This year, like any other, is turning out to be one of change; digital and technology revolutions are only increasing in pace, political uncertainty is affecting everything, and the job market remains as competitive as ever. These factors should not be viewed as issues, but as opportunities to upskill teams and individuals in order to take advantage of the trends which will define this year, and those ahead.

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 which people in your team are capable and willing to learn, and implementing the right strategies, you can ensure that you are well ahead of the curve. Here are some cost-effective ways to upskill your team.

Personal Development Plans (PDPs)
The Personal Development Plan, or PDP, is one of the very best ways to ensure continued learning and development for employees at every level. Many organizations set PDPs for staff as a standard and if managed correctly they can enable people to rapidly build their skills and competencies. PDPs give employees ownership of their own professional development and ensure that employers are building the right skills across their team.

Utilize in-house talent
The talent which already sits within a team is often overlooked. Most people are in their position because of a particular set of skills which makes them masters at what they do. Utilizing this expertise establishing an internal training program is an excellent way to encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration, and will help to 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 is not a strategy which will enable you to bring new skills to your organization easily. To do that, you will 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 your team expertise up to date.

One benefit of this approach is that once one or two members of your team are equipped with these new skills, they can begin to spread the knowledge throughout the rest of your team. By upskilling one team member, you can provide a platform for more to learn.
Other things to consider

  •  Micro learning – allocating short periods of time throughout the week which allow and encourage staff to pursue new skills via online tutorials, instructional videos, or even mobile apps.
  • Lunch and learns – scheduling monthly lunchtime sessions in which industry experts from inside or outside the business speak about what they do and how it fits into the organization. You may be surprised by how much collaboration and ideas sharing takes place in these sessions.
  • Mentoring – this works particularly well for training up more junior employees. Pairing them with an experienced member of the team and allowing them to benefit from their know-how and experience is invaluable.
  •  Dedicated learning space – If you have the space, allocating a computer or even a small meeting room as a learning space 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 organization and your employees. Regular training and development are the strongest retention tools in any employer’s arsenal. Employees want to feel that they are valued and that their company is invested in their career and are unlikely to stay long in a job which does not provide this.

By taking a proactive approach to training and developing your team, you are not only ensuring that you are equipped to move forward as a business, but also that you have a motivated and improving workforce. It shows your employees that you are invested in them and committed to helping them develop their careers.
For more advice on building your team and upskilling existing employees contact one of our expert recruitment consultants in your sector.

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