How to Rapidly Upskill Thousands of Employees at Once

An increasing trend amongst forward-thinking industry leaders and companies is upskilling: training existing employees in the new or advanced skills needed for job growth.

Whether training warehouse employees in managerial skills (Amazon), or call center employees in digital or analytics skills (AT&T), many successful companies look to the future and seek to match their current talent pool to corporate needs on the horizon.

Upskilling has certain challenges. Fortunately, these challenges are surmountable.

Here are some top tips to rapidly upskill thousands of employees at once.

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The ROI of Upskilling Your Workforce

Employee turnover costs big time. On average, the cost of replacing an employee costs between one-half and two times the employee’s annual salary.

If a company has 1,000 employees making an average of $40,000/year, that math comes out to $20 million - $80 million per year!

When you consider the costs of hiring, onboarding, training, and so on, Amazon spending $700 million to upskill 100,000 employees by 2025 sounds very smart.

The ROI of upskilling your employees includes:

  • Better retention when employees feel valued,
  • A qualified internal applicant pool,
  • Employees who gain the skills needed to succeed in the future,
  • More qualified employees to serve your customers/client base better.

What’s more, upskilling your existing workforce allows you to target the exact potential pool of talent you desire for your business growth strategies. Companies can pre-qualify or reward high performers with upskilling opportunities.

Common Skills to Upskill

If you are asking yourself, “What skills can companies upskill?” you may find you already have the answer: target the skillset gaps you see in your new hires, particularly those in mid-level to upper positions. Then, instead of recruiting externally, consider upskilling internally.

Common skillsets to build through a robust upskill training program include:

  • Digital skills
  • Computer skills
  • Data analysis/analytics skills
  • Software-specific skills for your inhouse software
  • Project management skills
  • Organizational transformation skills
  • Soft skills, such as communication skills

Whatever you wish your employees knew or could do, you can probably train a potential pool of them to do!

Tips for a Successful Upskills Program

Upskills programs succeed when companies set clear objectives, outline a simple structure, provide support along the way and follow up on results.

Step 1: Clear Objectives

In each course, clearly define what skill you wish for your trainees to obtain. Courses build on top of each other until you have obtained your desired results.

Step 2: Keep the Training Structure Simple

In this digital age, there’s no need for hours of boring lectures, hoping your trainees will glean some skills.

Modern technology allows for individualized training programs (a PDP or personal development plan). Employees can train on a predictable schedule, with clear expectations, individualized instruction and support along the way.

Realistically, you may lose or disqualify some trainees along the way, but if you start with a wide enough talent pool and consider incentivizing progress, you can create a successful eLearning funnel.

Step 3: Follow Up

Providing support during training and follow-up are key to successful training programs. Ideas including partnering up “training buddies,” creating a mentorship or apprenticeship program, or utilizing digital feedback surveys to evaluate course progress.

Employees provide instant feedback on learning progress as you see upskills put to action.

Upskill with Arist

At Arist, our e-Learning platform makes rapidly upskilling thousands of employees at once as simple as receiving a text message.

Most employees already comfortably use smart devices. Through a short, daily eLearning experience that focuses on actionable learning, your talent pool quickly gains the essential data, instant feedback, and interactive learning needed for a successful upskills program.

You can learn to create your own courses or our team of experts can create them for you. Take an Arist test drive to see how.