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4 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Employees’ Skills

With major upheavals in both the workplace and the labor market, employers have had to rethink how they hire and manage their human capital. Current trends are focused on adding to employees competencies, both everyday workplace skills and more advanced ones. With that in mind, below are 5 easy ways to upgrade your employees’ skills and turn everyone into a superstar. 

Improve Everyone’s Excel Skills

Microsoft Office, but particularly Excel, is integrated into just about every data analysis, compilation, workflow and task management system used in the modern workplace. Employees from the top of the organization to the bottom rely on Excel and Excel skills every single day. But most people’s skill set barely scratches the surface of this enormous and enormously useful program. 

There are levels to Excel expertise, and everyone doesn’t need to be a VBA expert in order to effectively use and leverage Excel within the organization. But it is more than likely the majority of employees at most organizations are not as proficient with Excel as they could be. If you are planning an upcoming PD day or activity, consider a beginners course on Excel that will expose employees to Excel functionalities and capabilities that make everyday Excel use much more efficient. 

Cross-Training Days

COVID-19 laid bare the need to have employees who are capable of doing, and at the very least who have an in-depth macro-level understanding of their coworkers’ roles. “Cross-training” is the organizational behavior and HR word de jeur to describe employees training their coworkers to be proficient at different roles should there be slack in a given area of an organization. 

Cross-training is a fundamental principle for an agile organization. It ensures that should an employee go on parental leave, fall ill, or move on to another role or organization, there is someone, or perhaps multiple people who can fill in either temporarily or permanently. 

Cybersecurity Training Programs

Cybersecurity knowledge should absolutely be thought of as a skill, but more importantly, it should be viewed as good risk management in the age of remote work. Cybersecurity risks will continue to rise throughout the following decade and studies done in the past show that most businesses are worryingly ill-prepared to deal with even the most common cybersecurity threats. Organizations of all sizes don’t just risk massive hits to their bottom line, but potential bankruptcy and the end of their business. 

Employees and their lack of cybersecurity knowledge and competence almost always constitute the biggest cybersecurity threat to a business. A good way to upgrade employee skills in this department is to offer free cybersecurity awareness training courses, particularly to remote employees accessing sensitive company data on personal devices. 

Make Performance Evaluations About Improvement and Act On It

It is unfortunate that so many businesses continue to treat performance reviews as simple one-way conversations about areas for improvement and competence. If companies want to turn their employees into high performers, they need to give them roadmaps.

It is not enough to simply highlight strengths and weaknesses during a performance review; managers need to provide concrete steps employees can take to work on deficits while communicating the organization’s support. A manager or supervisor should come into a review setting with a plan for the employee and a commitment from the organization to help them act on and realize it. 

Keep Employee Skills Up-To-Date

Upgrading employee skills isn’t always about paying for expensive education or certifications. There are things that can be done at the organizational level, and within teams at all levels of the organizational structure, to make people more adept at their jobs, bigger assets to the company, and set everyone on a track for increased career success and job satisfaction.

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