How to Encourage Employee
Upskilling at Your Company

See also: Personal Development Planning

The business world has been constantly evolving over the past decade or two because of the popularity and growth of the internet. But over the past year or so, it has been changing drastically because of the introduction of AI. As a result of AI and how quickly it is evolving, employees, too, need to evolve with the tech, or they, along with your company, will get left behind in the dust.

One way to get your employees to keep up with the times is by implementing a well-planned employee upskilling strategy. So, in this article we share some of the top techniques that should be part of your strategy…

Do a ton of research

To successfully implement upskilling, you need to get two things right: one is to figure out where the industry is headed and what skills matter now and in the future, and the other is to figure out what your employees want to learn and how to make it fun. You need to start with a ton of research to get this right.

You need to look into your industry trends, competitors, and various other data resources and figure out where the industry is headed. After that, you must survey and interview your employees to learn about what they want to learn and what encourages them to participate.

Offer online courses

Once you know what skills your employees need and the best way to deliver it to them, you can start creating online courses (also known as e-learning). Offline in-person courses can also be an option, but online courses should be the priority as they make it possible for even remote employees to join in. Some of the instructors can also take part remotely. This makes it easy for you to also invite guests to take part.

There are chiefly three types of online courses that should be part of the curriculum. These include…

  • Live webinars: These should be short one to two hour webinars where you teach employees something quick. You can also have Q&A sessions where attendees can ask follow-up questions.

  • Guided courses: These are courses that last for weeks and even months. The courses can be a combination of live online classes and recordings. You can also give employees homework to ensure they implement what they learn. Try to create workbooks to make it easy for them to quickly implement their learning.

  • On-demand courses: These are courses where everything is recorded beforehand, and employees can watch them any time they want.

You can use online course platforms that make it easy to set up a course website where your employees can easily access the different course types. But a better alternative would be to hire LMS developers to create a custom website that accommodates all your different types of courses and also reflects your brand. Another benefit of using this is that you pay a one-time fee instead of constantly paying high subscription fees to a SaaS platform.

Create custom learning paths

To ensure every employee learns all the required skills, you should create custom learning paths. This is where you assess the role of your employee and their future at the company and suggest courses that would improve their skills immediately and in the future.

Make courses fun

Did you know that 98% of people don’t complete the online courses they take? Shocking, isn’t it? One of the reasons for this is that most contain rubbish information and are boring. To counter this, you need to make sure your courses contain top-quality information and are delivered in a fun manner.

One of the things you can include is humor. Try to get instructors to include jokes here and there in their presentations. Another thing you can add is a quiz. Let employees quiz themselves after taking the course to see how well they learn. But when using quizzes, you need to be careful not to make them too hard because if they fail, they might lose morale and give up the course midway.

Gamify participation

Another technique to encourage participation is to gamify the process. One thing you can try is a leaderboard. The leaderboard could be based on how much time employees spend learning or how much they score on the quizzes. Many employees will take part just because they covet the top spots, but you can add an extra incentive by giving away prizes. This could be extra time off, a holiday, or a physical gift like a watch.

Offer time

Employees will be more likely to do the courses if you give them time during work hours instead of forcing them to borrow time from their off-work hours. Some extremely motivated employees might be okay with dedicating their personal life to upskill, but most won’t. The best way to do this is to set aside a specific time on a specific day of the week when employees can watch courses and do other activities like finish the quizzes.

Assign accountability partners

Another thing that can help employees complete their courses is to pair them with an accountability partner who can regularly check up on them. This could be a mentor at the company or a colleague who is doing the same course.

For the best results, you should offer both: pair them with a colleague and get someone experienced to monitor their course progress and check up on them. They should be able to contact this person with any questions. Make sure the mentor is well-trained with offering polite feedback without pressuring employees too much.

Track and use data

Data doesn’t lie, so get your analytics team to keep track of various metrics such as watch time, course completion rates, quiz participation rates, quiz completion rates, drop-off rates, and how all these metrics affect productivity, engagement, and profits. This will help you determine if your upskilling strategy is working or if you need to make modifications.

You might also want to survey and interview employees to gather even more data.

Now get your employees to upskill

These are some of the techniques that should be part of your upskilling strategy. You don’t have to use all of them at once. Experiment with them one at a time and use the ones that make a difference and leave out the ones that don’t. And be patient with the results, as upskilling all the employees at your company and seeing the fruits of their combined efforts can take a while.

About the Author

Rachel Bowland is the content manager at Social Marketing Writing and Creatiwitt - she likes to write about marketing and design.