Upskilling is the process of investing in contracted employees in order to improve retention rates. The cost of high staff turnover can be astronomical and, for many organisations, losing people who have cost money to recruit and train can feel like a disappointing development. That’s especially so as these costs can really add up over time and make a significant hole in the budget. Upskilling helps existing employees to learn new skills and insights so that they can go on to bigger and better roles within an organisation. It boosts engagement, enjoyment and, ultimately, retention too.
Why upskill your employees?
- Improving your customer service. Contented staff make for happy customers so it is well worth investing in the happiness of your workforce if you want this to be reflected in your customer service. When employees are engaged they are better advocates for the business and more able to communicate vision and values. This tends to lead to happier customers, who are also more loyal.
- Avoiding financial loss. If you’re losing people simply because there is no space for them to improve in the business or their career path has come to an end due to a lack of skills then this can have a very negative impact on the bottom line. It’s not just about the time and effort that has gone into finding and training that individual but also the knowledge, insight and expertise they will take with them when they leave.
- Challenging and developing employees improves retention rates. It’s the staff who are being regularly challenged to go further and make more of themselves that tend to be the happiest. This habit of getting outside a comfort zone can set a positive example to others, inspiring more productivity and growth all round.
Where do you start when it comes to upskilling?
There are lots of different ways to make upskilling an essential part of your business culture and an asset to the organisation going forward.
- Establish personal development plans. The best way to approach this is to give people the opportunity to design their own personal development plans, as they are likely to be more committed to the process this way. These should outline the skills that employees want to work on and the competencies that they want to gain as well as other areas for improvement.
- Give people the option of time to dedicate to upskilling. If your staff need to use their own personal time, lunch breaks etc then they are less likely to commit than if you have dedicated business time every day for upskilling.
- Start with upskilling that applies specifically to the needs of your organisation. It’s a good idea to be open to the capabilities and skills that staff identify they want to acquire. However, when you’re beginning with upskilling you can start with giving people the opportunity to learn more about the systems and software that are vital to your business.
These are just some of the advantages of upskilling your employees, and the best ways to get started. Contact us if you need advice or assistance in developing an upskilling strategy and implementation plan.