How Can I Help My Employees Develop Skills?
Learn about the best methods and platforms to help your employees develop skills, as well as which skill sets would best benefit them.
Over the last five years, employees’ perception of what makes a work culture great has changed drastically. Our employee well-being report even found that the number one driver of a great work culture is the opportunity to learn and grow, skyrocketing from the number nine spot just two years earlier.
Development for employees has become a major factor in employee retention, engagement, and performance. As learning and development (L&D) leaders, it’s up to you to help create and nurture an environment where employees can explore their interests, gain expertise, and broaden their horizons. You play a unique role in fostering a work culture where people feel empowered to learn and develop. And with 91% of employees feeling that it’s important for managers to inspire learning and experimentation, it’s good to have as many tools in your belt as possible.
How Can I Motivate Employees to Continue Developing Their Skills?
When it comes to what motivates employees to grow their skill set, studies show that the top three drivers are all connected to careers.
1. If it helps me stay up to date in my field
2. If it is personalized specifically for my interests and career goals
3. If it helps me get another job internally, be promoted, or get closer to reaching my career goals
Since the top three motivators for learning and development for employees are all connected to careers, it’s crucial that L&D professionals work closely with managers to tie learning to career paths. Identify what skills will be needed in the future, focus on internal mobility, and strive for clarity so that employees understand what skills they need to change roles.
What Should My Employees Be Learning?
The most beneficial skills your employees should learn or fine tune can vary depending on your business goals and the employee’s existing skill set. It’s also important to consider their personal career goals, their soft skills, and their hard skills.
Soft skills vs. hard skills
Although they are interconnected, it’s important to understand the differences between hard skills and soft skills. A successful business and a healthy work environment will require a wide variety of both, and thankfully, hard skills and soft skills can both be nurtured and taught.
Soft skills are the result of our experiences, behaviors and values, and unique personality traits. These abilities are vital to support matters like negotiating skills and to create an adaptable, collaborative work environment. These are the skills that complement the hard skills that are essential to perform our job efficiently.
Hard skills are concrete, measurable abilities, such as computer programming, writing, reading, or math. These skills are highly teachable, and imply mastery and expertise to perform a task or series of tasks in order to complete a job.
It’s the combination of the two that gives someone their unique employee skill set. Once you identify their strengths and areas of improvement, upskilling and reskilling employees becomes a crucial part of maintaining and improving employee performance.
Skills and traits of strong employees
Hard skills are a given when it comes to the characteristics of a strong employee. If you hired someone to be a backend developer on your tech team, you expect them to be a proficient coder, and maybe even know a variety of coding languages. Soft skills can be just as important when considering someone’s strengths and key employee areas of improvement.Top 5 most useful soft skills to notice and nurture:
5. Emotional intelligence
5. Emotional intelligence
Strategies to Help Employees Develop Skills
Build in time for upskilling and reskilling
Having an upskilling program is great, but for it to be successful, it needs to be accessible and relevant to your workforce’s career growth. By building upskilling and reskilling into employee performance and development plans, you can help empower employees to make time for courses that will help them reach their career goals.
Be relevant to employee’s career goals
In an ever-changing digital landscape, best practices are constantly shifting. When training is relevant, aligned with career paths, and easily applicable, employees are more likely to see its inherent value. Working closely with managers will allow L&D professionals to provide training options that match both employee’s career goals and business needs.
Train for the long term
World-class upskilling and reskilling will not only help employees succeed today, but it will also offer a curriculum geared toward your organization’s future goals and long-term vision. This can also aid in both internal mobility and employee retention. In fact, companies that excel at internal mobility retain employees for an average of 5.4 years, nearly twice as long as companies that struggle with it, where the average retention span is 2.9 years.
Developing Skills for Employees with Online Learning
When it comes to developing skills in a way that makes sense for both you and your employees, eLearning is a no-brainer. The following benefits are a great incentive to keep in mind when considering what will work best for your organization.
Platforms like LinkedIn Learning are designed to operate all online with self-guided courses and video lectures from your industry’s top leaders.
Online courses are designed so that you can go at your own pace, making for a streamlined learning process that works for everyone.
Online learning courses are built around your schedule, not the other way around. Log on anywhere, learn anytime.
When you give your employees the tools to build relevant skills on their own terms, they’ll start utilizing them right away. This in turn is great for both your organization and for helping to boost employee retention and engagement.
Upskilling and reskilling can empower your employees to develop the right skills to grow their career and your organization. And, with more than 16,000 online courses taught by industry experts and personalized recommendations to choose from, our Linkedin Learning library is specially designed to help your employees discover, complete, and track courses related to their field and interests. When you align your upskilling program with career paths, internal mobility, and manager investment, you’ll find that your L&D programs will thrive.