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A Guide To Upskilling Your Workforce

Maddie Brindley-Slater
22 June 2022
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Calling all leaders and business owners: if you’re looking to advance your teams and support business growth, a surefire way of creating success is by upskilling your workforce through learning & development opportunities.

Giving all levels of your business the chance to focus on key areas for improvement creates a strong culture for development. Learning new skills is an integral part of diversifying and updating your business’s knowledge base. Whether soft or hard skills, there is always room for development - learning is a lifelong process.

Whilst many business leaders celebrate the idea, some fear that upskilling teams will lead to a mass exodus, causing staff to pack up and move on to bigger and better things. This couldn’t be further from the truth however, in fact offering development opportunities actually increases retention rates and creates a more satisfied, purposeful workforce. Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave, compared to companies where employee engagement is low.

There are a number of ways to upskill your workforce; this can be something as simple as skill-sharing between different departments or levels of the business. Alternatively, you can outsource the process by working with a learning & development specialist or a coach or mentor.

Before committing to upskilling employees, it is useful to undertake some people analytics research and 1-2-1 communication to understand the gaps. In this ever-changing world, it is vital to know your teams in depth.

There is a multitude of benefits to upskilling your teams, below we’ve highlighted our top 3 reasons, so that you can make an informed decision for yourself. Let’s go!

Why you should be upskilling your workforce

You’ll fill skill gaps

Plugging essential skills gaps is one way to quickly take your business to the next level. No matter the hiring process, there will always be expertise gaps.

Thankfully, in an environment where development is prioritised, you can create a culture that values constant learning. This can be in the form of self-learning through online reading, research or courses. Alternatively, you can encourage skill-sharing amongst your teams.

Encouraging an environment of skill-sharing helps to garner a diverse skill set as your employees seek to learn and develop amongst themselves. This can be promoted by blocking off dedicated periods within each employee’s schedule for time for learning new skills.

Being on the ball with staff development is crucial in 2022. In the long term, getting complacent with your teams rather than promoting an environment for learning will only result in a chasm between their skills and your business goals.

You’ll understand your teams better

When cruising along in business as usual mode, it can be easy to run on autopilot without stopping to consider well you know your teams. Understanding your teams, while perhaps seeming to be lower down on a business’ priorities, actually plays a crucial part in taking your business to the next level.

Managers and leaders who have a grasp on their team’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as what drives them, are better able to provide feedback and direction. This is referred to as ‘people analytics’ and businesses often dedicate whole departments to understanding their workforce in this manner.

Once analysed, this new understanding can form the basis for a new path forward based on your staff needs. In the long run, this can emphasise a strong employee-led culture, which allows your teams to develop in the areas most needed, in a manner dictated by the teams themselves.

Once you have an understanding of where your staff are at, you can begin the process of creating development plans which will help your staff (and your business) make positive steps in the right direction.

Your teams will be happier & performance will improve

When teams feel supported, they tend to report more satisfaction, as a result, performance naturally improves. The ultimate goal of upskilling your workforce is to see an improvement in performance. Employee engagement is closely linked to how happy staff are so is a key area to keep a watch on.

Thanks to multiple studies on the links between staff morale and performance, the evidence is there to show how vital these elements are to running a business. However talented your teams may already be, investing in them emotionally and ensuring they feel positive in their roles will only take your business one step further.

Ultimately, if you want a competitive advantage, ensure you are prioritising upskilling and reskilling, as discussed in the above sections. Your upskilling efforts will pay off once you realise your staff are more engaged and happier, resulting in performance improvements.

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Upskill your workforce with coaching & mentoring

If you’re wanting to upskill your workforce, but are unsure exactly where to start, the answer is simple. Giving your teams access to expert coaches and mentors is a surefire way to develop and upskill your workforce.

Working with an expert with diverse experience can open many doors for your teams. Some of the many benefits include:

  • Getting access to a 3rd party support & feedback network
  • Utilising an expert’s extensive 1st hand experience
  • Improved engagement and performance
  • More impactful learning strategies
  • Diversification of skills

Our experts accommodate your preferred learning styles and can work with you to devise your upskilling strategy. Coaching & mentoring is not a one-size-fits-all service. With different experts offering varying levels of support and training, we create bespoke solutions for your team’s unique needs.

Book your free consultation and get a tailored strategy for your business here.

About Wiseup

The Wiseup ethos is to deliver bespoke coaching & mentoring programmes in a down-to-earth manner, in a way that your teams and leaders will love.

Supporting a range of businesses to create high performing teams and leaders, we combine our expertise with that of our network of 100+ industry leaders. Our unique programmes are based solely on each business’s needs, with tailored solutions at the forefront of all that we do.

Find lots of helpful tips and advice over on our blog here.

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