How E-Learning Can Help You Upskill Your Team to Create a Multi-Skilled Workforce
Upskilling is a hot topic at the moment for organisations in a range of industries, particularly those where there are skills shortages. It is also becoming increasingly important to develop your team beyond their traditional skillset to create a multi-skilled workforce. This is a strategy that can result in big dividends, and e-learning can help.
Adapting to the Modern Business Landscape
There are still some who believe in the outdated thinking that being multi-skilled means not being very good at anything. However, most successful people – from entrepreneurs to company executives to shop floor workers to professionals like engineers – understand that it is important to continuously develop and improve. We even see this in sports and the arts.
It’s important to note that when we talk about developing and improving in this context, we don’t mean going deeper and deeper into one subject area. Instead, diversification is key in the modern world.
After all, the business landscape can change very quickly. Just look at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020/21 as well as the impact of digital transformation. In terms of the latter, the way companies in the UAE and Saudi Arabia operate today is completed different from the way they operated 10 or 20 years ago.
To stay on top of this rapid pace of change and remain competitive, organisations need agile and skilled workforces, where those skills constantly adapt, develop, and improve.
Benefits of a Multi-Skilled Workforce and a Culture of Continuous Upskilling
Some of the things you can achieve by developing a multi-skilled workforce include:
- Improving productivity through a more capable workforce.
- Improving flexibility throughout the organisation.
- Reducing the risks that come with relying on sub-contractors or limited numbers of subject matter experts.
- Enhancing levels of customer service.
- Creating new business opportunities.
- Reducing employee turnover and making your organisation an attractive place to work.
- Making your business more resilient as employees will be better equipped to deal with challenging situations.
How to Create a Multi-Skilled Workforce Through Upskilling
Think of the resources you want to invest.
Make sure you think of upskilling your workforce as an investment rather than simply a cost. Upskilling and developing a multi-skilled workforce through e-learning is an investment in the service you offer today, as well as an investment in your business for the future.
Communicate, motivate, and inspire.
Communicate the learning culture you want to develop throughout your organisation, explaining why it is important, how individual employees will benefit, and, crucially, how the company will provide assistance and support. This communication to your team should be inspirational and should motivate employees, encouraging them to be proactive and get involved.
- Focus your efforts on the right people in your organisation.
You may find that not everyone is capable of developing a wide range of skills. Some people are not in that mould. There might also be some who are resistant. Your resources and efforts will be better focused on those who have the right mindset as well as the capabilities to upskill and become multi-skilled.
Make the training content engaging and enjoyable.
Create engaging e-learning content that learners will enjoy completing and will feel a sense of accomplishment when they do. If the training they go through is a chore, they will quickly lose enthusiasm. In other words, it’s not enough to just make training materials available or to send them off to a few classes. Luckily, however, it is cost-effective to develop highly engaging e-learning training courses that are flexible and adaptable, helping you achieve your objectives.
Make it possible for your team to follow individual learning paths as much as possible.
Individual training paths will help keep learners motivated and enthusiastic as they will be able to focus their time and efforts on areas they need and want to improve, while spending less time on areas they are already comfortable with.
Achieving this can be difficult with some training delivery methods as the one-size-fits-all approach is the only way to make training cost-effective. This is where e-learning is unique, as you can develop e-learning courses that facilitate individual training paths.
Help employees with additional learning ambitions.
Assist learners in progressing their development outside the training that you provide. After all, you can’t provide training on every conceivable topic. You will need to decide on the skills and topics that will be most beneficial to your business. Those can then be developed into e-learning courses. Some learners might want to go into one of the topics further. That enthusiasm and self-motivation should be welcomed.
Supporting this desire to learn can be as straightforward as providing links to additional resources. It can also be helpful to remain open to suggestions from learners on further steps they think could help them enhance their skills.
Provide good levels of support to those who are upskilling in your organisation.
Those who are upskilling will likely need time, and they may also need other resources, such as technology. They will also want to put the new skills they have developed to use to make it feel like the effort was worthwhile, so give them the opportunity to do so whenever possible. For example, let employees work with different clients or on projects they may not have previously worked on. With the right mentoring and support, and a good underlying skills base, they will develop rapidly.
Developing Your Workforce Today to Prepare Your Organisation for the Future
As the skills that your organisation needs continue to evolve, your employees need to have the ability to adapt to changing conditions so they can deal with the challenges and opportunities that occur in the workplace. Upskilling through e-learning to develop a multi-skilled workforce is a crucial part of the solution.