Our last blog was about the importance of upskilling in a remote working setup.
This blog takes it a notch higher by informing you about the different ways to upskill your employees when working remotely. But, before moving on to that, let's look at the key takeaways from the last blog.
- Upskilling is the process of learning new skills to upgrade your current skill set.
- Upskilling can benefit both the organization and its employees.
- It is the need of the hour because of
- The post-pandemic situation where home working is the solution. Reports from Forbes suggest that a significant digital shift during the pandemic is the reason why companies are increasingly engaging in upskilling activities.
- Upskilling is essential for professionals to deal with rampant changes in technology.
- Benefits of Upskilling
- Entrepreneurs can retain their workforce
- Save recurring hiring costs and time
- Overall improvement in the performance of employees
- Helps in Self-analysis
- Increases productivity level
- For better organizational skills
It is now time to learn how to implement the process of upskilling. To manifest these benefits, you have to adopt different upskilling techniques and methods in your organization. Whether an in-house setup or working remotely, skill enhancement is the way forward.
How Can You Upskill Your Employees?
- Plan Some Engaging Activities
Career development opportunities induce every employee to work hard. These golden chances work as the driving force for employees. They look forward to these opportunities to bring a significant rise in their career. Moreover, 93% of modern workers expect their employers to provide learning opportunities. Hence, companies should plan upskilling activities time-to-time.
However, as a small business owner, you should note that every individual working in your company may have different learning abilities. So, an everyday activity or plan may not work equally well for everyone. Therefore, you should bifurcate the activities according to employees' learning pace, strengths, and needs.
For instance, some employees have excellent communication skills, whereas others are good with technology. Therefore, activities should be there for both sets of professionals.
2. Peer Coaching
The example from the first point leads us to the second point - peer coaching. Two or more co-workers can collaborate to refine and help acquire new skills. They can teach and solve each other's problems.
Peer coaching enables co-workers to tap into a more extensive range of skills at the workplace and can even be used to start a coaching business. The good part is that colleagues do not necessarily have to work formally. They can observe, learn, and ask questions more comfortably with each other.
3. Peer Mentoring
Peer coaching and peer mentoring may sound similar, & they probably are, to a small degree. In fact, coaching and mentoring are two different things. The difference is peer coaching usually involves two or more colleagues at the same level/position, whereas peer mentoring refers to when a junior colleague gets training from a senior. Mentoring is a layered process that may involve several levels, while coaching is a lateral process.
For example, a content writer may collaborate with a content developer of the same level to collaborate and oversee a project. It is an example of peer coaching.
In peer mentoring, you find mentors in the senior authorities. A senior content strategist leading the team for a specific project is an example of peer mentoring.
4. Seek Feedback and Work Upon It
Small business owners must stress knowing the abilities of every remote assistant. Hence, it is also important to track or observe the work pattern of employees. Taking a note of the working style of employees may tremendously help you plan the upskilling activities.
Also, remember to take feedback from employees. Feedback is a two-way process, and companies should practice asking for work or client feedback from employees. Asking employees what their day looks like is also part of feedback-seeking. It helps you know if they need guidance or specific assistance to handle challenging assignments. Employee reviews are quintessential for a company to increase productivity.
5. Personal Learning Opportunities
Self-analysis is an excellent tool as every individual is well-aware of their past experiences, present work state, and future opportunities. There should be activities that help them to recognize their strengths and shortcomings. The first step to getting better at something is identifying the areas you lack. Self-analysis questionnaires and reports may show some meaningful results in the long term.
Employees like personal learning opportunities because engaging with them does not require someone else's interference. Individuals do not have to count their weaknesses before a fellow worker. So, they are likely to engage more in these activities.
6. Regular Workshops
Upskilling through workshops at regular intervals is an effective way to achieve your goals and ensure that employees learn something new. Individuals like the concept of workshops because it is divided into learning modules. The structure usually begins with an introduction, and with every step, you have something new to grasp.
Some companies collaborate with subject matter experts and specialists to conduct the workshops. These workshops also include reviewers and Q/As to assess the growth of employees.
7. Upskilling Courses
Short-term upskilling courses are a recent phenomenon, popular in professional circles. Individuals can achieve upskilling training on these verified and highly-reviewed dedicated platforms. The bonus is that some courses are available free of charge. So, if an individual has recently started to work and lacks resources to pursue a long-term, formal course, they can begin with the free courses.
Many companies, like Wishup, provide internal upskilling courses for employees. You can check out the next blog in our Upskilling series to know more about the courses that Wishup offers.
Indirect Ways to Upskill the Workforce
Upskilling your employees does not mean that there has to be a course tag or workshop to ensure the process. You can also choose to follow these indirect ways that can be helpful for upskilling.
- Building Trust in Workplace
Trust building is significant for an organization to grow. Lack of mutual trust causes employees to leave the organization once they get another excellent opportunity.
Generally, employees with less experience tend to make a few mistakes initially. However, as a growing entrepreneur, you must give such employees a fair chance to improve their profile. The encouragement sessions led by an employer can go a long way and benefit the company.
2. Rewarding the Employees
Rewards and monetary recognition are essential for every employee. They are motivating factors that people look up to as a bonus to their salaries. In addition, the Skill-development of employees primarily benefits the organization. After all, the professionals will only implement what they learn at their workplace, eventually helping the enterprise raise profits.
Rewards also lead to the rise of healthy competition among co-workers. However, as a leader, you should always ensure that the competition does not negatively impact the work environment.
3. Conducting Seminars, Interviews & Conferences
Communication that flows from one to many affects the employees positively. Seminars usually involve a successful mentor in a particular field who chooses a public speaking platform to address individuals. These gatherings have a high footfall, whether organized virtually or physically.
Similarly, interviews have live autobiographical stories that successful professionals recount. Interviews revolve around the Q and A pattern. So, the interviewer may ask questions on behalf of several employees, keen to know how to get over a challenging situation. When they hear such success stories, they get influenced to create one around themselves. That is an indirect form of upskilling as it motivates the employees to find effective ways to execute a challenging task.
Upskilling vs. Micromanagement: Which approach should you follow?
Knowingly or unknowingly, small business founders may find themselves stuck in the loop of micromanagement. When it happens, always know that you should stick to micromanagement because -
- You lose connection with employees: Micromanagement leads to a clear sense of hierarchy. The employees feel that they are working for someone else's organization; that can never be their own.
- A ripple of nervousness ensues: Employees start working under the dread when entrepreneurs micromanage everything. They are always nervous that their "boss" is overseeing them.
- No growth: When there is no autonomy, there is no growth. Employees must have a certain extent of independence and freedom to do the job to pave the way for development - both for themselves and the company.
Upskilling follows a progressive path, whereas micromanagement leads back to conservatism. And a true leader would always follow the progressive approach.
Also, note that micromanagement can never be an effective home working solution if you offer fully remote jobs. It is because remote assistants do not usually have uniform shifts, unlike the in-office culture where flexibility is impossible. So, when you micromanage in a remote setup, you increase your workload.
On the other hand, upskilling is a successful strategy whether employees are in the office or work from home.