One of the key emerging trends in the modern workplace is the ever-increasing importance of learning & development. According to statistics published by LinkedIn, the number of executives who blamed lack of L&D opportunities on budget constraints fell from 49% in 2017 to 27% in 2019.
With executives investing more in employee engagement and reaping the benefits, leaders recognise the value in upskilling current employees rather than hiring new ones based on specific skill sets. Upskilling a team is an investment into the long-term future of both the organization and employees. With regular training and development, employees feel valued and understand that their company is invested in their career, meaning that they will be less likely to look for opportunities elsewhere.
For team leaders only just beginning to invest in training of their people, here are 5 ways to upskill employees.
Allow team members to draft out their own skill ambitions
When giving employees a degree of autonomy over their own development within their career and place in the company, leaders set in place the importance of a mutual interest in upskilling. Gaps in skills and strengths should be of personal importance to agile workers, as well as to the business which hires them. With personal development plans, for example, employees and managers can together keep track of their progress and areas of improvement.
Use in-house experts
After clarifying a list of the skills that you and your employees want them to learn, one next step should be considering other employees who can train others. This has many potential advantages for your team; their availability and knowledge of the company is already at a more accessible and richer level than those of external trainers.
Most people are in their position because of a particular set of skills which makes them masters at what they do. Establishing an internal training program encourages knowledge sharing and collaboration, paving the way for a new wave of agile workers.
Sign people up to courses
When gaps in skills have been identified, employees and managers can collaborate in finding the most efficient and cost-effective courses or seminars, whether they be online or offline. Courses/workshops/webinars can be attended by just a few employees, who can additionally in turn pass on what they’ve learnt onto their peers.
For junior-level recruits, having them attend on-the-ground seminars can furthermore act as networking opportunities and a way to build their confidence in professional capacities.
Use lunch & learns
These informal seminars can be hosted by either internal or external trainers, fostering an intimate and interactive learning opportunity. For managers which want to encourage further collaboration between employees, lunch and learn sessions can be surprisingly effective ways to help nurture relationships amongst peers.
Create training guidelines for future reference
Although potentially time-consuming to write, having training manuals on hand for current and future employees to reference can be an easy way in the long-term to refresh memories on skills forgot and ensure that team members do not rely too much on the trainer after L&D sessions.
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