Hopps Series: Upskilling 102

Hopps Team

January 21, 2021

In our previous article we talked about upskilling and why it should be an integral part of your business strategy. For those that haven't read the introductory article, Upskilling is the process of acquiring new and relevant knowledge needed both now and in the near future.

With the recent changes in today's workplace it is clear upskilling is going to be a critical component of a company's culture, hiring power and ultimately bottom line. Employees need to be more self-sufficient than ever before and it’s crucial for a business to give them the tools to enable their success. The real question becomes how do we upskill effectively and efficiently. 

4 Ways to Upskill Your Workforce

At Hopps we believe in the power of continued education, reskilling and lifetime learning. It doesn’t have to be a convoluted process or even an expensive one for that matter. Oftentimes people think of upskilling as a quick fix to hiring needs, but the truth is it isn’t one-size fits all. Companies alongside their corresponding workforces have different approaches to implementing upskilling and we know that it can often be daunting. This is why we have put together a list of 4 customizable ways you can upskill your workforce right now. 

Build a Peer Mentoring Program

Pairing employees can be an incredibly valuable way to help take advantage of one another's knowledge and support. As people grow in their careers they learn how to use tools specific to their job and the best practices around their usage. This technical savviness and experience is both incredibly valuable and should be taught to junior employees. One way to achieve this is through an effective internal mentorship program. 

A ‘peer’ mentoring program can also enable employees to ask brave questions and take risks. It can improve employee retention, strengthen team bonds and ultimately create future leaders according to several studies discussed by Forbes. According to a Braidio survey, 81% of office workers said that peer collaboration and learning helped improve their productivity. The mentionship approach helps develop the company culture as it enables people to share ideas and knowledge freely and without competition. The bottom line is peer mentoring helps eliminate employee disengagement and in turn upskills the workforce. 

Incentivize Self Study

There are many ways to continue learning as we grow in our careers. Different platforms have a host of content in online libraries, tutorials, LinkedIn classes and continued education courses through universities.  Self study is an important life skill but needs to be nourished in the workplace. Employees must be encouraged to take time to self study. You can incentivize training and create rewards for individuals or department teams to learn and grow together. Paying for self-study programs is another bonus companies can offer to acquire and retain talent. According to salary.com a company gains tremendous hiring power for top talent by building a robust continuing education program. Culture Amp shares 10 companies who do this well.  In summary, employees that have access to upskilling are more productive, happier and have higher retention rates. 

Build a Learning Culture

A transformative learning culture is crucial to the professional development and retention of employees. 

According to a recent study, new employees worry about learning how to perform at their new job, and most feel standard onboarding does not provide all the resources needed to be successful. A learning culture can support onboarding with continued mentorship, promote peer to peer coaching and allocate time and capital for on-demand learning programs. 

A learning culture can also upskill a workforce to handle changes in technology, foster inter-department engagement and create an opportunity for creativity to flourish. Here’s how Google builds its learning culture and most of these strategies may be applied to a company of any size and industry. Here are additional insights from LinkedIn and McKinsey on effective strategies to develop a learning culture in your company and its key attributes.

Leverage Outside Expert Help

The fastest way to upskill your workforce is to bring in an experienced expert to work with you. 

When you come across a problem that is just out of reach, hiring an expert in that field becomes a necessity. There are several paths businesses may take when leveraging expert help. Rather than hiring an independent contractor or agency and outsourcing the work to them, we encourage you or your employee to work together with the expert and ‘learn while doing’. While it may seem like the more challenging route to the solution riddled with novice mistakes,  the act of learning while doing is usually the most effective way to improve your skills and ‘learn on the job’. 

Platforms such as Hopps have experts in many fields of digital marketing with the goal is to share expert knowledge with teams so they can be more successful. Hopps offers immediate, no contract digital marketing help from experts who are proven professionals, vetted for latest knowledge and aptitude. Hopps is an upskilling partnership that takes a problem and turns it into a learned experience. 

In Summary…

Upskilling can be a hard thing to implement with different methods and approaches. The urgency to get started can be overwhelming especially given all the benefits to your workforce. It is important to first understand the upskilling culture you want to create within your company and then choosing the most appropriate path(s) to achieve it. With focus and coordinated efforts, smart businesses can be well on their way to upskilling their workforce. 

Interested in learning how to innovate your upskilling strategies? Stay tuned for our next article in this series!

Marketing 101