Upskilling and Retention! 4 Tips for Upskilling Your Current Staff

You’ve got a great team working for you. They’re good people who do a good job, reliant and dependable. But it would be nice if your company could keep a better pace with new technology without having to hire a whole bunch of new people fresh to the workforce. 

What you need is to upskill your staff: Giving them access to training on new skills and abilities that meet today’s technology with an eye toward what tomorrow might bring. Upskilling is a way to keep your current team together longer by keeping everyone’s skills sharp and adding more to their abilities. 

Here’s how to create a program to upskill your team in a way that benefits everyone. 

  • First, determine where your group stands.

    If you’re looking to incorporate new technology, or new machinery, into your company, first get a good idea of how skilled everyone currently on the floor is with what you have. Conduct a skills assessment, but make it clear that this is not to call anyone out for falling behind. There’s no punishment here, just a chance for everyone to get on the same footing. This will also help when it comes time to…

  • Set SMART goals.

    This is a buzzword in company offices for a reason: SMART goals are ones that are specific, measurable, aspirational, realistic and time-bound (aka with a deadline). The goal of upskilling your workforce can be broken down into a series of interim goals, all building toward having your entire team gain a brand new set of proficiencies. Be very clear about the goal and why it matters; decide how many people need to become skilled within a certain amount of time and set about making that happen. This also gets everyone on the same page and provides a sense of ownership over a project’s success. 

  • Be accommodating.

    If you’re the one who wants the team to learn a new skill, make it easy for them to do so. Allow training and workshops to be conducted during the workday, so they don’t have to spend extra time away from their families or try to pay attention to a course or video after a long day. Setting aside time for training also conveys how important this is to you: If it’s a high enough priority that the boss cuts out time from work, it must be serious. 

  • Be realistic.

    As in, make each training topic something that is relevant and pertinent to the job at hand. Don’t spend too much time on hypotheticals. Remember in school when you had to learn about a topic that had no interest to you personally, and you wondered how you’d ever use this in real life? If you can make a direct line between this new skill and your team’s current job, or a new change on the horizon, it’s that much easier to understand why something is important to learn.

If it’s clear to your team that this is worth their time and will help them keep their skills and abilities fresh, that this is a form of job security and will help them over the long run, and not just one more thing they have to do in their eight hours on the job, their buy-in could be increased as well. 

If you’re looking for new employees that already have some of these skills or for temporary experts to help train your team, call Debbie’s Staffing. We have great job candidates ready to join your team with little notice and hit the ground running. Call Debbie’s Staffing today, and let’s get to work!