Helping your staff to grow their skills within your business is a great way to maximise your company’s potential. Not only do you reap the rewards of better-trained employees, your staff are likely to become more motivated at the prospect of personal development.
It needn’t be an expensive process, either. Here are some ways you can upskill your staff on a budget.
IDENTIFY THEIR NEEDS
You might want all your staff to pick up a specific skill, but, like leading a horse to water, you may find that pushing them into a certain area curbs their thirst for knowledge. Instead, ask your staff what skills they think would improve their working life and tailor a programme around them.
Talk to staff about their hobbies outside of work and you might discover some are already on the path to learning new skills and you can give them a leg up.
Plenty of organisations offer free events that can really benefit you and your staff. Search for your city or county’s growth hubs as these are often melting pots of great local businesses helping each other. Many local areas also have business partnerships that receive council funding or pool together to put on free workshops.
Networking events – often listed on sites like Eventbrite or Meetup – are similarly handy, as are taster sessions run by local colleges or hobbyist groups in certain fields.
TAP INTO YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY
A hugely under-rated resource in modern life, your local library will be full of reading material on a range of practical subjects. Many libraries also host workshops and talks by interesting people throughout the business world so it’s worth checking their event calendar. Work.Life locations also have a range of business books available to borrow.
PAID COURSES ONLINE
Remote learning is booming and plenty of online providers offer ways to upskill your staff. Many of them operate cheap subscription services that allow you to dip into vast libraries of instructional content. Unlike a traditional classroom, you learn at your own pace and can stop and rewind if something proves tricky to take in. Check out Skillshare, Udemy and LinkedIn Learning for examples of modern distance learning.
FREE ADVICE ONLINE
YouTube has blossomed into many things since its launch in 2005, but one of them is an incredible self-help hub. If you can put up with occasional adverts and sponsored segments it’s all free to the user, and the breadth of expertise on the site is staggering. Many YouTubers (who are incentivised to offer up their skills by getting a share of ad revenue) will teach you how to use various software suites, how to approach certain business situations or pick up a practical skill like videography. Look for users with large subscriber counts and regular content.
HARNESS TALENT AROUND YOU
If you operate from a Work.Life centre then you are surrounded by talented, creative people who may be willing to share their skills or experiences. Take advantage of Work.Life’s social events and free advice workshops to tap into the skills around you, and plug in to the Work.It podcast on the website for more business advice in your own time.
Regular opportunities for staff to grow their skills and knowledge is often equally, if not more, valued than token bonuses or irregular pay rises. Invest in your team and the rewards can be exponential.