Upskilling is the process of providing your employees with the tools, resources and time they need to advance their careers and develop personally.

Why is upskilling important? Mainly because it makes your team more valuable and able to reap rich rewards through your firm. It’s an investment in your own organization, and it won’t take long to feel the difference in the way your entire workforce operates.

Up-skilling of employees can often be done internally, without spending any additional money. Here’s how you can harness the full potential of your team.

1. Peer-to-Peer Mentoring

Peer-to-peer mentoring is one of the best ways to upskill a team of professionals, especially if different skill levels and levels of expertise are represented on your payroll.

There are mentoring apps and external programs that you can enroll your employees in. You can even start a peer-to-peer program within your walls. The benefits of this second option should be clear – the knowledge being shared will be highly relevant specifically to your field of work, as will the skills that each pair or group possesses alongside each other.

Pair making has been shown to improve productivity and job satisfaction; It also seeks to strengthen interpersonal relationships among your team members and build them into your company culture. When these channels of communication are kept open and free, the office becomes a more attractive place to work.

2. Personal Development Plans

Self-evaluation is important in the professional world. Personal development plans are one way you can enable your employees to identify gaps in their knowledge and skills and set goals for themselves.

Essentially, a personal development plan is an employee’s way of meeting their goals and aspirations and aligning them to an actionable plan that results in personal growth. Once you have a clear idea of ​​what people are saying they need, you, as their employer, will be able to figure out how to best meet those needs, both for you and theirs.

You can find a whole host of personal development plan templates online, and they can be implemented in any way that feels right to you. You can invite your team to use it on a daily or weekly basis, or more broadly as a means of performance appraisal. Either way, individual development plans keep your team’s eyes on the horizon.

3. Microlearning and Micro Courses

A traditional upper-level degree is also one of the most generous gifts you can give your employees. However, not all companies have the means to educate their employees to a master’s level.

If you’re a small company, a start-up, or some type of philanthropic, non-profit endeavor, you can help your team excel through microcourses, online certifications, and other micro-credential programs.

In some cases, a smaller size may be more affordable and accessible to busy people working hard to support your company. They may also be more industry-relevant and up-to-date than a typical classroom experience, which is typically associated with a larger, more general curriculum and broader degree.

Sites and platforms like Udacity offer microcourses on the latest in AI, data science, and development, perfect for any team interested in staying ahead of the curve.

4. In-house Training and Paid Personal Training

Many experts would agree that much of what can be done through upskilling can be done internally, at least to some extent. Encouraging the process of self-improvement encourages your employees to surpass themselves, both on the clock and on their own time.

Internal training programs can take many forms. Private workshops and seminars conducted by your most talented performers can be used to strengthen both the professional skills and knowledge of your team, and soft skills such as leadership, communication and conflict management. All of these skills are important for any well-rounded employee – plus upskilling usually leads to increased feelings of self-confidence.

Paid Personal Training is the simple act of giving your team paid time off, or paid time off, to grow their week. Independent study and analysis, self-reflection, and time to learn simply on your own are all ways an employee can enrich themselves.

5. Hiring a Consultant or an Outside Expert

When you’ve done everything you can think of, what’s left? Hiring an outside training service or an independent consultant can open doors you didn’t even know were in front of you. Sometimes, it really pays to spring for a certified augmentation specialist.

Many professionals donate their time to online professional mentorship platforms, acting as coaches for those still coming into their own within the enterprise.

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