With automation on the rise and telecommuting having transformed the workforce – it helps to keep your workers up-to-date with new and emerging industry needs. Online tools, technology, and workflows have seen exponential growth; not just amidst our increasingly digital landscape, but also with the surge of flexible work-from-home arrangements. As such, the skills to manage and optimise such innovative areas will be ever-more valuable in the coming years.
Below, we break down the importance of training your employees on the regular, and four effective ways to keep their skills ahead of the curve.
What is the importance of training your employees?
Training your employees helps ensure their skillsets remain relevant, up-to-date, and competitive within an evolving industry landscape. Digital skills, in particular, are now rapidly transforming general businesses – so training employees in the latest technologies can help boost your company’s growth in the long run.
Equipping your workers with new skills could also increase their workplace morale and engagement, resulting in greater long-term productivity, innovation, and thus – company retention.
According to a 2021 survey by GetApp,
upskilled employees cite “better quality output” as the top benefit of staff training and development
. Other outcomes include improved workplace relations (40%), increased staff morale (34%), and increased customer satisfaction (34%).
The lasting advantages of employee upskilling have bolstered the practice among most Australian companies, with 56.6% of employers having used accredited training to meet worker skill needs in 2021 (according to NCVER data
What are the 4 types of training methods?
Group training sessions are a highly effective way of collectively upskilling large groups of employees while helping them build on their collaboration skills. As they’ll be learning alongside others, this allows workers to swap their own varying tips and tricks during training – helping them foster productive workplace relationships, learn from the expertise of colleagues, and improve their overall morale and engagement. It’s a strategy that caters best to workers under a single department, or those collaborating with others from different teams.
This method can also help reduce costs and downtime by training multiple people at once and taking less time away from their most productive hours. Additionally, some employees may find it more comfortable to learn in a group-based setting, compared to one-on-one training sessions.
External instructors may be hired to lead group training sessions on business premises (i.e. short seminars, a bootcamp class), though these activities are also often organised internally through standardized training programs (i.e. onboarding for new hires).
Coaching and mentors
If you’re after more personalised training, providing your workers with coaching or mentoring options is another great way to foster new workplace skills and experiences. In contrast to the standardized learning provided by group sessions, a coach or mentor can tailor their training to meet an employee’s specific skills needs. It provides a more intimate, collaborative way of learning, granting workers first-hand experience on how their mentor approaches common workplace challenges, and provides them every opportunity to ask questions as necessary.
Mentoring or coaching sessions may be conducted in multiple ways, including:
- Encouraging “informal mentoring” between two colleagues with different skill levels and experience (also known as “job shadowing”);
- Hiring an external coach to provide your employees with new perspectives and unbiased guidance; or
- Conducting individual coaching sessions yourself, in which you work with a specific employee to help them meet both their long and short-term goals.
Depending on your worker’s needs, coaching sessions can also either be done in person or through virtual consultations.
Also known as “OJT”, on-the-job training allows your employees to build new skills, knowledge, and professional confidence while working within their role. This grants them a highly practical learning experience, and is a strategy that often goes hand-in-hand with the methods discussed above.
By learning on the job, new hires can learn the ropes of a new tool, practice, or work task while integrating themselves into a new workplace environment. It allows workers to exercise new skills off the bat and learn from ongoing experience, helping them develop the necessary skillsets faster.
As mentioned, this method can also be implemented after a group training or individual coaching session, helping workers put their newfound knowledge to practice. Employers who require “all-rounder” employees may also choose to implement “job rotation” – in which an organisation’s roles are switched among workers, granting them an OJT experience of a company’s entire process and how other teams or departments work.
Lastly, online training can grant your employees the flexibility of building new skillsets at a pace and time that works best for them. Through the digital nature of these programs, employees have the freedom of training from the comfort of their own home (or in any environment that best suits them). With these courses typically offering 24/7 availability, this also allows them to set their own desired study schedule.
Online courses thus allow for a highly personalised, independent form of employee training – and offers workers with plenty of variety through the numerous program options available online. It’s also a highly flexible strategy for building one’s skills while maintaining proper balance between their work, personal life, and training commitments.
The benefits of online training have built up the popularity of such courses in recent years, with one in two Australians
now doing work-related training online.
What are some examples of online employee training?
Online employee training can take place in several forms, including through:
- online tutorials
- video-based training
- PowerPoint presentations
- Online textbooks (or “e-Textbooks”)
Plenty of online education providers may also offer various forms of communication among course peers and their trainers, such as through online forums and discussion boards; their own online learning portal; and a specialised online trainer/student messaging system.
Upskilled, for instance, provides all these varying methods of training through their online course programs, granting students a comprehensive, practical, and highly interactive learning experience. Despite their online delivery, those who undertake these courses are never alone in their study journey – as Upskilled ensures the constant guidance of trainers and collaboration opportunities with other students.
Through the personalised coaching of their instructors and the practical, hands-on training they provide, employers can take advantage of online courses (such as those under Upskilled) to reap most, if not all the benefits of staff training.
Looking to reskill your workforce? Upskilled offers a generous selection of online training courses across Australia’s most in-demand fields: from programs in business to growing areas in tech. Grant your employees the professional development they deserve through our highly flexible learning options, and enquire with us on a course today.
Ana Isabel Alonsagay
Ana Isabel Alonsagay freelance writer and founder of anaisabel.org, a blog on lifestyle, culture, and entertainment. When she isn't pinned to her keyboard, you can find her at your local cinema, blasting Broadway soundtracks or attending cosplay conventions.