Employees are your company’s most valuable asset. They’re the ones who get things done, and without them, you wouldn’t have a business. But if they don’t feel appreciated or challenged, they will quickly burn out and leave for greener pastures.
So how can you keep employees engaged? One way is through upskilling programs that give workers opportunities to learn new skills on the job. In addition to benefiting from their own upgrades, employees also contribute to improving processes at work because of their increased knowledge base. Here are some tips on how to successfully launch an employee upskilling program in your organization:
Invest in new technology
Investing in new technology, such as online courses, will ensure that employees don’t become bored with routine tasks and break their monotony. This can be done through on-demand courses on tablets so employees can learn during their downtime.
For example, in a call center, an employee can sign up for a course on handling irate customers in a lunch break or during a slow period at work.
Offer refresher courses periodically
Having employees come back and re-take old courses shows that you care about their development, and it allows them to always stay fresh with new and evolving technology.
Encourage employees to further their education
Let’s say you’re running a business involved in the medical field. Many of your employees might be considering a medical career. They might want to go back to school for their bachelor’s degrees or add more certifications for specialization, such as attending dialysis technician school. But the cost of tuition is prohibitively expensive.
To entice these employees (and encourage them to stick with you), you could offer “tuition reimbursement,” which means that your company will help fund schooling costs like books and tuition. This way, employees have a chance to better their lives while staying on the job.
A tuition reimbursement program could also help you attract new employees who are already experts in their fields. Remember that millennials – unlike older generations – expect more from employers, namely education benefits that would allow them to remain with your company for a long time.
Offer in-house training
If you’re struggling to make headway with your employees, consider investing in in-house training. Employees are more likely to invest time and effort into training accessible during their regular work hours, especially if it’s given by an expert who can provide them with the one-on-one instruction they need. This type of training will also help establish your organization as a leader in innovation.
For example, you could have an expert in the field teach employees about new materials or techniques. The time your employees spend learning will benefit them and your organization because they’ll know more about doing their jobs better.
Offer incentives for them to keep up with their skills
One way to encourage employees to keep up with their skills is by offering incentives. This could be in the form of monetary rewards, such as bonuses, or it could be in the form of extra time off. For example, if a worker gets a promotion because of their upskilled abilities, you could offer them extra vacation time to help them celebrate this milestone in their career.
Let’s say that one employee is learning how to use social media marketing to promote your company online. They’re attending classes and reading books on the topic. In turn, they’re becoming more skilled. Perhaps this worker is then promoted or given a bonus because of their newfound knowledge, which employees could use to generate revenue for the company.
Offering incentives prompts employees to continue taking classes and learning on the job because it’s beneficial to them personally and professionally.
Create an employee development plan that includes career paths and promotional opportunities for the future
Creating an employee development plan is important for any business. It allows you to outline the skills and abilities you expect your employees to have and help them grow their careers within your company.
When creating an employee development plan, you should consider the following:
- The skills and abilities that you expect your employees to have
- The career paths that are available for them within your company
- Promotional opportunities for your employees
Once you’ve outlined this, share it with your employees. They’ll appreciate knowing where they’re headed within the company and what you expect of them.
Most importantly, if an employee doesn’t have the abilities or skills to meet these demands, encourage them to find a class or develop a program that will help them upskill to become a valuable part of your business.
Employees are an organization’s most valuable asset, and they should be treated as such. Investing in their skills will help cultivate a loyal workforce invested in the company’s success. The tips provided above can also help you upskill your employees by outlining what types of training to offer them (in-house or online), how best to incentivize them for continued learning, and how to create career paths with promotional opportunities. Hence, they feel valued within your company.