Many business owners would agree upskilling is great for team morale and staff retention. But how professional development positively affects business success and future opportunities can often be overlooked. Combined with other barriers, such as lack of time and fear of staff exiting the business, not making time for staff development can lead to missed opportunities for future growth.
Let’s take a look at the reasons why you should prioritise staff development in 2020 and practical ways to help you bring it to fruition.
Why is upskilling your employees good for your business?
In recent years, a less stable workforce has led to an increase in workers looking for employers to offer development opportunities. Now, more than ever, creating opportunities for your employees should be seen as creating opportunities for your business. Why? It all stems from happy employees. Minimising barriers to your workers gaining new skills and qualifications will not only help employees stay engaged but it will also create a positive working environment. This will then flow into other areas of your business, creating a positive ROI, such as:
- More skilled workers, bringing new ideas and opportunities into your business.
- A more satisfied workforce flowing into a positive impact on customer experience.
- New skills and ideas could allow your business to take advantage of untapped revenue streams.
- Less reliance on outside contractors to fill the void of skill shortages within your team.
Ways to upskill your staff
Finding the time to dedicate to professional development of staff is a big commitment, especially when your business is already juggling a heavy workload. But creating opportunities in your business can be quick, easy and inexpensive. Let's take a look at a few different ways you can offer staff professional development opportunities which will also benefit your business.
Send your staff to industry events or workshops
One of the easiest ways to upskill staff is to invite them to attend events or training run by industry associations. For example, Registered Master Landscapers provides industry-focused training and access to business support materials for Members.
Create an internal mentorship program
Mentoring programs are an easy way to share knowledge and provide learning opportunities to staff. They are also a great way for staff to explore strengths and weaknesses without attending a formal performance review process.
While there are many things you can do inside your business to provide professional development opportunities, sometimes you may notice a skill shortage in your team. External courses can be a great solution to provide key members of your team the opportunity to develop and bring their newfound skills to your business.
How to find the time to upskill employees
If you are still struggling to find ways to add upskilling opportunities into the mix of a heavy workload, it may be worth looking at your systems to free up extra time. For example, is there an opportunity to streamline your operations management and alleviate the workload pressure on staff?
Investing in a system such as a cloud-based operations management software may provide your business, and team, with the bandwidth to take on professional development. While this could seem like a big step to take, it should be considered as a long term investment in your staff and your business. Imagine the time which can be saved by automating workflows, eliminating unnecessary paperwork and streamlining your operations management from initial customer contact to final invoicing!