Staff retention is one of the biggest problems faced by employers around the world. Not only are high turnover rates a bad image for the company, they can cost you both time and money.
Businesses are often happy to invest in equipment and software, but are more reluctant to spend money on their human capital. While a return of investment for things like machinery is immediate and easy to see, staff take time to train up and settle in to their roles.
At the same time, humans are harder to replace than machinery. Therefore, it’s in a business’s best interest to retain staff to reduce the costs and time associated with hiring new team members.
So, while investing in equipment might be easier in the immediate future, investing in your team can have a huge amount of benefits for the long term of your business. Here’s how upskilling your team can improve productivity.
1. Avoid high costs of turnover
The costs of a high turnover rate to your business can be massive. Whether you have a high turnover rate due to a culture issue, or because you simply can’t promote your staff internally, the costs can be much more than that of upskilling your team.
In 2016, Huffington Post reported that the cost of losing one millennial could be up to $25,000. However, this does not include the costs of finding replacement staff, so in reality, the costs could be much higher.
If you lose several staff members in a short time, it’s clear to see how damaging the costs could be. Upskilling is one of the best ways to combat this issue.
Investing in training and upskilling your staff not only enables you to make promotions internally, but it can also create renewed enthusiasm, which will increase productivity.
2. Employees want upskilling opportunities
More than ever, employees are interested in progressing their careers, adding value to their company and improving their skillset.
When employees aren’t able to do these things, they can feel trapped in their position and will ultimately leave for a new role where they can progress further.
A 2016 study found that 43% of U.S. office workers are bored, and that bored workers are twice as likely to leave.
Upskilling your team can help employers learn new skills which they can apply at work, leading to a more engaged workforce.
3. Increases engagement and productivity
As mentioned, upskilling your team can lead to a more engaged workforce. Disengaged teammates are not only more likely to leave but they can have a negative impact on the rest of the team, quality of work and customer satisfaction, all of which can affect your revenue.
The key here is not just to upskill your team with generic training courses, but to take an interest in what progressions they want to make. When employees are listened to and can upskill in areas that they are interested in, they are much more likely to be engaged, which in turn will increase productivity
4. Builds relationships and teamwork
In addition to improving engagement and productivity and reducing turnover costs, upskilling your team can be a great way to nurture and build relationships and promote teamwork.
Firstly, using the activity of upskilling itself can be used to create a stronger bond within a team. But more importantly, as upskilling reduces turnover and improves engagement, your team will be less disrupted by changes in the team and can work on improving existing relationships, which in turn will improve productivity.
This can also help to maintain and improve your company’s culture. A team that knows each other and is in tune with their work will perform much better than a team that is constantly changing.
Upskilling your team brings new skills and knowledge to the business, while maintaining established relationships.
5. Gives you a competitive edge
The combined advantages of upskilling your team can give your business a significant competitive advantage. Training existing employees will save you the cost of new hires, while helping you retain your talent.
The increased engagement, and strong team relationships will improve productivity, all of which will give you a competitive advantage.
Retaining your talent enables your business to be more agile and responsive. Rather than focusing on finding candidates and on-boarding new hires, the team can focus on producing high quality results at a more efficient rate.
6. How can you upskill your team?
The benefits of upskilling your team are clear. Upskilling the team can reduce turnover rates, increase engagement, and help build a strong team culture which will all lead to increase productivity. So, how can you implement upskilling?
The first step is to know what areas need upskilling. This can be derived in two main ways.
Firstly, you should empower your employees to develop their own development programs. If employees can find their own weaknesses, or learn skills in areas they are interested in, your upskilling program is much more likely to be successful.
Secondly, it makes sense to upskills in areas that need it. Where is your business falling behind? Take a look at things like customer satisfaction, client reporting, or any credentials that your employees should have but are lacking.
Once you have several areas that have upskilling opportunities, you can work on implementing upskilling strategies. This will largely depend on your budget, but there’s a range of options that allow for upskilling on any budget.
An extremely effective and affordable option is to use some of your best employees as mentors and have training sessions on relevant areas. How these are run, the length and class size is up to you, but internal training is a great example of upskilling your team.
Online learning is also very effective because your team can complete the training in their own time or in specified time periods at work. Online education providers like Upskilled provide over 300 courses in a range of areas, from IT to marketing.
Lunch and learns are also a great upskilling strategy. This is a more relaxed form of training, where the team can get together over a meal and learn about a specific topic.
Other options include more formal classroom training or simple microlearning modules that can be completed within 10 minutes. How you upskill your team is ultimately up to you but the benefits are clear.
Upskilling your team brings reduced turnover rates, increased engagement and stronger teams, all of which will give your business increased productivity and a competitive advantage.