Improve Employee Morale Upskilling

Employee morale is crucial to workplace culture, engagement, and business performance. Providing ample opportunities for upskilling and training is an excellent way to improve morale and build a motivated, dedicated workforce.

According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 94% of employees surveyed say they would remain with an organization longer if offered the chance to improve their abilities and learn new skills.

Upskilling and Training

If you think upskilling and training are analogous, you are not alone. However, they have different goals and produce different outcomes.

What is Training?

Training refers to any activity that helps an individual or group of employees acquire new knowledge or improve existing skills. For example, a manager might recommend training for a good customer service representative (CSR) who needs to enhance multi-tasking skills. The same manager could schedule training for a group of CSRs assigned to work with a new client. Department or company-wide training can also be scheduled to train staff on new software or procedures. 

What is Upskilling?

The definition of upskilling means helping employees learn new skills to improve performance in their current jobs and does not involve changing career goals. For example, an accounting manager who uses Microsoft Excel might need to learn a new process to integrate financial information with data generated by new operations management software.

Upskilling or Training: Which is Better?

When it comes to upskilling and training employees, there is no right or wrong answer about which is better. It depends on what you want to accomplish. These are common reservations organizations have about training.

  • The Expense: One of the biggest disadvantages businesses cite about employee training is cost. You must staff a department and pay employees to facilitate courses and workshops if you manage training internally. If you use outside trainers, you have to pay them for their time. You pay for the course and travel expenses if you send employees to off-site seminars, workshops, and conferences.
  • Takes Employees Away From Work: Having one or more employees away from their jobs for even one day can be disruptive. Many managers think training is important, but they feel meeting deadlines and completing projects should have priority, which is why they push training to the bottom of their priority list.
  • Control Over Material: Managers who delegate training lose control over what employees learn. There are standard best practices in every industry, but many companies want things done a certain way. If the trainer gives instructions counter to the manager’s, employees may be confused about which information is correct and could acquire bad habits.
  • Lack of Stickiness: A big complaint many organizations have with training is it is quickly forgotten. Employees are excited and motivated during the course or workshop and return to the office ready to try out what they have learned. However, they revert to their old habits within a few days. So, managers see training as a waste of money because they do not see any return on the investment.

The Case for Upskilling Your Employees

Organizations are often more receptive to upskilling employees because they can see immediate results. Upskilling helps employees do their current job better and more efficiently. According to a Capgemini Research study, upskilling your employees can shift their focus to activities that contribute to business growth, which improves organizational output. These are other reasons why you might opt to upskill your employees.

  • Demonstrate a Desire to Invest in Employees
    Offering professional development shows employees you support their growth and want to help them reach their full potential. Support for building skills makes employees feel valued and that their needs are prioritized. This motivates them to contribute more to the organization.
  • Empower Employees
    Providing employees with training aligned with their interests and goals encourages them to identify knowledge and skills to help them grow with your company. Empowering people to steer their own learning fuels engagement in the process.
  • Cultivate a Growth Mindset
    Positioning training as an exciting opportunity for continuous growth frames it as a learning journey without an end, not as a way to fill skills gaps or check a box. This growth mindset mentality boosts morale because employees can see progress.
  • Provide Advancement Opportunities
    Upskilling enables employees to implement new skills through promotions, special projects, and leadership opportunities. This gives them a reason to learn and highlights how training leads to career advancement and opportunities to apply skills.
  • Offer Variety and Flexibility
    People have diverse learning styles. A mix of training delivery methods, including instructor-led workshops, online courses, and cohort programs provides choices and aligns with employees’ schedules and needs.

Investing in employee growth through upskilling demonstrates your commitment to their success. This ultimately translates to better morale, engagement, innovation, and business results and makes learning a workplace priority.

Upskilling and Training Throughout Your Organization

Employees are your most valuable asset. Investing in your people’s growth is an investment in your organization’s future. Upskilling shows you want to unleash their full potential while empowering them to chart their own development path. You will also improve engagement, retention, and performance through strategic upskilling.

Do you want to learn how upskilling and training can help you improve employee morale? Contact us to request a demo.

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