Up, Up and… Stay! How to upskill your employees to increase retention

Today’s work environment is constantly changing.  Just about every company is trying to find ways to source new employees and retain the employees they have.  What if these two objectives were more closely aligned?  Upskilling is providing current employees with enhanced skills to meet challenging and changing environments.  It’s about giving them the skills for the future and making them more agile and valuable to the organization.   

How does this benefit the company?

  • Employees have the skills to perform their job today, and in the future as the company’s needs change.
  • Current employees, who have proven success, are prepared to advance to higher level positions.  It is often easier to hire and train lower-level positions.  
  • Increases employee’s engagement, satisfaction, and performance, which of course leads to higher retention. 

Providing employees with new skills requires training.  This could mean developing a completely new training program that addresses the new skills that are needed.  But that often can be a budget breaker.  Upskilling your employees doesn’t necessarily mean you need to a new training program.  There are many other ways to address staff upskilling without starting from scratch or breaking your budget.  

Orgwide has found some creative ways to upskill for our clients by using the training that they currently have, or already have in the development plans.  

  1. Re-purpose current training – A training program may have been developed to meet a particular position’s competencies.  With the changing environment, are those competencies now applicable to other positions?  For example, customer service training was developed for in-person employees.  Can any of this training be used for the expanding call center associates who work with on-line customers?
  1. Create training with dual audiences – As you develop a program, are these competencies or skills that could be used for additional positions?    Develop the curriculum to be easily adapted to other positions.
  1. Offer training program access to others – Give employees the opportunity to learn new skills by offering them access to training for different positions.  For example, give a front-line supervisor access to certain mid-management training like financial acumen or problem solving.  Or give a line-level employee access to supervisor training to prepare them for the future.  

These are just a few examples that we’ve helped clients with this past month!  Other ideas include:

  • Mentoring – This tried-and-true format still makes a great impact on employees.  And you can help steer the program to focus on specific competencies.
  • Shadowing – This is more focused on everyday skills and behaviors than a mentoring program.  
  • Micro-learning – If you aren’t ready (or your budget’s not ready) for a full-blown upskilling program, start with some small programs.  Include both custom and curated content to maximize the program.  

Helping employees gain more skills is what we do every day at Orgwide.  Give us a call to discuss how you can repurpose your current programs or develop new ones to upskill your employees and meet your company’s changing needs.