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Upskilling your team
With the digital and technological evolution increasing in pace, the only way for organisations to remain competitive is to ensure their team possesses the skills for an environment that’s always in flux. For team leaders, this should not be viewed as an issue but as an opportunity to upskill teams and individuals, including those in administrative and clerical roles.
Upskilling your team does not have to cost a fortune, nor take months on end. By identifying the skills you need to push your business forward, understanding who in your team are willing to learn, and implementing the right strategies, you can ensure your company will be ahead of the curve. Here are some cost-effective and easy ways to upskill your team.
Personal Development Plans
A Personal Development Plan (PDP) is one of the best ways to ensure continuous learning and development for employees at every level. Many organisations set PDPs for staff as a standard and if managed correctly they enable people to rapidly build their skills and competencies. PDPs also give employees ownership of their own professional development and ensure that as an employer, you are building the right skills across your team.
Utilise in-house talent
Often overlooked is the talent which already sits within a team. Most individuals are in their position because of a particular skill set which they employ day in and day out in their role – something they’re experts in. Utilising the expertise that already resides within your team and establishing an internal training programme is an excellent way to encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration, and will help close any skills gaps you may have.
Courses and seminars
While developing talent in-house is an excellent way to spread knowledge and skills, it’s not always an appropriate strategy that will enable you to bring new skills to your organisation easily. At times, you’ll need to complement your in-house strategy with formal courses and training. Many professional skills can be attained and honed with training courses, and they are an excellent way to bring the expertise of your team up-to-date.
One benefit of this approach is that once one or two members of your team are equipped with new skills, they can spread the knowledge throughout the rest of your team. By upskilling one team member, you can provide a platform for more shared learning and development.
Other things to consider
- Micro learning – allocate short periods of time throughout the week to allow staff to pursue new skills, whether via online tutorials, instructional videos or even mobile apps.
- ‘Lunch and learns’ – schedule monthly lunchtime sessions in which industry experts from inside or outside the business speak about what they do and how it fits into the business. You may be surprised by how much collaboration and idea-sharing takes place in these sessions as people learn about areas of the business they otherwise wouldn’t be privy to.
- Mentoring – this works particularly well for training younger or new employees. Pairing them with an experienced member of the team and allowing them to benefit from their know-how and experience is highly valuable.
- Dedicated learning space – if you have the space, allocating a computer or even a small meeting room as a space for learning is another way to encourage upskilling. Employees can book time to pursue new skills in an environment conducive with learning, away from their desks and the distractions of their day-to-day jobs.
Benefits of upskilling
Upskilling your team isn’t just about ensuring you have the right skills to meet your goals. It’s about planning for the long-term future of both your organisation and your employees. Regular training and development are the strongest retention tools in any employer’s arsenal. Employees want to feel they are valued and that their company is invested in their career. Plus, they are highly likely to stay in a job that supports their professional and personal growth.
By taking a proactive approach to training and developing your team, you’re not only ensuring you are equipped to move forward as a business but you’re also fortifying a motivated and improving workforce. It shows employees you’re genuinely invested in them and committed to helping them develop their careers.
Visit our management advice section for more insights on building a successful team and upskilling your employees.