Putting together the perfect team is a mammoth task, and in a fast-paced world, it’s important to keep your employees in-the-know.
Many employers talk about upskilling their employees, but it’s hard to walk the walk as well – we’ve gathered some tips and resources that every employer can use to help their team grow their skills in a multitude of areas.
Why should I upskill my staff?
Investing in your employees is sometimes avoided because it’s seen as unnecessary, too expensive, too time-intensive, or risky – some employers believe training their staff will lead to them leaving the company.
On the contrary, jobs that offer their staff training and education can increase their retention and employee happiness. Staff feel valued as a part of the company, and know the company thinks them as a long-term prospect that is worth the investment.
Helping your employees upskill doesn’t need to cost excessive amounts – with free tools and classes like Hubspot and General assembly, you can provide your team with a library of tools at their fingertips. If you know a number of your team are looking to gain knowledge in similar areas, it can be cheaper and more worthwhile to bring in an external speaker or educator to run a class or act as a trainer.
Read more: How to Grow Your Team
Use your network
Linking your team up with relevant mentors in the same field provides them with access to a wealth of knowledge. You aren’t necessarily the right mentor for your direct reports – reach into your wider network and investigate if any connections would be the right mentors for each team member.
This relationship also benefits the mentor, helping them grow their own networks, get a reading on issues relevant to those newer in the industry, and the old adage of learning by teaching.
Offering your team flexible work options allows them the opportunity to study in their spare time – whether it’s a degree, short course, or informal training, giving them the option to do time-in-lieu, work from home, or take leave for exam periods shows that you value and encourage their endeavours. Many businesses also offer incentives and opportunities for those who dramatically upskill and can prove their new talents help their role and the company as a whole.
Encourage your team to attend events
If you know of relevant professional development events around, like the Hub Talks series, encourage your team to attend and take notes.
Some workspaces, like Hub Australia’s coworking spaces, offer regular professional development events and networking series for all members to make the most of their memberships.
If you’re not ready to make the move to a coworking space, keeping an eye on Eventbrite, Meetup, and other local event pages and portals will help you keep a finger on the pulse and let you recommend the best events to your team.
Talk to your team
Finding out your team’s goals, career progression, and passions all help you identify what the right areas of focus really are. There’s no point sending someone on a 2-day HR course if you know their true passions and dreams lie in accounting.
At the end of the day, your business will always benefit by people learning more in their roles, and creating opportunities for internal movement encourages and rewards them – plus it’s mostly a better option than looking externally for new roles.