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    The 5- Part Guide to Starting Your Upskilling Initiative

    In my last blog post, I introduced the topic of upskilling and how it could benefit your business and your employees. In case you missed it, upskilling is providing employees the opportunity to learn new skills to improve their current work performance while preparing them for projected future needs of your company.

    Today, I want to discuss the steps your organization can take to start an upskilling initiative.

    1. Identify your needs

    The first thing you and your leadership team must do is determine the training and development needs of your company. You can ask yourself these questions:

    • Where do we currently see the greatest skills gap within the organization?

    • What can we do to close this skills gap?

    • What are the specific skills that I’ve been seeking when screening external candidates?

    Determining precisely where your upskilling needs lay is the first step to building a program that will best benefit your employees and your business.

    2. Make future forecasts

    As the old saying goes, the only constant is change. Wise business leaders are constantly studying market trends, consumer behavior, and the economy to help them make strategic decisions about their future growth plans. When it comes to building an upskilling initiative, understanding the future resources that your company will need is critically important. When you identify future market needs, you can upskill your employees to meet those requirements.

    Related reading: 5 Wellness Program Perks Every Business Owner Should Know

    3. Identify individual employee needs

    Upskilling should not be a one-size-fits-all initiative. To achieve optimal success, identify your individual employees’ key strengths and offer tools and resources that will enhance their skills.

    4. Provide accessible training options

    After you’ve established your organization’s needs, taking future forecasts into account, and considered your employees’ unique needs, you can then deploy training for the individuals within your organization that are interested in advancement opportunities. Every individual learns differently, so it’s important to offer different options such as in-person classroom training, lunch-and-learns, and on-demand e-learning.

    5. Leverage technology

    There are a number of learning management systems available that offer robust technology and functionality to help identify areas where individuals have areas for improvement. With tools like gamification, mobile responsiveness, usage reporting, social learning, and more, your employees can maximize technology to improve their skillsets, and ultimately, positively impact your bottom line.

    Investing in your employees’ skills and career growth is most certainly time well spent. Given the strategic advantages it can provide your business, upskilling is a tactic that all growing organizations should take a serious look at as we begin a new decade of advances in technology that promises to change the way consumers engage and business is conducted. To learn more about the benefits of upskilling your employees, contact SWBC Employee Benefits Consulting Group today.

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    Will Rauch

    Will Rauch is a Senior Employee Benefits Consultant who joined SWBC in 2019. He strategically consults and partners with employers of all industries, with a strong emphasis on mid-sized employers ranging anywhere from 50 employees to 1,000 employees. Will’s background includes 10 years of business to business managed professional services in both the U.S. and international markets. Will is a graduate of St. Mary’s University with a double major in Corporate Financial Management and International Business.

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