Employee satisfaction plays a key role in a business’s success. After all, without happy people to work alongside or to help customers with inquiries, the workplace can suffer. How might small business owners help their employees be more contented at work and, in turn, increase overall productivity? One solution, which has quickly gained traction since the Great Resignation, is to invest in upskilling for employees. Let’s explore this rising trend and how you can use employee upskilling to boost your business.
What Is Upskilling?
Essentially, upskilling is the improvement of a person’s skillset. In a work setting, it refers to opportunities for employees to enhance their capabilities by learning new skills, receiving additional training and through peer coaching or mentoring to fill any gaps. Although it also refers to employees seeking these opportunities on their own, an ever-increasing number of employers are seeing the benefits of providing talent development strategies for their workers.
How Upskilling Benefits Employees & Businesses
It’s clear to see how upskilling can be beneficial to employees. For instance, by expanding their skillsets, workers could perform a current job more effectively; grow their careers by advancing to a new position; and improve their adaptability in today’s continuously changing workforce.
Feeling excited about and confident in their jobs are also results of broadening a skillset or becoming a more prominent member of the team. Additionally, data shows that employees in a supportive work environment with an emphasis on nurturing a culture of learning report a higher rate of satisfaction, along with noticeable improvements to morale and teamwork.
The advantages of upskilling for businesses are also vast and have the potential to make serious waves across all industries. Chiefly, upskilling helps close the skill gaps present in a company’s workforce. As technology swiftly advances, organizations of all shapes and sizes must be able to adjust accordingly. By helping existing staff members stay on the cutting edge of technology and keep pace with innovative software updates, sophisticated automation tools and more, the team as a whole can become more rounded and primed for future success.
Then, there is the increased rates of retention among staff that stems from the enriched satisfaction and morale. Since onboarding and training new employees is an expensive aspect of any business, it pays to ensure employees feel valued and want to stay. When turnover rates are low, it works to improve the bottom line and maintain a high quality of output. Upskilling has the power to persuade employees to stay because it shows that the organization cares about their progression and happiness within the company.
Similarly, a business that offers upskilling opportunities is also attractive to prospective employees for numerous reasons. First, it shows that a company has a strong dedication to its employees. Second, it works to attract ambitious individuals who are looking to make a long-term commitment to a company. Finally, a serious investment in the growth of new employees can promote brand advocacy, as loyal staff are more inclined to recommend it to others within their networks. With these advantages, it could be easier to find new talent when the need arises.
Onward and Upward
All these benefits and more can help your organization gain a competitive edge while boosting productivity and working to future-proof the business. Whether it’s by introducing new skills, enhancing existing ones or creating specialisms in the team, upskilling may be just the ticket to give your company leverage and improve overall operations.
Getting started can be straightforward. The foremost task is to identify employee skill gaps inside the organization. Ensure the evaluation is composed of input from multiple sources — such as first-hand accounts from employees — and properly gauges the key areas requiring improvement. It’s also essential to make the opportunities available, accessible and accommodating to all staff.
Lastly, consider incentivizing the training to draw those who are less enthusiastic or limited on time. Such enticements might include financial incentives, positive reinforcement, prizes or special recognition among peers.
For more information on how upskilling is good for business, please see the accompanying resource.
Nicole Marie is Senior Content Executive at Michael Page, an international recruiting firm. Before joining the recruitment industry, she worked in media and journalism. She now covers employment trends and insights in a variety of industries such as construction, technology and marketing.