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Watching Grand Prix F1 Racing is delightful – fast, furious, and devilishly dangerous when considering the razor-sharp hairpin bends being negotiated. Every driver is accomplished at racing, yet only one wins the race – every time. The reason for this is that, besides the upskilling of the drivers’ abilities, there is a continual upskilling of the winning team that supports him and is his lifeline.
This excellent paradigm applies crucially to all industries today without any exceptions whatsoever; it is not just to keep abreast but to work to stay ahead all the time.
Upskilling is a process of adding heft to existing skills and competencies, improving these continuously, and conversing with the latest developments in the industry. These skills and competencies cover all operational processes from digital, analytical, legal compliances, marketing, production, financial, etc. Each is important in the overall framework.
Ways to Upskill Your Workforce Team
A. Deliberate and Specific Goal Setting:
There is no one-size-fits-all plan for upskilling your workforce teams, even within the same organization. Depending on the work being carried out, specifics within the upskilling process need to be identified and implemented with specific goal settings for the cadres – employees, workforce teams, services sector teams, etc. Goals must be specific, measurable, aspirational, realistic, and time-bound. The most important thing here is to analyze in-depth the existing skill gap. The workforce needs to be adequately informed of the goals set and the ultimate skills they will acquire in due course.
B. Realistic Fixed Times for Training Sessions:
Depending on the overall exigencies of business, suitable times for the training of employees need to be set. This would be during working hours as, generally, employees would not be interested in sacrificing their leisure time for this purpose. If the duration of the training is for a full day, break times with refreshments and victuals would need to be provided. Depending on the employee response, discretionary time could be allowed.
C. Build-in Options for Different Employee Levels:
Employees operate at different levels of intelligence, emotions, and response to stimuli. Catering to these aspects would be an arduous task, but upskilling itself signifies a commitment on the part of the management and thus could evoke positive responses from sincere and capable employees. The results would bear out the efficacy of this special strategy. This strategy could set off a “personalized development plan” in which “interested” employees may benefit more than the general run of employees. This strategy would challenge management, but the results would far outweigh the efforts and additional costs. The positive fallout here could be the possibilities of job rotation and, to some extent, job enlargement on account of the decrease in skill gaps, not ruling out the creation of more autonomy on specific job fronts.
D. Dedicated Workplace Location for Training Sessions:
Upskilling, now having been established as an ongoing process, is perceived as a serious matter by the employees, the workforce teams, management, etc. A specially designated location needs to be set up so that the participants can anticipate gravitating to the specified location suitably furnished and, to the extent possible, supplied with relevant reference materials. It is an acknowledged fact that lunch-and-learn sessions in comfortable surroundings also contribute to sustained success.
E. Generate a Credible Info System for Employees:
The financial benefits of the upskilling process for the management are enormous; downsizing of recruitments costs, employee retention, and positive engagement leads to higher productivity, higher customer satisfaction, etc. Of prime importance is that the management generates a credible, unambiguous, pithy, honest, and implementable information system for employees – the motive force – that spells prosperity for the company and advancement prospects for employee career growth and development within the company.
F. Creation of a Post Training Plan:
Hiding a light under a bushel is self-defeating. Upskilling involves financial costs, personal resources of employees, training staff, coaches, etc. The successes achieved from the implementation of upskilling need to be suitably and judicially disseminated so that it serves as vital information and encouragement for doubters and slow starters.
Methods of Upskilling for Workforce Teams
A. In-house Mentoring:
This resource could be profitably used for upskilling the workforce teams. To begin with, your in-house professionals, managers, experts, and department heads could function as mentors for new workforce entrants. Also, these professionals could disseminate cross-departmental information giving the participants an idea of the whole organization. Specific workforce teams, thereafter, could be mentored by the in-house professionals depending on the needs and the training programs drawn up. Another variation of this in-house mentoring could be peer coaching. Here, two or more colleagues work together to exchange and build new skills, teach one another, and solve problems in the workplace. Yet another option is peer mentoring. Here a skilled employee works with a colleague, refining skills and teaching one another to solve problems at the workplace.
B. Outsource External Experts/Specialists:
This resource is available in case there is no suitable in-house expertise or for reasons of a paucity of time and attendant urgency.
C. Online and Virtual Resources:
Depending on the situation’s needs and the extent of self-assessed skill gaps, recourse could be had to various online and virtual programs available. To mention a couple of them here:
- Udacity: an excellent resource for upskilling digitally, partnered with top-class tech companies.
- Kokoro offers highly relevant and professional and technical soft skills.
D. Registering in a Certificate Program for Learning & Development:
Embark on a journey of professional growth and development by registering in a certificate program for Learning & Development. Gain valuable knowledge, skills, and credentials to excel in the field of L&D. Expand your expertise, enhance your career prospects, and make a meaningful impact on organizational learning and performance. With a comprehensive curriculum and expert instructors, this program equips you with the tools and strategies needed to design, deliver, and evaluate effective training programs. Take the first step towards becoming a proficient L&D professional and unlock new opportunities for Success.
The listing of ways and methods above is not intended to be exhaustive but eminently indicative. The evolution of Information Technology (IT) is galloping and blossoming freely, positively disrupting, changing perceptions, and challenging established procedures and norms in every industry sector and our personal lives. This positive contagion affects the digital field and every aspect of our lives, personal or official. The only avenue to control this positive contagion is to master it and establish a way forward.
Upskilling is a positive way forward for the industry to continuously re-equip its workforce teams with skills and competencies to stay ahead on the road to success. Imagine being on a racecourse with sleek jockeys astride their magnificent steeds rearing to go – each one a potential winner. Yet like the F1 driver, only one wins because, before the race’s commencement, much judicious “upskilling” with single-minded dedication and devotion has been lavished on the “workforce teams.”
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