The best times to upskill your team


ave you ever been required to complete a training course that turned out to be a total waste of time? Whether the content was irrelevant, or too basic, or the suggestions were never implemented, it’s a depressingly common experience, and even worse, a totally avoidable one!

If you’re thinking about upskilling your team, you have the potential to reap a huge number of long-term benefits. However, there are undoubtedly both good and bad times to implement upskilling programs for your team.

For example, good training is often directed to the wrong people. It’s easy to see a course on the topic of “Positive Leadership Practices'', and assume that it’s perfect for your leadership team. After all, leaders should do leadership training, right?

FREE Guide: How to Upskill Your Sales Team & Create Sales Champions

Actually, your leaders almost certainly know all the practices taught in the course, having learned them all through experience already. Requiring them to complete a basic leadership course will simply be an irritating drain on everyone’s time.

It is critical for training to always meet the genuine needs of learners. Delivering the wrong courses at the wrong time to learners creates long term frustration and resistance to learning and development initiatives in organisations. 

So, what are the best moments to deliver upskilling training?

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Onboarding programs

Did you know that as many as 40% of employees leave new roles if they don’t receive the correct training within the first six months? Starting a new role is daunting at best, but leaving new recruits unequipped and underwater can be crippling. Sadly, many organisations see onboarding as a one-hour or one-day event. A quality onboarding program should include ongoing training, upskilling and mentoring for three to twelve months where possible.

Implementing new strategies or processes

While your established teams may not need training for the skills they already know, they can still benefit enormously from training designed to improve internal processes or communication. As technology rapidly evolves and employees shift remote, the ways we work need updating and new patterns implemented. Training can be critical for aspects such as conducting online meetings and managing remote teams.

New roles and responsibilities

A vital time for delivering effective training is when a team member takes on a new role or new responsibilities. Instead of directing leadership training to your established leaders, direct it to your brand new leaders, who lack the knowledge of experience.

Capturing internal knowledge

If your organisation has a cohort of experienced employees with considerable organisational knowledge, then it’s critical to capture their experience to pass on to newer recruits. Ask them to identify knowledge they have learned on-the-job and over time, and explore how this information could be turned into shareable training courses for others to tap into. HowToo is a great tool for capturing this kind of knowledge, as the easy-to-use course creation software uses templates and in-built learning science to allow anyone to create top-quality courses incredibly quickly.

When should you start upskilling your employees?

Boredom or stagnation

If you are a part of an established business, you may find your teams are falling into patterns or ruts of performing the same tasks over and over without innovation. If this is the case, your organisation risks low employee satisfaction, low productivity and a high turnover rate. A learning and development program can combat this by introducing new ideas and challenging teams to grow and innovate.

Plugging skill gaps

If your team finds itself held back by a lack of knowledge in certain areas or skills, but unable to hire to fill those gaps, then upskilling your existing team members can be the perfect solution. Some of your team members may already be interested in learning new skills, but without the current means to do so. By creating time and methods for your team members to upskill, you can fix a skill gap quickly and cost-effectively.

Survey your team

The best way to identify upskilling needs in your team is by asking! Your team members will know if they are stagnating, or if skill gaps are hampering your team’s productivity. With a few well-placed conversations or a survey, you can identify the training needs of your team to effectively build and deliver an upskilling program to meet those needs.

Know you need to upskill your team, but not sure where to start? Check out our post on the best methods for upskilling your team.

Free guide. The best ways to upskill your team. Download now.

Jul 8, 2021
Learning Culture

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