Why upskilling and development are crucial
Posted by Amelia Spanton on 28 March 2022

Why Upskill?

Undoubtedly, upskilling and employee development are key focuses for companies, providing a wide range of benefits for both employee and employer. At its core, it is about helping employees to build new skills and enhance their knowledge sets and competencies.

Staff can expand their skillsets, acquiring the satisfaction that comes with growth and work more effectively. This in turn benefits their wider company in a myriad of ways, from improved employee retention to better overall performance.

An important survey in the field by Middlesex University’s Institute for Work Based Learning found that 74% of UK workers felt they were not reaching their potential and wished they had received more job training. So, this leads to the question, how can we create better upskilling and development opportunities for our teams?

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Firstly, communicating clearly about these opportunities is important. Let your team know that they can invest time in building their skills whilst at work. Often the focus can be spent on day-to-day tasks, so prompting everyone to look at the wider picture of growth and development can be helpful.

Secondly, empowering staff to grow in a way that works for them and encouraging them to work on areas that they’re interested in will make the process more constructive and enjoyable.

Finally, structure an approach of how to record and track goals and progress. Format-wise this will vary from company to company, or employee to employee, however even if it is just a few bullet points it can prove valuable.

There are many approaches you can take in terms of content. For example, some companies go the route of ‘lunch and learns’ or team workshops, but online courses or simply keeping up to date with trade publications are also valuable options.

We wanted to share our tops suggestions for team development and upskilling. See below our digital learning resource recommendations:

Online courses
Online courses are a central way, especially in the context of hybrid working and digitalisation, to gain access to resources and learning environments to build skills, increase knowledge and supplement competencies. Online courses, such as those on FutureLearn, Skillshare and HubSpot Academy, enable learners to work through at their own pace and fit easily around busy work schedules.

There are also plenty of courses that take place in real-time via platforms like Zoom,  which provide benefits such as group workshops alongside an educator to discuss topics directly with. Many industry organisations run courses relevant to specific sectors so when it comes to building technical skills and knowledge this is a great choice. Our own team have been on some interesting marketing courses from The Chartered Institute of Marketing.

And of course, we have to give a special shoutout to our own online resources, we’ve shared insights on a myriad of topics via our blog and we also have put together toolkits and tutorials via Thinkific on a range of important subjects, including how to successfully engage your employees and how to effectively promote your business.

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Audio & Podcasts

Podcast listening has seen incredible growth over the last few years. By the end of 2021, it was reported that there are over two million podcasts and more than 48 million podcast episodes. With content out there tailored to every interest imaginable, career and employee development related content can be easily discovered online.

Career-wise there are shows like Squiggly Careers which takes a useful approach to career development helping listeners to navigate what can be a new, confusing world of work.

As a team, we often listen to PR, marketing and comms podcasts so we’re always in the know when it comes to industry news and trends. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations has a great collection of podcasts on the current challenges and opportunities facing PR and comms specialists. Another favourite when it some to topical marketing knowledge is The Digital Marketing Podcast.

Whether you’d like to nurture commercial awareness or establish a new skill altogether, there is going to be a podcast for you. Try searching for key industries topics on your chosen podcast platform, you are sure to find some interesting shows.

Online publications

Whatever industry you are a part of, or you’d like to learn about, there are key publications that can help you stay up to date and develop your knowledge base. Communications-wise, sites like Marketing Week and The Drum offer up to date and engaging stories from our industry. For our team, we stay commercially aware not only when it comes to marketing but across key subject areas for our clients and their relevant industries, from rail to innovation. Dozens of informative sites touching on all aspects of businesses and industry news are out there and a quick Google search will help you to find the most relevant for you.

So whatever upskilling and development goals you and your team have, by setting time aside and exploring your options online, you are bound to find invaluable resources and enrich your team on an individual and organisation wide basis.

If you’d like to read more of the team’s insights visit our blog homepage and if you’d to learn more about our specialist team and how we can support you please get in contact today at communciate@heyme.co.uk.

“Since day one, Amy herself has fit seamlessly into our team, understanding the message we want to convey and the audiences we want to reach. Her upfront audit was invaluable in helping us internally hone our common voice, which has demonstrated itself in the consistency of the content we put out as a brand and as individuals within the company. Behind the scenes, Amy has instinctively adopted our internal communication methods (Slack, SharePoint) and works closely with our in-house graphic design team to ensure our graphics and copy are in sync.” Lucy Prior MBE - previously from 3Squared 2021
“I saved so much time after implementing a more structured approach which has given me the opportunity to focus on creating more content and work more closely with my clients. Amy and her team are easy to deal with and are quick to provide valuable solutions. I would not hesitate to work with Hey Me again in the future.” Karen Duncan - Lanehead Coniston
“I met Amy a few years ago at a Young Rail Professionals event and was able to provide her with an opportunity to manage the comms on a major alliance which she flourished at. Soon after she started, Marie came along to provide HR support across the multiple businesses. It seems only natural that being as dynamic and knowledge as they are, they are looking to work together on this new venture, which I am sure will be a huge success.” Karen Duncan - Lanehead Coniston
“I saved so much time after implementing a more structured approach which has given me the opportunity to focus on creating more content and work more closely with my clients. Amy and her team are easy to deal with and are quick to provide valuable solutions. I would not hesitate to work with Hey Me again in the future.” Karen Duncan - Lanehead Coniston

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