Finding the right candidate to fill a position is rarely an easy task. No matter how clearly you define the parameters of a job, trying to match the necessary duties and expectations with the right job seeker can seem like an endless task, and there is no guarantee of success. After all of the skills testing and interviews, you may find someone who seems to be an ideal fit, but there is still a chance they will not be able to adapt to your office culture.
That is why it is often best to look within your company to find employees who can be trained to handle the duties required of a new position. Not only are these employees already familiar with your office and your business operations, but the promise of employee development and promotion can help you to retain your employees.
However, upskilling is not just about filling new positions. When you help an employee develop new skills or hone their existing skills to higher levels of expertise, you add to their knowledge base while also creating a more flexible workforce, able to adapt to changing circumstances that range from business downturns to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
Why Upskilling Matters
According to SHRM, almost 80% of CEOs are worried that their employees will lack important skills, posing a significant threat to continued growth. What is more, they note that by 2022, 54% of the workforce will require substantial upskilling to meet the demands of their jobs. With projections like this, it is important to be proactive, taking action now to prevent your employees from becoming deficient in necessary skills.
It is worth taking a moment to define upskilling. Years ago, employee training was essentially focused on early-career workers, who would be onboarded and given training as necessary to progress through the ranks of the company. But as technology became more omnipresent, the requirements for jobs began to shift, and they continue to change frequently.
Upskilling employees means giving them the training that they need to perform these new tasks as they arise, helping them to fill new positions and take on different responsibilities. From enhancing existing skills to learning brand-new skill sets, upskilling provides employees with the abilities they need to meet the demands of an ever-changing workplace.
How to Effectively Upskill Your Employees
While upskilling sounds like a big (and expensive) project, there are many ways to enhance the value of your investments in employee training without dramatically impacting your bottom line. One of the first actions you can take is investing in eSkill’s Employee Development Platform, which gives you access to over 800 standard job and subject-based tests that you can use to build custom tests to suit your specific needs.
Skills tests are a useful tool in the upskilling process. With skills assessment testing, you can determine your workforce’s current level of expertise in many skills. This will provide you with valuable, individualized information that you can use to guide your employee development efforts. You may notice that some employees lack certain skills, while others may have skills that would make them more valuable in other roles within your company.
In either case, you can use those results to provide training opportunities tailored to each employee, helping to cover any knowledge gaps or providing incentives for your employees to develop further expertise with skills they may already have some experience with. With Skills Tests, you will be able to more efficiently deploy your employee training resources without spending unnecessary time and money on skills that your staff members already possess.
While in-person or virtual training is an excellent tool for upskilling, there are other tools that can provide a more diverse experience. You could develop a mentorship program, for instance, or develop training guides. Another popular method is to have employees cross-train each other, which offers the dual benefit of reinforcing skills while building workplace camaraderie.
The Future of Employee Development
In an article for “HR Technologist,” Chiradeep BasuMallick highlights many of the challenges that will likely face managers in the next few years. Among his many points, his most significant recommendation is to pay greater attention to soft skills, like creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration. In an increasingly digitized world, it can be very easy to overlook these critical skills. As you consider your employee development program, it is worth considering which soft skills are important for your business.
However, technical skills will still take up the lion’s share of your training time, since they typically require a more focused effort to attain mastery. As you continue upskilling your employees, it is important to continue the evaluation process as well. Skill assessments are valuable both before and after training, helping you to determine how effective your employee training programs are and how you can help your workers to keep progressing in their professional development.
Interested in Using Skills Tests to Upskill Your Existing Employees?
Learn how eSkill’s Employee Development Platform can help you to train your employees to handle new roles and responsibilities. Request a demo today.