The Importance of Upskilling: Why Malaysian Employers Must Train Their Employees
Is your company experiencing high turnover? A recent survey from Decoding Global Talent shows that 63% of employees will leave their job for better career opportunities in other roles. Meanwhile, 36% feel undervalued, a significant reason for their desire to leave. Fortunately, these things can be assuaged with effective damage control — this is the key importance of upskilling. This article will explain how to upskill your employees to prevent high turnover rates.
Benefits of Upskilling for Employees
Among many things, employees want to feel valued. It’s important for the company to acknowledge the needs and wants of an employee because employment is not a one-way street. This is where upskilling comes in: It shows that you want to invest in your employees. Upskilling is a company prerogative that benefits the employee and the company itself. In a rapidly changing society, changes in industries happen all the time. For example, workers in medicine and technology must always stay updated with industry trends. So, upskilling keeps employees relevant and more efficient with their jobs. They can also be fit for a more senior role or cover for another employee's shortcomings.
Importance of Upskilling for Employers
Obviously, upskilling employees also benefits employers. Here are just a few reasons why.
1. It decreases turnover rates Employers profit when a company’s employee retention rate is high. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, most employees leave for better opportunities. But if you provide them with upskilling programmes, you allow them to grow within the company.
2. It addresses the skills gaps in your team Your employees have great potential. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been hired in the first place. While they aren’t perfect and skill gaps exist, upskilling them will eliminate the need for you to hire a new employee for the job. This is significantly cheaper since you won’t have to go through the whole onboarding process.
Not only will you reduce the chances of your employee leaving the company for better opportunities, but you are also preparing them for a role you would otherwise need to hire for.
3. It prepares the company for contingencies Having a versatile team will get you through change, no matter how severe it will be. The pandemic has given us a landscape that some companies still need help navigating. With upskill training, you are also updating your employee's skill sets and preparing everybody for anything that could deter daily business operations.
4. It attracts talent There is a large number of employees who want to develop their skills quickly. You can make the upskill training part of the onboarding package. This attracts talent more because they will be comforted by the fact that the company is willing to lend a hand in their development and growth in the company. In turn, they won’t look for other companies because their career needs will already be met.
5. It gives you a competitive edge Your competitors will always think of new ways to outsmart you. Whether it's developing strategic business plans or hiring one top-notch employee after another. You are fostering a stronger team by upskilling the employees that you currently have on your roster. Ideally, a strong rapport is built when everyone has been working with one another for a long time. This entails a clearer mode of communication and better work ethics.
6. It improves your team’s productivity and morale Since you are using company resources to ensure that your team receives the upskill training that they need or want, they will feel more valued. It invariably creates a sense of inclusivity. The team’s productivity rate also improves not only because of the new skills they’ve learned but also because of boosted team morale.
7. It increases customer satisfaction Think of it this way: what makes your customers and clients happy? Good service. Who carries out the service? Your employees. Therefore, if an employee has a formidable set of skills and is very happy with their work, they will be more productive and creative. This entails that the services will improve, and your clients can expect superb service.
How to Upskill Employees
1. Set a clear objective You must assess your team’s overall performance rate. Identify the skill gaps present and make a plan of action designed to your existing findings. It would be easier if you were a more hands-on employer with a working knowledge of everybody’s workload. This way, you will be able to determine which areas they can improve on and which areas they still need to tap.
With an objective, you will know the possible steps you can take and what upskilling programmes to get your team into. There’s also an increased likelihood that you can build a working timeline and decrease the chances of making a new hire just to fill in the skill gap.
2. Implement training periods To ensure a high productivity rate, avoid setting these training periods after office hours. The best form of training is in the workplace itself. You should upskill your team during their working hours so you can hit two birds with one stone: their daily deliverables and upskilling programmes.
If the team is experiencing a slow week, you can dedicate an entire workday to upskilling instead.
3. Make it personal It will be more effective if you approach employees one by one. You can converse with each of them, explaining what you think they can learn. In exchange, ask them what training they want to receive or skills they want to improve on or learn. When you have this conversation, make sure that it's a two-way conversation so they will feel that their career needs are heard and can be met.
4. Provide financial support Of course, new skills will require financial aid, especially those that make a huge difference in the overall company performance. As an employer, you should also concern yourself with your team's growth. You can go as far as to provide them with financial support in skills training programmes, transportation, and food allowances in seminars outside of work.
5. Put it into action Knowledge must always appear in practice. If you've placed your team in an upskilling programme, try to test what they have learned. You can do so by delegating additional tasks that would require more responsibilities and would make use of their newly-learned skills.
Don't expect them to get the job done right away. Make room for allowances and give them notes for improvement so they can do better the next time around.
6. Create a culture of learning Having an open working environment will always be a conducive setting for learning. If everyone is open to giving and taking criticism, expect that your team's performance will improve. A learning culture encourages everybody to maximise their skills and not be apprehensive about making mistakes in exchange for learning.
7. Try microlearning As they say, Rome wasn't built in a day. Upskilling can either be a short-term engagement or a long-term commitment. If it's the latter, microlearning may do wonders for your team; this means taking smaller steps to upskill an employee. Set simpler expectations.
For example, if you want somebody to be more proficient in making deck presentations to show statistics, have them gather data from other, more equipped team members. Eventually, have them assist in the data gathering. Once they learn the pattern, they will be able to implement what they have learned and accurately accumulate, create, and present data.