If you’ve been struggling to recruit staff, you’re not alone. Australia’s jobless rate is now showing a slight uptick
but in July 2022, it hit its lowest point for 48 years
. This reduction in the numbers of people looking for work is adding to staffing pressures right across the country.
The shrinking pool of available qualified staff is creating a workers’ market. This means that ensuring employee satisfaction and retention needs to be one of your top priorities. You’re looking for business success but your staff are actively seeking their own career success.
The good news is these two can go hand-in-hand!
Upskilling your existing staff can fill skills gaps and build employee loyalty. The benefits of staff training
far outweigh the costs. In this article we take a look at different ways to develop new work skills, and discuss how your teams can access professional learning opportunities.
What are the three types of skills development?
Whatever the job role or industry sector, the skills to develop at work can be broken down into three classification types3. Making sure your staff have opportunities to develop all of these should be a key part of your work skill development program, which ideally should include online training for all your employees.
1. Core competencies
These transferable or employability skills are non-technical abilities routinely used in all occupations. They are sometimes referred to as personal or soft skills, and help employees organise their work, demonstrate creativity and find integration in the workplace. In other words, core competencies will help your staff feel comfortable and useful. They should be learned alongside specialist and technical skills at work.
2. Specialist tasks
Every job role has specialist tasks that relate to specific industry requirements. Whilst some of these are transferable between sectors, others are more niche. For example, a restaurant manager might need to understand food hygiene, and keep accurate inventories but a beauty therapist might only require the latter. You'll find staff with these specialist skills vital when it comes to team work, positions of responsibility and peer-to-peer training.
3. Technology tools
There isn’t a job role today that doesn’t rely on skills related to hardware and software. When you’re first thinking about how to develop skills and knowledge at work, technology training can seem daunting. Whilst some technology competencies, such as database management, are highly specialised, others, for example sending emails, are more common. As digital advances continue, technological skills are set to become some of the most important work skills to develop. In other words, the way you approach information technology training really matters.
What are some examples of skills you can develop at work?
Whatever their career stage, your employees will have skills they’ve attained through work experience and study. They will also have gaps in their skillset. One way to identify these gaps is to conduct a skills audit. Once you’ve established the skills required for each job role in your organisation, a workforce survey is the quickest way to achieve this.
There are certain professional skills you’d like all your employees to demonstrate. Developing these skills in the workplace is possible but external training and qualifications are a great way to add layers to on-the-job learning. We’ve listed examples of the most important professional skills below.
How to develop team working skills
Team work should never be boring so make sure you take a dynamic approach to team-working training. Encourage diverse social teams, and allow time for group reflection. You might also like to consider enrolling a whole team on a relevant course so they can build their skillset together.
How to develop communication skills at work
With the rise of remote and hybrid working, the need to develop communication skills
at work has never been greater. Great online communicators are in particular demand but there’s still a place for expert face-to-face communication. Because communication is so fundamental to business success, most online courses include units that focus on the development of communication strategies.
How to develop leadership skills at work
Because there is such a variation of leadership styles, it can be difficult to teach leadership skills in your own workplace. Online leadership and management courses
usually include units on workplace relationships, critical thinking, and communication strategies as well as ones that focus on personal development.
How to develop problem solving skills at work
Most workplaces have problems but without training, employees may find it difficult to approach problems in a constructive and fruitful way. Make sure you provide internal opportunities for creative problem solving, then supplement this with external training to help your staff appreciate different problem-solving methodologies.
How to develop interpersonal skills at work
Interpersonal skills relate to the ability of your workforce to interact successfully with each other and with external stakeholders. For many people this comes naturally but others will require more support. You can achieve this by ensuring a workplace culture of active encouragement as well as internal and external training.
How to develop critical-thinking skills at work
We are constantly bombarded with information. Having the skills to sort through details and understand the bigger picture is the secret to effective decision making. Employees are more likely to develop critical-thinking skills in an environment that encourages self-expression. Online courses in busines
s and business management often include units with a critical-thinking focus.
What are some methods I can use to improve my workplace skills?
When it comes to developing skills at work, the best approach is a multi-faceted one that embraces workplace culture, internal coaching and external qualifications. There isn’t one training route that will suit all your employees but a carefully thought-out combination, that includes mentoring and structured work experience as well as external upskilling programs will go a long way to improving your employee retention as well as attracting new talent.
Online training comes in many forms. Upskilled’s range of nationally-recognised courses are available from Certificate to Degree level. Each one lasts for a number of months and offers a high level of flexibility to suit your busy workforce.
Online short courses
offer opportunities to develop a number of specific skill sets in a shorter space of time, whilst our online bootcamp programs
offer intensive, accelerated learning through a mixture of self-paced and live online classes.
The process of recruiting new employees is not only difficult in our current climate, it’s also time-consuming and expensive. Your existing workforce almost certainly has as yet undeveloped potential, and online training is a simple and effective way to maximise this.
A highly-trained staff is a happy one, it’s also one that will fill that worrying skills gap. Get in touch today to find out more about how Upskilled can help you stay ahead of the curve, and move your workforce up to the next level.
Fi is a professional copywriter based in Devon, England. She specialises in education, careers, travel and outdoor writing and is the co-author of the popular daily outdoor blog 'Two Blondes Walking'. Fi has written three children's books and, when she isn't writing, Fi loves to gather inspiration from long walks, early morning sea swims and winter wild camps.