You may already have a particular method for developing your team’s skills but it is good to complement this by including other techniques as well. Below, you will find a discussion of some of the options.
Upskilling is one of those things which reap multiple benefits with time. However, the common misconception is that it is an add-on for when work is less hectic or a large pot of money is available. But this view is ill-advised and can have a detrimental effect on your organisation.
It is good to recognise how important upskilling is, not just for your employees’ CVs, but also to keep them motivated and engaged. Even more importantly, it makes your business more efficient and allows consistent improvement in your work’s quality standards. Where upskilling does not occur regularly, the loss in efficiency, decrease in morale and inevitable lapse in quality can have a devastating effect on your bottom line.
One to one meetings
When you take on new employees, set up individual meetings where you and the employee identify goals and tasks throughout the year and offer them an open invitation to check in with you on their progress.
This supportive environment will allow them to express what they feel, bring up areas of weakness they are worried about or to tell you where they feel their skills are not yet recognised or are underused. Now you will be party to the valuable information of knowing exactly what your team want, what they are capable of and where they need to develop their skills.
Where budgets are very tight, it is still possible to help your team develop skills. They can enrol on self-led training such as an online course or work through a study book. If other colleagues are on hand to help where needed, this can be a good combination for learning.
It is wise to remember, however, that this method is not ideal for everyone or in all situations. Employees who do not usually engage with the written word as part of their jobs might struggle to complete tasks and even become demotivated as a result. It also requires a fair amount of initiative and staying power to work through a course on one’s own.
Running targeted courses for your team is one of the most useful ways of upskilling large numbers of people, whether for learning new software, language skills or project management techniques. Find a training room rental away from the office to run the course from and this will set you off on the right track.
Doing group training well, will not only offer a boost to your workforce en masse but also show how dedicated you are to their professional development. Where formal certification is possible, it is worth investing in the extra cost or at least providing a certificate of attendance.
Implementing a programme of workplace mentoring is not just beneficial for the mentees, but also allows mentors to learn new skills and widen their network.
Where organisations use mentoring as part of their culture, the effect is likely to improve overall communication as it normalises the practice of asking other people questions and getting help horizontally across the organisation.
Be sure to upskill your mentors with proper mentoring training rather than assume they will know how best to approach the task.