improves the employee’s performance or sets a particular skill needed for a specific task or project. Many organizations faced a digital gap during the pandemic, and the need for digital transformation, remote working, and cloud computing was felt to be bridged. The organization, along with the managers, needs to find out the shortage of skills in the employees and bridge the skill gap.
One of the more effective ways to do this is to have a complete competency-based skill analysis. It will throw light on what additional skill is required at the moment to prepare for the future. Companies should teach employees the skills they need to keep pace with the digital revolution for the organization’s benefit to achieve its targeted goals. Besides knowing where skill gaps exist, one can analyze areas for employee development for better workflow.
The employee skill can be enhanced through online certification and other micro-credential programs if it is a startup or a small company. However, in big companies, managers may arrange for regular tests and protocols that would assess the employees and learn their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Ensure Employees Understand and Support the Objectives
Research suggests that by the end of 2022, a large part of the global corporate will switch jobs. One of the major reasons is a lack of growth and development which stems from a lack of resources. Organizations look for more talented employees due to a lack of knowledge of the competitive market.
Thus employees and the organization should understand the need for upskilling. They should consider the market and objective behind the upskilling; it should not be a burden or a time-consuming additional training for them.
Hence managers should take feedback from their employees about the benefits of upskilling and the disadvantages of not supporting it. They should reassure the employees by communicating the benefits of upskilling to them as much as it is to the organization.
3. Set Smart Goals and Assess the Development
The employees may be keen for extra training for personal development. Still, the managers should also ensure that the training should be attainable, clear, relevant, time-bound, and measurable.
In other words, there should be a smart plan that must also be realistic. It is not easy to run a formal learning and development program. To apply intelligent planning, the managers can opt for a Learning Management System (LMS) to train the employees.
Apart from planning, managers should also analyze the development and the abilities of individual employees and their learning styles. It will help the managers to know the issues or difficulties and the consequences to ensure that all employees are heading towards reaching the goal.
4. Make Learning in Small Chunks
The corporate world is buzzing with its newest approach to stand out in this competitive market by upskilling its employees through microlearning. The process should not be formal and instead, be given in small doses. For example, one can watch a short video during a lunch break or read a small passage while traveling. Information can be given in small, bite-sized chunks, each module concentrating on a specific learning objective. Each learning unit should not be more than 5-10 minutes. The primary idea is that extensive workloads impose a barrier to formal training while microlearning can allow for more retention and understanding.
Extensive classroom programs with extra material, large documents, and packed PowerPoint presentations can be monotonous and boring which would cause employees to lose interest. Small training methods focus on information to deliver a specific learning objective. A short microlearning course that addresses a particular need is more effective than an exaggerated training module with three or four goals.
Apart from all these advantages, it is cost-effective compared to e-learning programs. Microlearning is the perfect training model in this era of busy schedules and short attention spans. Some ways of microlearning are:
- Phrases or short paragraphs
- Photos or illustrations
- Short videos and audio
- Tests and quizzes
- Opportunity for employees to learn at their own pace.
In this competitive world, companies are on their toes to find employees to face new challenges. Rather than turning towards new layouts, companies should plan to upskill their employees by those who were the building blocks of their growth. Mentoring is one of the more effective ways that may help an employee evidently. Some organizations consider paying extra to their senior employees to pass on some knowledge to their juniors.
Mentors create a dedicated space for training and build a training plan with clearly-defined goals and objectives. However one should remember that employees should not be forced with rigid guidelines.
Over time, companies have adopted a new method of upskilling called “modern mentoring”. This kind of mentoring program goes beyond traditional mentoring models to ensure all employees receive the knowledge they require to grow most efficiently. The nomenclature of positions is secondary to the bond between experienced employees and freshers in the process.
Different kinds of mentoring are seen depending on the employee’s requirement. These may include reverse training, group training, and micro mentoring. Mentoring connects people and fosters a sense of community, allowing them to learn from each other. It has shown improvement in productivity and job satisfaction too. The communication between the employees becomes easy enough to informally discuss any issues they are facing with their mentors without involving the upper management. When communication channels are open and accessible, the office becomes a much more inviting place to work; which eventually helps to build a company culture of learning.
6. Encourage Self-training
Employees are the most significant assets of an organization. They are the people on the ground to deal with the clients firsthand and meet the organization’s targets.
The managers need to push the employees and encourage them to upskill and self-development programs. Self-assessment is crucial in the professional world. Personal development plans enable employees to identify gaps in their skills and knowledge and set goals for themselves.
A bottom-up approach is another way to encourage upskilling to survive in the competitive job market. It helps improve employee collaboration as everyone is involved in the decision-making process. Communication becomes two-way, and employees feel empowered to share new ideas with their managers. Simultaneously while initiating training investments to upskill the staff, consider improving employees’ soft skills like communication, time management, creativity, etc.
Post-pandemic, online training has become very popular, as it allows employees to be trained from the comfort of their homes at their own pace. Managers can also initiate self-learning by assigning paid training hours. Employees may get extra pay or a higher designation if they excel in their training. Moreover, the employees should be encouraged to attend workshops and seminars for personal development. By doing so, the team stays on its toes.
7. Build a Learning Culture
Learning should be an ongoing process, and for organizations to stay ahead in the competitive market, employee learning should be proactive, not reactive.
To apply this, learning must be a habit. And when the process is easy, accessible, and meaningful, it doesn’t take much time to become a habit. Learning from peers or colleagues, daily feeds, or relevant and curated materials is another way to achieve goals. However, the sources should be resourceful and not a burden. It can also be done through socializing- either by joining clubs or online groups.
Managers should create positive learning experiences and use the right technology for employees to achieve their goals. Should the employees need digital learning, then make sure the employees have smartphones. The learning process should always be accessible for each skill even if they require different formats (e.g., workshops, e-learning, video tutorials).
If an employee needs to learn how to use new software, the manager has to initiate an online module with video demos. However, for soft skills, like creativity, the manager may have to appoint a person or a group to train. The employees should be offered incentives or recognition for their efforts to learn more for the benefit of their organization. It can be either a gift card, appreciation, or promotion.
8. Outsource a Specialist
Sometimes, one needs to upskill employees in some areas, but one doesn’t have the in-house capacity to do so. Either because the company needs employees with specific skills as soon as possible and training them would take a long time. Or maybe the skills needed are so new that they do not have the knowledge and experience to start upskilling people.
For instance, digital skills like programming and app development are required to solve a particular company challenge. However, an organization does not have the resources and experts to help the company. A freelance specialist or consultant can bring the exact skills, competencies, and experience one needs to start a new project. By teaming these external experts up, a company may be able to create an opportunity to upskill. Once the project is completed, they may have built the capability they lacked and have time to make an L&D strategy that will do so in the distant future.
9. Provide Employees with Challenging Assignments
New projects or challenges outside an employee’s current knowledge and job description allow employees to grow on the job while demonstrating their aptitude to take on new challenges. In a stretch assignment, an individual contributor can be granted leadership of a project team, or an employee might be assigned to a new job. However, they may require the assistance and resources they need to learn new skills to complete such stretch assignments.
When a company throws new projects and challenges in its way, it pushes an employee to work harder. This is even more encouraging when there is a prize at the end of the challenge to look forward to. That said, leaving them high and dry is also not an option. This may easily backfire if employees think they cannot cope with the challenge. Hence, it is important for managers and mentors to act as a guidance system.
10. Finding the Balance
Irrespective of the profession and personal development, a balance needs to be maintained. However, in a professional environment, the advantageous factor is that managers have control over a situation. Thus, finding the right balance is an important factor so as to not burn out the employees.
A workplace is already a pressured space with deadlines needed to be met and dealing with hierarchy. In that process, adding training and Learning management systems (LMS) for upskilling may become frustrating to the employees. Hence managers must find the sweet spot of balance to not tire them while ensuring that they keep learning.
How does Corporate Digital Marketing Training Help Find the Right Balance?
After understanding the importance of upskilling your team for better performance, it becomes essential to understand that corporate digital marketing training is the best decision that C-suite executives and leaders can take for their companies.
While corporate training and development are necessary for all employees, with the massive use of the internet and social media to drive sales, build company culture and even stay connected; people need to learn skills like copywriting, email etiquette, etc. Digital marketing training is no longer just a good-to-know skill but instead a must-have skill for all employees in an organization.
Companies should start investing in corporate digital marketing training for all employees right from the bottom to the top leaders. This can massively help in the upskilling of all people in the organization.
The world is constantly advancing, and so is technology. To keep up with the fast-paced world, we need to grow with it. When we look from an employer’s perspective, they see better alignment and productivity. No matter how they choose to upskill their employees, what matters is through upskilling, they will not only retain their old employees but also develop a culture of learning and growth.
Instilling new skills in the employees will not only help them advance in their careers but also help companies stay afloat and grow even in the most challenging times. For all these reasons, investing time and energy into upskilling staff is the best step for all organizations.
In today’s competitive job market, it is essential to stand out from the crowd. You will be in a much better position to land the job you want if you have a good understanding of the latest advancements and industry practices.
If you’re choosing to Upskill in Digital Marketing, enrolling in an online digital marketing course will give you the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in this competitive industry.