Learning & Development

The Importance of Providing Employees with Uptraining Opportunities

Many companies are operating with a tighter budget in the wake of the pandemic. As such, business leaders have to make priority-driven decisions about how to spend their money, and where to allocate resources.

This might lead some managers and decision-makers to skip uptraining opportunities for their employees in 2022. After all, your employees already know how to do their jobs, right?

skills
Ildo Frazao / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Well, in reality, upskilling is about far more than giving your employees the hard skills they need to complete their work-related tasks. By choosing to invest in your people via upskilling, you show your employees that you value them and their career goals, and will find a range of benefits from retention to improved recruitment.

For those in the know, upskilling remains a vital part of any business’s operations. However, just in case you’re still not certain, here are a few more reasons that you should value upskilling in your organization. 

The Great Resignation

Everyone who works in HR has heard of “The Great Resignation.” It refers to the recent job market trend where employees are leaving en masse to pursue roles with higher salaries and greater flexibility. Essentially, employees are turning their noses up at free pizza Fridays and are searching for employers who cater to their internal needs and motivations instead.

However, businesses that provide upskilling opportunities can get ahead of the great resignation and improve employee loyalty and retention in a volatile job market. That’s because employees currently value professional and personal development over things like fun office spaces or tangible perks, so spending your budget on them signals that your business authentically supports their personal and professional goals.

It makes sense, too. Imagine yourself in your employee’s shoes: if you’re considering a move — but could be persuaded to stay if a company invests in your future — how would you feel when a new ping pong table or ice cream machine came in through the front door? Probably pretty ticked off. After a difficult pandemic, during which loyal employees gave so much of their effort and energy, upskilling should be seen as a reward that improves retention and workplace motivation.

Customer Service

Every business wants to improve its customer service, but how should you train your employees in today’s market? Well, you can consider utilizing the concept of customer centricity in your next round of customer service uptraining. According to Paul Hesselschwerd, customer-centricity is a comprehensive business strategy that puts “customers at the heart of everything that you do,” develops “a deeper understanding of each customer’s most important business objectives,” and utilizes “deeper-level insights to help [employees] achieve success.”

Customer centricity is a powerful concept that, when leveraged correctly, can revolutionize the way your employees connect with customers. However, customer centricity depends upon the motivation and loyalty of your employees. Simply put, if your employees have not bought into your business’ vision, then your efforts to centralize customers will flop.

This makes it more important than ever to invest in your people via uptraining. Uptraining empowers employees and proves to them that they are more than just “associates” or “workers.” In turn, this creates employees who care about your brand and will execute your brand vision, even if you’re not around.

What Kind of Uptraining is Best?

Training and uptraining are not equal. Training gives employees the skills you need them to have, whereas, uptraining gives employees the skills they want to have. Or, in other words, traditional training gives employees the skills they need to complete a work-related task, whereas uptraining gives employees skills that contribute to their life goals and make them more valuable in job markets.

But finding appropriate uptraining for your employees can be tricky — especially if you don’t know much about your employees’ life goals. So, before you spend your budget on a training program that employees may not care for, consider asking employees questions about the kinds of training and opportunities that excite them the most.

Hopefully, this approach will give you direction. However, many employees may be hesitant to share, or just simply haven’t thought much about their future beyond their current role. If this is the case, then you can still invest in your people by providing training that develops the most important professional skills for any industry. These typically include:

  • Programming
  • IT Troubleshooting
  • Communication and Teamwork
  • Digital Literacy
  • Media Creation and Editing

Ideally, you’ll be able to find a course that aligns with these skills and gives employees an accredited certification that they can use on their next resume.

Conclusion

Upskilling is the latest trend in HR motivation and training. At its core, Uptraining is a type of training that centers around employees and their personal or professional goals. While this might not sound as practical as traditional training, it can actually boost your workplace motivation, improve customer service initiatives, and give you a highly-skilled, multi-talented workforce with great loyalty and retention.

Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, marketing, and HR-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.