A group of employees undergoing upskills training

The Importance of Employee Upskilling

6 min read | Jan 22, 2024
 Marta Gongos- Ad Culture By Marta Gongos

If you want your business to thrive in the competitive and ever-changing market, you need to invest in your most valuable asset: your employees.

The importance of upskilling isn’t just performance-related; it helps keep employees around even in a competitive job market and attracts new talent, too. Teaching your people new skills and helping them refine the ones they have is also a surefire way to boost employee engagement!

But what is upskilling? What does upskill training look like? We’re going to cover all that and more in this blog, so keep reading to find out!

What is Upskilling?

Employee upskilling is the process of teaching your employees new or advanced skills relevant to their current or future roles. It’s like levelling up your team with upskilling training programs and thus creating growth opportunities for them!

The Benefits of Upskilling Employees

The importance of upskilling for you as a business is in preparing for the future, as new technologies and growing industries are driving massive changes. Job roles are changing in 2024… can your team keep up?

To keep your business competitive, your talent needs to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and sector developments. Employee upskilling is your key to preparing your talent for rapid changes, making it an investment you shouldn’t neglect.

When you learn how to upskill employees, you reap the benefits of:

    Improved productivity and efficiency
    More innovation and creativity
    Increased employee engagement and satisfaction
    Reduced turnover and hiring costs
    A workplace culture that attracts talent

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Image Source: Canva

How to Plan and Execute Upskill Training Programs in 6 Steps

Now that you understand the importance of upskilling, it’s time to look at how can you upskill employees successfully. Here’s a 6-step guide!

1. Assess Current and Future Skill Gaps

Before anything else, you want to identify the skill gaps in your organization by conducting what’s known as a skills gap analysis. Here’s how:

  1. Conduct a skills audit of your team’s capabilities
  2. Analyze your current employees’ performance data
  3. Review feedback from customers or stakeholders
  4. Weight these results against industry trends to identify training and development opportunities

💡 Pro tip: Review your strategic goals and vision and check how they align with the skills of your employees—this should help you figure out how to upskill your employees!

2. Define Learning Objectives and Outcomes

After a thorough review of your skill gap analysis, the next step is to define the learning objectives and outcomes for your upskill training.

What do they need to learn (objective) and why (outcome)? The second part is particularly important if you want employees to buy into their upskilling training program, as they need to see how the learning will apply to their role.

You should also have a plan for how you will measure the progress and impact of your strategy (we’ll tell you more about this in step six).

Related Resource: 6 Steps to Create a Performance Improvement Plan

3. Choose the Best Learning Methods and Formats

Everyone has different learning styles and preferences, meaning it will take some thinking to determine the best format for your upskill training.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer that works for everyone, there are probably some employee training methods that would be more effective than others. If your team is generally talkative and outgoing, consider making it collaborative. Conversely, if your team usually works independently, pre-recorded training may be better.

You also have to consider what works for the person or people delivering the upskill training, as well as the company itself. Available time and resources matter.

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Image Source: Canva

4. Deliver Upskill Training Programs

With that decided, it’s time to get with the program—literally!

Your employee upskilling program can be something you deliver internally (through internal workshops or mentorship programs), or you could invest in skill development courses or eLearning opportunities that your employees can take at their own pace.

💡 Pro tip: Make sure you provide feedback, support, and guidance to your employees throughout the learning process!

5. Offer Incentives to Encourage Employee Uspkilling

To ensure the success of your recently-debuted skills development strategy, you have to encourage employees to participate. Do so by supporting your upskill training with motivating incentives, which can take several different forms:

    Tuition reimbursements
    Flexible work arrangements
    Performance incentives
    Recognition and appreciation
    Career advancement opportunities

6. Evaluate Results and Outcomes

The final (but not-so-final) step on how to upskill employees is to crunch numbers. Well, depending on your data it might not be numbers, but the point stands!

Employee upskilling isn’t something that happens once—it’s a long-term investment. As you implement your upskilling strategies, you’ll see that there’s always room for improvement. So, make sure to evaluate the results and outcomes of your skills development programs.

The importance of upskilling is in the results, and some tools that can help you evaluate them and the associated outcomes include:

    Skills assessments
    Performance reviews
    Customer satisfaction reviews
    Employee feedback

A close-up of an employee performance review document
Image Source: Canva

Hire Employees Worth Upskilling with Ad Culture’s Help

So, what is upskilling? As you’ve learned, it’s investing in your team’s development to help them grow their careers and your business. However, it all starts with hiring rockstar employees committed to levelling up—that’s where we can help!

Ad Culture is a Toronto-based recruitment agency specializing in digital marketing and advertising. We have a wide network of qualified candidates who are great fits for your current needs while also having the potential to grow and learn through upskill training.

Are you still wondering how to upskill employees? Contact us today!

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