Thanks mostly to technology, today’s professionals must constantly be advancing their skill set. Both employees and employers have a responsibility to ensure that everyone has the skills they need to stay relevant in today’s business environment.

Unfortunately, there usually isn’t a lot of spare time in the workday to dedicate to learning, especially when it comes to learning complex, difficult skills. Consider the following tips on how to upskill your workforce as efficiently as possible.

Training Should Often Be on an Individual Basis

Although there are situations where training must be conducted on a group basis, companies generally need to think about upskilling on an individual scale.

In addition to developing upskilling objectives from the top-down, a staff survey can figure out what employees want to learn and the abilities they want to acquire or expanded upon. Training can then be customized to target abilities gaps, interest and effectiveness.

Coaching as Part of the Company Culture

In your organization, company leaders ought to see themselves as coaches and facilitators. If you can establish a strong coaching culture in your company, a lot of upskilling will take place on the job.

Upskilling doesn’t need to take place through formal events. A coaching mentality lends itself to on-the-fly guidance and direction, and company leaders ought to get creative in their coaching.

Have an Official Mentoring Program

For mentoring to be most effective, there should be genuine trust and respect between both parties. When someone is assigned a mentor, it makes building trust a more difficult proposition than if than relationship comes about naturally.

With this in mind, set up one or more pools of mentors and mentees, as opposed to allocating pairs. Allow people in these pools to self-select their mentoring partner. Also, encourage “open relationships”; so mentors and mentees don’t have to stick with a situation that isn’t working.

It’s also helpful to encourage mentoring outside your company. Often, there’s added value to having an outside mentor because they can see problems with greater objectivity.

Ensure Training Sessions are Short and Sweet

All-day training sessions can be rather suboptimal: They’re challenging to manage for staff members who have their own workload to worry about and are actually associated with low rates of knowledge retention. Instead, try to find ways to deliver training in bite-size chunks, like a daily series of 45-minute sessions.

One bite-sized approach to training is microlearning: three- to five-minute training sessions generally delivered online. Microlearning fits easily into a workday and uses interactive elements like apps and games.

Activate Internal Talent and Knowledge

Upskilling doesn’t have to involve bringing in an outside expert or training modules. It can be achieved through cross-training opportunities and training sessions run by staff members. Although there may be costs associated with taking people away from the jobs to teach others, these costs can typically much lower than those associated with hiring a trainer or buying training modules.

Let Us Support Upskilling in Your Organization

At Cornerstone, we support our clients’ upskilling efforts through talent acquisition and human resources solutions. Please contact us today to find out how we can support the success of your organization.

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