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No doubt you’ve already heard about upskilling- a buzz word that’s been thrown around repeatedly by business gurus, LinkedIn experts and Twitter titans. Ever-increasing digitalisation has inevitably effected the way work; competition is fiercer, and professionals are now geared towards diversifying their skillset to demonstrate their adaptability. So with this in mind, is upskilling more than a generic digital cliché?
In short, the answer is yes. The idea of developing your professional growth is still obviously worth investing in, and brushing up the skills of your current workforce is a less costly alternative to buying in talent. However, there are inevitably a multitude of upskilling options to explore, which are dependent upon your chosen industry and sector. If you’re therefore looking to maximise your employee productivity and ROI, you need to choose the right options for you and your staff.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to upskilling, there are certain business basics that you can look into to get the ball rolling.  So in an effort to sift out the business jargon, here’s a practical list of ideas to improve skills and versatility in your workplace.
Create an individualised upskilling plan
As mentioned, it’s practically impossible to find an upskilling method that suits everyone. It’s therefore essential that a personalised strategy is tailored to the individual, ensuring that specific needs, skills and abilities are identified from the outset.
To maximise the results of the upskilling process, try to encourage employees to be as hands on as possible by creating their own goals during the initial planning period, as well as noting any particular gaps in their knowledge in relation to their role.
Research relevant courses and seminars
Could you or your colleagues benefit from additional learning? If your answer is yes (and it should be!) then it can be a great idea to identify relevant courses to your sector. For example, those who work at a Junior Marketing level may wish to embark upon a shiny new Google Garage course, or attend online seminars to provide them with more tools and confidence as they progress.
Stay news savvy
Keeping tabs on the latest developments in your industry is an easy and efficient way to build up your knowledge. Be sure to follow any social media accounts or subscription services offered by the movers and shakers of the industry, as well as reputable news outlets. You can then prepare for any changes that may occur in your job (especially if you work in a technical field) and give yourself a head start in learning new skills that you may need to pick up further down the line.
Mentoring programmes
Mentoring programmes can build effective professional relationships that encourage employee retention. For the mentee, there’s plenty of scope to absorb information, approach work more strategically, and achieve professional goals more effectively. For the mentor, there’s opportunity to nurture and polish new upcoming talent. These programmes therefore work successfully within businesses as they are mutually beneficial, and help solidify positive workplace culture.
Offer online training resources
These work well for a wide variety of learners- those who are self-starters, corporate learners, or those who wish to refresh their knowledge. If you want to take your training to the next level, you can even create self-assessments or eLearning modules to ensure your employees are proactive in their continued development.
If you and your colleagues are ready to invest in upskilling, we hope that these ideas work well to point you in the right direction. If you have your own thoughts on upskilling, we’d love to hear them- just leave us a comment below!