How upskilling employees can benefit your company
At FDM, we believe the most important part of any business is its people. Investing in your employees and nurturing their talents by offering them the chance to upskill is essential for happy and productive employees. So, what exactly is upskilling - and what does it entail?
What is upskilling?
Upskilling is the practice of offering existing employees the opportunity to learn new skills and advance their capabilities. This may be through additional training, mentoring or peer coaching.
Employee upskilling is important for boosting staff satisfaction and retention rates, as well as future-proofing your business, ensuring you maintain a competitive edge over competitors in your industry.
There a number of additional benefits of upskilling, both for your employees and the company as a whole, including:
- Improving employee satisfaction and retention
- Allowing you to provide a better quality of service & diversify your offering
- Helping to attract new talent
Improves employee satisfaction and retention
Ensuring good employee satisfaction rates across your business is crucial for keeping productivity and quality of output high - and employee turnover rates low.
According to a study by Willis Towers Watson, 70% of “high-retention-risk” employees want to leave because they see no future advancement in the current job”, so to ensure the happiness of your employees, it’s critical that they feel valued and have clear career progression goals.
Upskilling staff is a great way to show your employees that you care about their progression and help them feel there’s something ‘in it for them’, which can in turn boost employee morale and retention rates.
Allows you to provide a better quality of service & diversify your offering
Equally as important as employee satisfaction is client satisfaction. Providing excellent experience or service to your clients is imperative to win repeat business or new clients through word of mouth recommendations or case studies.
With ever-changing business demands, new technologies and high competition, continuous upskilling can help your business keep pace and stay competitive. It’s simply not enough to do as you’ve always done, as your business will quickly fall behind. As the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work states: “Today’s skills will not match the jobs of tomorrow, and newly acquired skills may quickly become obsolete.”
Upskilling your workforce through regular training and hiring specially trained talent to integrate into your existing teams, enables you to adapt to new demands and stay agile in a competitive market. Employee upskilling can also introduce new skills into your organisation and create new specialisms, allowing you to offer new services or leverage new technologies to improve your offering.
Attracting new talent
Businesses that offer upskilling opportunities are more likely to attract new talent, as it demonstrates a commitment to employees’ professional development and career progression. It can also help to attract ambitious and driven employees who are looking to commit to a company on a long term basis.
In addition, a great track record in investing in your existing employees can help to build staff loyalty and brand advocacy, meaning they’re more inclined to recommend your organisation to friends, former colleagues and others in their network, which can make it much easier to attract an influx of new talent when positions become available..
How to upskill your workforce
Below we outline the key steps you should consider when creating an upskilling strategy for your organisation.
1. Identify your skills gap
It’s important to compile multiple sources of information when evaluating your organisation’s skills gap. Consider how your company is performing in relation to its set KPIs, its growth trajectory and examine whether there are any obvious obstacles to growth that can be overcome with additional resources and upskilling training. It’s also critical to speak to your employees first hand to gauge the key areas that require improvement and which skills they feel would be most beneficial in their day-to-day.
2. Make training ongoing and available to everyone
Ensure that all employees have access to upskilling training. This means hosting it in an easily accessible way, such as via an online portal, so staff can access it when working remotely or at a time that suits them.
If you are a multi-regional organisation, ensure you have localised training to accommodate employees with a different first language.
3. Reward and incentivise employees
While the majority of employees will likely embrace upskilling training, there will always be some employees who are less enthusiastic, whether that’s because they feel they don’t need the training, they’re simply not interested, or because they have limited time available. Consider incentivising your employees, either by giving them recognition (shout outs, leaderboards or positive reinforcement) or by rewarding them with prizes or financial incentives.
4. Ensure training is accessible for all
Don’t forget that all employees will have different learning styles and needs. Make sure you offer upskilling training in a range of different formats so it’s accessible to all. This means taking into account any employees that may have visual or auditory impairments, as well as catering for neurodiverse employees.
Closing your skills gap with FDM
FDM is one of the UK’s leading providers of business ready diverse tech talent. Partnering with FDM can help to fill speciality skills gaps and boost the overall skillset of your workforce.
If you need real business impact, fast, we can provide a pipeline of talent via our Graduate, Ex-Forces and Returners Programmes. This offers a flexible and effective alternative to upskilling as it allows you to bring in specially-trained professionals to meet new demands or challenges.
Our consultants receive ongoing development support during their placement with your business, meaning you too, can reap the benefits of the ongoing upskilling that we provide them.