7 Innovative Ways to Support Skills Development in the Workplace

7 Innovative Ways to Support Skills Development in the Workplace

Employee retention is a significant concern for businesses due to ever-increasing turnover rates and related costs. And it has a lot to do with skills development in the workplace.

Numerically speaking, a quarter of workers (26%) plan to switch jobs once the current pandemic is over.

The total cost of hiring a new employee could go up to $5,000 or more.

However, as employees realize the power they have over their organization’s productivity and performance, things are finally turning around.

Employers are on the lookout for ways to measure and improve employee satisfaction in the workplace. For many, this means investing in professional development and employee growth initiatives, as many workers consider learning and development programs one of the most important elements when choosing where to work.

A proactive approach to employee growth strategies can alleviate employee turnover, drive more productivity, and ultimately empower your workforce by supporting development of skills in the workplace.

To that end, in this post, let’s look at 7 important ways on how to develop skills in the workplace.

Watch: What is Employee Training?

1. Create an Employee Lifecycle

Happy, productive employees are crucial to the growth and success of organizations. When you create an employee lifecycle, your company can provide constant support to all your employees from the time they get hired until they retire. 

An employee lifecycle covers several topics, including onboarding, diversity and inclusion, health and safety, and more. It can increase the importance of skills development in the workplace and help your company:

An employee lifecycle also acts as a roadmap for trainers to identify and track key objectives that learners essentially need to meet. What’s more, it allows an organization to leverage development opportunities for employees, helping their company continually evolve. 

2. Foster a Culture of Learning

 During the pandemic, many people worked from home to upskill, get online degrees, or start freelance side hustles. You should take advantage of this initiative and focus on promoting a learning culture in your own business.

People who work for companies that regularly provide resources for learning are more likely to feel happier (83%) and stay longer (7+ years). There are several skills to improve on at work and such companies provide the opportunities to develop them.

In an ongoing culture of learning, employees have opportunities for education and growth provided by the company. Your company should cultivate a positive learning culture with programs and courses to help your employees upskill. 

Ongoing training can help reinforce the acquisition of new knowledge and skills and enable your employees to put them into practice.

When you foster an ongoing learning culture, it demonstrates your commitment to your workforce while giving them ownership over their learning. This promotes a workplace with more productive employees who are dedicated to your company long-term.

Here are two ways to get started:

  • Conferences and events are a good way to encourage your employees to participate in networking activities outside their usual work environment. 
  • Certification programs are another option to strengthen the employees’ current knowledge or teach them a new concept. 

Engaging online training courses are one of the best ways to deliver ongoing learning & development to employees. Some of the professionally designed and customizable courses you can consider are:

3. Use Extended Reality

Extended reality (XR) is a collective word for immersive technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). By incorporating these technologies into your training, you can engage learners in a multi-sensory environment via smartphone, desktop, tablet, or headset.

To incorporate extended reality into your development programs, you should:

  • recognize your business and training goals
  • determine gaps in current training areas (e.g., technical and safety)
  • discuss with your training collaborators to figure out the suitable extended reality technology
  • run a pilot test, then introduce it organization-wide

XR minimizes the time employees need to learn a skill, reducing the number of mistakes by learners, and boosting their knowledge retention.

If you’re wondering how to develop soft skills, XR can also allow you to assess soft skills in addition to technical ones as you engage them in virtual interaction.

With the appropriate XR collaborators, your company can provide seamless interactive learning opportunities to employees that positively impact your training ROI.

4. Leverage Learning Management Systems

A learning management system (LMS) can show employees how to learn new skills easily and effectively. It enables your company to host, deliver, and monitor training content. By deploying an LMS in your employee training, your company can gain valuable insight into project metrics that indicate the success of training programs.

Here are some tips for implementing an LMS successfully in the form of employee training software:

  • Formulate a training plan: With a well-rounded plan, your company can determine the knowledge gaps, learning styles & preferences, and appropriate methods to meet those needs.
  • Set a benchmark: Get a complete report on your existing LMS by garnering as many metrics and statistics as possible. That way, your company can develop a standard for the success of the system.
  • Prepare for growth: Your company will likely expand its operations, so you should prepare yourself for added integrations, costs, supported users, and hours so that your LMS also helps you scale your business.
  • Create expert admins: Your company can deliver a superior experience to the trainees and ultimately administer the system with the help of these experts.

As the best online training software, a learning management system can help your organization manage and monitor training materials better, eventually reducing the costs and time associated with implementing the different training methods you might employ.

Watch: How to Choose the Best SaaS LMS Software?

5. Implement Cross-Departmental Training

Whether you are working as a frontline sales rep or a production manager, there is value in comprehending how different units operate. Only then can your company facilitate professional development and employee growth by implementing cross-departmental skill development programs.

Breaking down departmental barriers can enhance communication, thereby augmenting your organization’s efficiency as a whole.

For example, your customer service department may notice a usual theme in client complaints about a particular offering. If there is a communication gap between your customer service team and the production team, this deficiency can hurt the overall company operations.

Cross-departmental training programs effectively educate employees on different business aspects while providing a better communication channel to various sectors of your enterprise. This can lead to better sales processes and collaboration among employees.

Top 10 Skills for 21st Century Worker

6. Adopt a Blended Learning Approach

Blended learning is an advanced learning approach, bringing together digital and traditional techniques to develop a comprehensive program suited to any trainee’s needs.

For instance, Amazon will be training 100,000 of its new employees in advanced technical skills by 2025. What’s more, an increasing amount of online courses are also capitalizing on the increasing demand for digital skills development in the workplace.

Most of these courses take an average of fifteen weeks to complete and cover much of the same ground as you would get out of a traditional university course. You can develop blended learning and training programs by incorporating these tactics.

By implementing and incorporating both asynchronous and synchronous styles into a single program, blended learning seamlessly instructs employees via their preferred style. To execute a blended learning program successfully at your company, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Analyze your training needs to identify current gaps, goals, and solutions

Step 2: Choose what metrics you’ll be tracking to gauge the success of your program

Step 3: Decide on a realistic budget by assessing internal resources

Step 4: Figure out the best learning modalities for your learners’ needs

Step 5: Generate content and run pilot tests

Step 6: Adjust and fine-tune, then roll out the final program

Following the above steps can help your organization provide all learners with a cutting-edge approach to skills development that engages them and meets your business objectives.


Read: How to Develop Employee Training Program


7. Engage Learners with Gamification

The idea that learners enjoy healthy competition and rewards isn’t new. You can incorporate gamification into your training programs via some of the following methods:

  • Create a dashboard where participants can track progress
  • Reward badges to trainees once they complete specific activities
  • Set daily goals to keep learners focussed
  • Integrate quizzes or mini-games into learning assessment

Check this quiz example that you can embed in your training courses.

When you integrate gamification into corporate training, you’re adding a component of healthy competition that augments engagement and motivates employees to think of learning as a fun activity. 

Start Developing Workplace Skills!

Training and assessment in the corporate sector can touch every aspect of an organization. It requires employees to work collaboratively with colleagues and with potential customers and vendors. At the same time, employers need to provide a conducive learning environment where employees can fully develop their professional skills.

Therefore, investing in your employees’ skill development goes beyond technical skills and includes all activities that enable them to become more high-impact members of the organization.

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About the author

Kamy is an eLearning & training expert. He has been published in eLearningIndustry, TrainingMag. As a corporate trainer at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in building an awesome eLearning management system that has simplified learning and training for thousands of customers across the globe. Follow Kamy @kamyanderson