We live in a complex era where the availability of skilled talent for futuristic technologies has not kept up with the ever-increasing demand. It is an era where big data and cloud have become business necessities and machine learning and automation are set to lead the next stage of innovation. Hence, having the right talent has become more critical than ever to keep up with the pace of technological advancement for competitive advantage. While opening the gates to a new talent pool is preferred by most organizations to ensure that business does not suffer due to talent shortage, it’s crucial to consider a viable but often unpopular option of reskilling the existing ranks of employees and incentivizing them to take on new-age roles.
While an obvious benefit of reskilling the current workforce and moving them to new-age technologies is that it helps curb attrition of the existing, culturally-fit talent pool, there’s also the question of cost. Employee turnover can be expensive and that is without factoring in the difficulties of finding skilled professionals who can hit the ground running when it comes to ‘hot’ technologies. Studies show that the cost of a single worker leaving could be as much as $25,000. Add to it the cost associated with interviewing and hiring a replacement; and the new hire’s training and development. There’s also the cost attached to the new talent’s ‘market value’ too. Often, professionals with cutting edge skills are not only in high demand but they command a premium.
So, how can employers avoid this cost-intensive scenario and entice their employees to stay, while mitigating a widening skill gap and ensuring their training remains updated and relevant in the ever-changing marketplace? The answer to this lies in upskilling the existing workforce while inducting new talent where required.
Creating upskilling opportunities at your workplace is always a smart decision. It is a smaller investment than hiring and training a new worker. As your employees upskill, you create a more well-rounded, cross-trained workforce that can increase your team’s effectiveness. Forward-thinking companies that consider what they want their employees to learn and what training methods are best for their goals, reap the benefits with people who are good at their jobs, making them more motivated and likely to stay with the company.
How can you upskill your workforce?
A discovery phase can be conducted to see what skills you would need in your employee base down the road. The goal is to be proactive and stay ahead of the industry demands in the future. This would give you an edge over your competitors.
Make training opportunities available and affordable.
There might be employees with high productivity and great morale that you’ll want to focus on more. That’s fine. But make sure that everyone has access to the opportunities you are providing. It might surprise you to see who takes the most advantages from your offerings.
Conduct lunch-and-learn training sessions
These can be attractive for employees who do not have the time to fit in training in the middle of a hectic workday. You can help these employees by getting external experts to lead sessions during lunch breaks or maybe tap an employee with expertise in the subject.
Accommodate different learning styles
Some people might do best sitting in a traditional classroom with their trainer while some may prefer walking through courses online. Others might prefer microlearning which can boost an employee’s understanding of a software program, with quick burst-learning, like watching 15-minute videos that cover topics in small increments. Providing something for all learning styles will engage the maximum number of employees. You can find a learning partner who has capabilities who can adapt to all these learning styles. In fact, at Edureka, we have already worked with forward-thinking clients in customizing and providing blended learning models that addresses all needs, so it’s recommended to keep an open mind to styles and not get limited to classroom training.
Reward employees for their upskilling efforts
Motivation is the key, hence, give your employees some incentives on completing their training, to reinforce its importance. Positive recognition leads to a happier and more productive workforce.
Why is up-skilling a must do?
Nature of jobs is shifting
Technology innovations are affecting every company and every employee. Automation has taken away many jobs but at the same time has replaced the human workforce with new roles that require new skills with higher value. People who could do their jobs without very strong technical abilities, just a couple of years ago, must now incorporate different technology tools in their everyday tasks. In fact, this is the problem statement that prompted us to build a free for all Tech Career Guide that any technology professional or organization can refer for their career path and learning goals, because finding and developing people with digital business skills is not just in the interest of organizations but also the IT industry as a whole.
Improves retention and attracts new talent
People tend to like to work for a firm that takes care of their future. Upskilling your employees will ensure that their skill sets don’t become obsolete, and this shows how much you care about their careers. When employees feel a sense of purpose in their organization, they become strong brand advocates. They are more likely to recommend your company to their network. This would build you a wide pool of diverse talent to choose from whenever there is a need to expand your team.
Development programs boost morale, satisfaction amongst employees, and succession planning. Every time you invest in your staff by supporting them with upskilling opportunities, they feel valued, and in turn, grow more loyal to the company. Also, when they learn new skills, they are all ready to take the next step in their career path with the company, and that’s a win-win situation for both the employee and the organization. The employee gets a desired promotion, and the organization gets to fill an important position with a skilled worker who can hit the ground running.
Minimal mistakes lead to maximum productivity
Being trained in a field ensures that the individual is fully competent to perform the task in question with minimal errors. By continuously training your employees to be fully competent, will reduce the time needed to rectify errors. Well-trained employees make a more profitable business, where your staff is proud of the product they produce, which in turn produces more revenue for the business.
The road to success is paved with upskilling, providing you with an abundance of advantages, from motivating your employees to monetary savings for your company in the long run. It’s in the organization’s best interests to allow your employees to develop their career paths and then offer the resources to help them achieve their goals. In summary, taking time to invest in upskilling employees is cost-effective and will motivate them to stay with you and help your organization grow and thrive while providing you with a team equipped with cutting-edge skills.