5 Ways to Upskill Your Workforce

Caroline Chessia | January 27, 2022

Identifying top internal hires and promoting them can help you fill employment gaps and increase employee loyaltyWorker shortages have become the new normal. As of August 2021, there were one million more job openings than people seeking work – and that trend continues today. Some of these labor market pains have improved as the worst peaks of COVID-19 have started to subside, but the reality is there are more open positions than employees to fill them, and will be for the foreseeable future. This means two things for you and your company: to be competitive in recruiting and retaining employees – you need to level up your hiring strategy and upskill your workforce.

To remain competitive in 2022, employers must recognize the stress that open positions can have on existing employee morale. HuffPost reports that employers need to adapt their recruitment strategies to avoid larger issues like high turnover, increased training costs, and diminishing brand reputation. 

Another way to combat the candidate-driven market is to upskill and promote from within. Identifying top internal hires and promoting them can help you fill employment gaps and increase employee loyalty. Additionally, the gaps they leave once promoted are for positions with less responsibility, making them (potentially) easier to fill.

What Exactly Is Upskilling?

Most executives now cite “upskilling” as their company’s top talent acquisition strategy due to its relative cost-effectiveness. It makes a lot of sense to have existing employees learn new skills to become more valuable in their current roles. When thinking about upskilling your employees, we advise a multi-pronged approach that includes investing in your employee’s knowledge base as well as giving them the support they need within the company to grow and develop.

How Can Companies Successfully Upskill Their Workforce?

1. Deliver bite-sized education with online micro-lessons that accommodate busy professionals.

Give these micro-lessons as a part of your employees weekly one-to-one, or incorporate more than one employee in the lesson and train a group weekly or bi-weekly. Encourage your employee to seek outside opportunities to learn and practice their skill, whether it be through books, online courses, or speaking with their coworkers.

2. Connect employees with senior mentors who can share tips, advice, and best practices.

Creating a work environment that promotes mentorship also promotes increased teamwork and cooperation. When a less experienced employee has a designated person to approach for workplace questions, issues are more likely to get resolved and their learning curve will ramp up much faster.

3. Encourage self-training by paying for classes, workshops, seminars, and college courses.

Conferences, classes, and workshops all add to the knowledge base of your staff. Helping your employees gain the skills they need to reach the next stage of their career will pay off in loyalty. Many hiring managers prefer to find a candidate with all the skills necessary for a role, but an employee who is able to continuously learn and grow in their role within the company is happier and more engaged with their job.

4. Train managers to coach, making employee guidance and feedback part of their core responsibilities.

This is similar to having mentorship opportunities within your company – make sure your employees have someone to turn to when they have questions or ideas. Employees are more likely to feel unsatisfied and disengaged with their job when they are ignored by their manager. Train managers to coach their employees and support them, especially new hires.

5. Allow your employees to develop in areas they find interesting to keep them motivated and engaged with their job.

People quit for many reasons, but among them is boredom and feeling disengaged in their work. Managers should know when their employees are happy and engaged with their job, and when they aren’t. If you notice your employees lacking engagement – ask what they would like to work on and lead them in that direction. Lack of engagement often stems from doing the same thing over and over, without opportunities to learn new skills or evolve at work. 

Make Sure You’re Making The Right Hiring Decisions The First Time With Video Interviewing Technology

Upskilling your workforce is an important part of your retention strategy, but equally important is hiring the right candidate. Look for the person with the right cultural fit for your company that you’ll be able to upskill as time goes on.

With a dedicated suite of video interviewing and scheduling tools, interviewstream can help you hire the right candidate everytime. Get in touch with us for a chance to demo our technology, or just to chat about how we can help you optimize your hiring strategy.

About The Author

Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.

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