- One strategy that is rarely incorporated into employee wellness is upskilling.
- Learning new skills improves confidence, which reduces job-related stress and anxiety.
- 46% of workers would leave their employer if there were no upskilling opportunities.
When people talk about workplace wellness, they tend to talk about exercise programs, daily activity challenges, and nutrition. But there’s more to wellness than meets the eye.
One of the reasons workplace wellness has garnered so much popularity over the past several years is because investing in wellness pays off. With the right workplace wellness strategy, organizations can reduce turnover, increase productivity, reduce stress, and prevent burnout. Wellness programs have also been shown to improve employee morale and overall job happiness.
But there’s one strategy that is rarely incorporated into employee wellness:
Upskilling is basically providing employees with the opportunity to learn new skills.
How Upskilling Improves Wellbeing
Upskilling can help employees feel more confident about their ability to complete a task successfully, which in turn can reduce job-related stress and anxiety. This is especially true among employees that fear their job and skills will become obsolete in the near future due to advances in technology and the introduction of AI and robots into the workforce.
Recent research from Degreed found that “over a third (38%) of workers feel less confident they have the skills to do their job effectively, compared to pre-pandemic, and nearly half (46%) predict their current skills will die out in the next 3-5 years.”
As a result, the survey found that employees are experiencing increased stress levels and reduced productivity and job performance. This affects both the employee and business, as the research found that employees that aren’t confident in their skills are taking longer to complete tasks and find their work to be of lower quality.
By making upskilling a part of their wellness strategy, organizations can:
- help boost the confidence of employees
- help employees learn a new skill
- ensure the employability of workers in the future
- contribute to a sense of belonging and purpose
- improve job satisfaction.
All of which lead to improved mental health. It’s also a great way to show employees that they are valued and an important part of your organization; nearly half (46%) of global workers say they are likely to leave their employer if there are no upskilling opportunities.
How to Make Upskilling Part of Your Company DNA
1. Give employees time to learn new skills.
If you want upskilling to be a part of your company DNA, then as a company, you need to make time for upskilling. This means allowing employees to participate in upskilling activities during their work hours.
This can be done by either setting a specific day and time for employees to engage in skill learning, or by giving a set amount of hourly allowance that employees can use at their discretion.
2. Provide the right tools and resources.
By providing employees with access to the right tools and resources, you are making it easier for employees to learn a new skill.
This can be done through on-site and hands on training programs (a bit tricky as long as COVID-19 restrictions are in place); or you can grant them access to digital learning platforms where they can set their own pace and pick skills that appeal to them.
There are various options here:
- LinkedIn Learning
- Online university courses through platforms like Udemy or Coursera
- Future Learn
- Online courses from specific universities.
Another option is to have employees attend relevant symposiums, conferences, or webinars.
3. Provide opportunities for employees to use new skills.
The goal of learning a new skill is to apply it at one’s job. Therefore, it’s crucial that employers not only provide the tools and resources for employees to learn a new skill, but also for them to implement it at work.
Organizations should make it a priority to provide employees with ample opportunities to test out their new skills. This can be through involvement in new projects, new responsibilities, or through voluntary opportunities.
Giving employees opportunities to apply their new skills will not only help them hone on that skill, but also ensure that they not forget about it. It’s also a great way to encourage employees to engage in constant learning; after all, what’s the point of learning a new skill if they won’t be able to use it?