Upskilling employees should be a key focus of any manager. Businesses and how you do business is often revolving; change is unavoidable. Employees are your most valuable asset, and through taking the time to invest and focus on their skills, you are making a conscious choice to ensure your business is evolving at the same rate as your environment.
This blog will discuss why upskilling is important and how to implement the 70/20/10 model.
Upskilling is important
Besides the obvious reason – of boosting your bottom line and your results, there are other reasons why upskilling your employees is essential:
Employee engagement and retention
Employees value professional or personal growth and development through their work. When they feel there is an ongoing business commitment to this, they are more engaged, are more likely to become an employee advocate and are more likely to stay. By upskilling your employees, it also ensures that your employees maintain required productivity levels, can lead to career advancements internally and promote a learning culture.
Attraction to new talent
As previously stated, employees value professional or personal growth and development through their work. Questions often asked by candidates through the recruitment process, are about learning and developing opportunities and growth. If you can translate your initiatives clearly, you have a greater chance of recruiting your desired candidate.
Boost in productivity
Employee productivity is often boosted after internal training. This is due to an increased level of motivation from employees, employees putting into practice what they have learnt which could result in more streamlined processes and time-saving initiatives, as well as the employees' skills broadening and therefore the employee achieving more.
The 70/20/10 model
The 70/20/10 model is a framework for workplace learning. It looks at the three different types of learning:
70: Experiential - Learning through doing and through analysis/reflection
20: Social – Communicating and liaising with others.
10: Formal – Formalised courses online or face-to-face training.
The ratios do not need to be set, but they provide managers with a balanced learning strategy. As we know, each individual learns differently, and the ratios can be amended to suit each individual.
Each learning type explained
Employees will often need to be guided for experiential learning. Provide employees with opportunities to critically think and problem solve. This can be achieved through training how to engage with experiential learning, putting employees on cross-functional projects, providing opportunities to collaborate internally and externally, as well as opportunities to solve team or organisational challenges.
Similar to experimental learning, providing employees opportunities to collaborate internally and externally, as well as through networking, can promote social learning. Attendance at internal meetings and events is also a great way to upskill through social learning.
Formal training opportunities are never hard to find; there are numerous RTO's and training providers who provide a range of different types of formal training - from one-day courses to longer-term courses, covering a myriad of topics. Asking employees to research formal training options that they are interested in, is the best approach to formal training, as it allows the employee to have buy-in to what course they are going to attend, which promotes engagement.