The benefits of upskilling your employees

It’s not easy to retain talent, and it’s expensive to lose a good worker. So, it’s actually sound financial advice to invest in your employees. Whether it’s with online training resources or by going back to school, when you upskill someone, you’re making them more valuable to the organisation. While there’s a risk they’ll take those skills that you invested in to get another job, more likely they’ll feel a deeper connection to the company. By upskilling someone, you’re building a relationship, fostering trust and developing a more loyal employee.

According to a study conducted by the Center for American Progress, the cost of having to replace an employee and train a new one is between 16% of an average salary to 213% for a more highly skilled one. There are many avenues for a manager to get their team retrained. Some involve more of a financial investment, but it doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive.

On the Job Training

For on the job training, you may not have to enroll your team in a training course or hire a professional trainer, as you probably have experienced team members who could act as guides. It’s a bit more than mentoring, really, as you’d likely want to create a structured training module to target what skills need addressing. One option is to use a scheduling tool to schedule official training sessions at work, where new skills can be taught by existing team members in a more formal setting.

There’s also a lot to be said about giving a team member more responsibility, so they can learn on the job. In this case, however, you’ll want to have a senior team member work with them to make sure they’re learning correctly. Task lists can be very useful in this situation, ensuring that employees in training don’t miss a crucial step.

If you prefer, there are trainers that can come to your office and conduct seminars on various topics to teach new skills to employees. These can be set up after work or perhaps during a lunch hour. You might want to offer a retreat or some other more sustained venture, depending on the skills being taught.

Virtual Training

Online courses offer another way to help get teams up to snuff. This is especially helpful if you’re already working with distributed teams who can’t be gathered together under one roof. If your company has more than one location, then online training courses are the key to getting your workforce retrained.

Online technology is such that all you need to do is schedule a time for employees to log into the system and the facilitator will lead them in the training. The teacher can upload documents, videos and offer online testing to make sure that the students understand the assignments. You can even create chat rooms or breakout rooms for more one-on-one or group assignments.

Some courses offer what’s called micro-learning, short web-based units on a topic that only take five to 10 minutes. These can be soft skills or anything that doesn’t involve a deep dive. They can be used at a coffee break, the beginning or end of the day or really at any time the team member has a few minutes to spare.

Off the Job Training

Sometimes the old ways are the best. There are some skills that just can’t be gained unless they’re taught in a formal fashion. These are the traditional avenues, such as workshops, seminars, conferences or going back to school.

This is, naturally, a more expensive venture, so it’s something you might not want to engage with unless you have a substantial number of team members who require this type of education, which would make it more cost-effective. It’s best if an off-the-job training is limited to a shorter period, which saves money.

There are advantages to this type of learning, like obtaining a certification or some document stating the student has completed the course of study. You can also easily track their progress as the course of study is more structured.

Benefits

Employee Retention

Employees who are challenged to develop and grow are often the happiest ones at an organization. If your company works to retain tenured employees, it will prove that you are making a solid investment in the people, which is sure to boost morale and productivity. Employees who are challenged to grow outside of their roles tend to get excited about what might be around the corner for them.

Customer Satisfaction

If you have happy employees, you are far more likely to have happy customers. Content employees are typically more invested in the company, they promote the corporate brand within the organisation and to your customers. Typically, happy customers tend to be loyal customers as well.

The Bottom Line

It is expensive to lose and replace tenured associates. You are losing the investment you made in the current individual, not just because of any talent development you paid for, but also because when that individual leaves, they take all their knowledge and experience with them.

Now you have to pay not only to advertise the new role, for the recruitment process, the time it takes to interview candidates, any hiring bonuses that new individual may require and also the time it will take the new individual to ramp up into the new position. Simply losing one employee can be a hit on the bottom line.

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