With a record shortage of top talent and the shift to a candidate-driven market, staff retention is more critical ever.

Employers must do all they can to attract and keep the top talent. One of the best ways to draw potential candidates in and boost retention is through training and upskilling.

Upskilling involves retraining existing team members or organising additional training courses to help build and expand your team’s skill set. Research has found that 91% of companies saw an overall increase in productivity as a result of investing in the right employees. Since higher productivity means better results and a more engaged workforce, every business should consider how they can upskill staff through training.

The ultimate investment

The cost of hiring and onboarding the right staff is high — as is the price of replacing staff, should they choose to leave for greener pastures. In fact, the cost of turnover can be as much as 33% of an employee’s annual salary, as employers have to fork out to hire a replacement. So, boosting levels of retention can significantly reduce the costs of high staff turnover.

Numerous unpredictable factors could impact your business — from COVID-19 to maternity leave. Upskilling current employees can fill gaps within teams from the inside, making a company more resilient in the face of uncertainty. By investing in your staff, they will be better equipped to handle any sudden changes within your business. You may find they even have the skills to step into a senior role, removing the time and money involved in recruiting externally.

Plus, as widespread digitisation continues to progress, so must the capability of staff to navigate constantly developing systems. Technology offers many opportunities to streamline and optimise processes across teams, but only if every staff member knows their way around the system. Ensuring employees have been trained to make the most out of your business’ IT is essential for effective workflow management and cyber security — critical considerations for every business, particularly in the new age of remote working.

Offering employees the opportunity to grow and develop their skill set within your company is a sure-fire way to boost retention — and attract the best candidates. Fostering a culture of learning helps to motivate top talent and incentivise them to think about how they could improve, rather than becoming stagnant and disinterested. All of this contributes to a more confident and productive workforce and helps to keep your organisation at the top of its game.

How to facilitate upskilling within your business

If you want to boost company morale and improve retention levels, an upskill drive could be the perfect solution to make employees feel nurtured and appreciated. Here are some of the ways you can offer training both internally and externally…

Online courses and virtual learning

According to a LinkedIn report, 57% of learning and development departments expect to increase online learning budgets in the coming months. If your staff are operating remotely (or are otherwise dispersed across different locations), online learning offers the opportunity for individuals and teams to expand their skill sets.

Online courses offer the flexibility to be slotted in and around other work commitments, giving individuals the chance to hone their skills with role-relevant classes and progress within a team at a self-determined pace. On the other hand, setting time aside for a team to participate in a virtual group learning session is a great exercise for team building when working remotely — especially for employees who would otherwise struggle to accommodate additional learning programmes into their busy schedules.

In-person classroom training

A blend of virtual and in-person training programmes has proven to be a successful approach to education for most businesses. So, if your employees would benefit from a more hands-on learning style, why not break up the working week with an in-person training course?

Sometimes, the best way to learn is to do! Instructor-led, practical training can be a great way for workers to get stuck in and fill skills gaps — and can also provide an excellent opportunity for teams to get together in an alternative work setting.

Internal mentoring and coaching programmes

You do not always need to enlist the help of external professionals to upskill your staff effectively. Make the most out of the skills and expertise that already exists within your company by running an internal mentoring scheme or coaching programme.

Not only does the trainee benefit from having regular access to a senior employee with thorough inside knowledge of their company, but the mentor gets the opportunity to develop leadership skills and develop multi-departmental relationships — a win-win! This type of training is particularly beneficial for new hires, providing them with the opportunity to network within the company and gain greater awareness of how things work.

When you are looking to recruit, you need a specialist recruitment consultant to secure top talent quickly and reliably. We can help source and onboard the ideal candidate with the skills that will help your business keep pace with competitors — get in touch with our experts today