5 Best Practices to Strengthen Your Upskilling Program to Future-Proof Your Workforce


In the last year and a half, companies have been striving hard to ensure their businesses can continue to function in the virtual world. While many were able to weave new strategies to make remote work successful, some were not.

However, what has become a business imperative during this time is upskilling and reskilling the workforce to ensure it can adapt and innovate amidst any kind of disruptions. This has required L&D teams to device employee development goals and strategies to strengthen employee skills.

This has called for a careful re-evaluation of the existing training programs to check if they are relevant to the current situation. It has also meant ensuring that the programs are revised a little to make them more scalable as well as deliverable to suit the virtual world.

So, how can your company undertake new training strategies for better outcomes and reduced costs? Let’s take a look at 5 best practices in this area:

1. Inculcate Learning in the Flow of Work

Traditionally, training has often been viewed as an activity that is separate from the regular business operations. In the past, L&D teams have scheduled training sessions for employees during certain sections of the day, and the latter have gone back to their jobs once the training was over. Today, the scenario cannot be similar. Learning cannot be siloed, rather it has to be an integral part of routine work. Reskilling the workforce programs must be more fluid, offering employees the option of learning throughout the workday.

The main focus should be to design training programs that allow employees to learn anywhere, anytime and the way they want to, encouraging them to look at “training” as complimentary to their professional development instead of an added task or extra burden.

2. Design Immersive Learning Experiences

Today’s employees are not a passive learner generation which means the training imparted to them can’t be passive either. They are adroit at finding answers for themselves, and making the best use of the information that is easily available to them at their fingertips. They want training that is hands-on which they can fully immerse themselves in.

They love watching videos and enjoy visual experiences. But it’s not enough to simply give them any kind of videos and expect them to invest their time. The videos have to be relevant, avoiding unnecessary fluff and they should focus on strong imagery and animation to grab more attention. You can also try virtual reality and AI to develop more immersive learning experiences and enhance employee performance development.

3. Leverage Microlearning

Considering lives are so busy in general, the real challenge is to create training programs that capture and retain attention of modern learners. Most are used to switching between platforms when a content piece doesn’t seem interesting.

This is where Microlearning can help. It is learning delivered in small, bite-sized nuggets that are quick, focused and can be consumed in minutes rather than hours. This type of training works for instant information and wavering attention spans. It can also be consumed on mobile devices, on-the-go, any time, from anywhere – which suits time starved modern learners the best.

4. Allow for Self-paced Learning

One effective way to offer training to this generation of learners is by providing them learning opportunities and letting them explore on their own. Modern learners know where to look when they wish to know something and this skill can be harnessed while offering training.

These learners will thrive when they have the freedom to direct their training and create their own learning paths. Self-paced learning accommodates the desire for autonomy of modern learners.

5. Use Gamification

Another tech-savvy way to engage modern learners is to use strategies like gamification. Game-based training creates better engagement, understanding and retention. Who doesn’t enjoy gaming? So why not use games to train employees and enhance their productivity.

You can consider creating online games, quizzes, and contests to educate learners about various aspects of the organization. One step further could be to consider introducing awards for employees that score the highest.

In Conclusion

Creating effective training programs that motivate learners to actively upskill and reskill is a challenge, but meeting it can have great payoffs for the entire workforce. Designing your training to meet the needs of modern learners won’t just engage them, but will also help in reskilling the workforce for the future.