The Value of Employee Upskilling

Take your organization to the next level by increasing your employees’ skills. The term ‘upskilling’ is now used to describe the sophisticated planning required to keep pace with current workplace demands. As it sounds, upskilling is more than your typical skills training. It involves both upward and forward planning.

Upskilling Benefits

This is one approach to organizational advancement that benefits your business as well as employees. Consider that:

  • Providing opportunities to learn and advance improve employee engagement and performance. These, in turn, have a positive effect on retention and positive business outcomes.
  • Employee retention benefits the bottom line by limiting the costs associated with recruitment and hiring. At the same time internal capacity and succession increases.
  • Today’s employees want, and expect, opportunities that add to their knowledge and experience. They seek out employers who offer learning benefits and perks.

Vision Your Future—Upskill Today

As your team forecasts your business future, you’re surveying the critical elements required to get there. That includes assuring that employee abilities keep pace with emerging technologies and processes.

  • Provide opportunities for online or in-person learning bursts such as:
    • YouTube sessions that have your approval.
    • Take a break to share tips by offering staff an extra break or two during the week when they exchange helpful hints with each other.
  • Support employees who perform well and aspire to advance with your company by:
    • Providing lunch and learn sessions that focus on credentials for finance and accounting professionals.
    • Offering invitational workshops focused on select skills such as strategic thinking, software upgrades for data analysis, and portfolio development.
    • Establishing a fund that supports continuing education for employees working toward an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Track Outcomes of Your Upskilling Programs

Track outcomes of your upskill strategies and return on investment. Along with assuring that the upskilling methods your team selects are fiscally astute, learn to make needed changes.

  • Survey those who participate in the upskill selections you offer.
  • Remember that anecdotal feedback is worth noting.


You may also find the “Pros of Professional Development” helpful.



performance reviews

Are Performance Reviews Necessary?

Ideally, a performance review is a measure of an employee’s growth and achievement over time.  When done correctly performance reviews can be both inspiring and performance enhancing.  However, performance reviews are often performed in a manner that kills motivation, if even done at all.

Issues with Performance Reviews

A study of thousands of employees reveals that only 29% know if they are performing as expected.  The issue is that employees may not know if they are meeting expectations until it is too late.  For this reason, annual performance reviews may not be enough.   Conducting frequent performance reviews will help keep your team stay on the right track.

Engage Employees in an Improved Performance Review Process

Employees who excel at their jobs are achievement focused. They want to know if they are meeting expectations. Their desire to succeed needs to be matched by your regularly checking in with them. Steps that are working for other organizations include:

  • Establishing a regular schedule for meeting with staff about work goals.
    Once a year isn’t enough to get a real-time sense of employee performance or satisfaction.
  • Giving feedback on employees’ achievement and areas for improvement.
    Letting your employees know where they are excelling will keep them motivated.  As well as,  encourage them to strengthen other areas that need improvement.
  • Asking employees what they need to succeed in their jobs.
    Not having the proper tools or training can impede even the most dedicated employee’s performance.
  • Goal Setting
    Setting achievable milestones helps to keep employees on track and feeling motivated.

Consider the above tips when reevaluating your performance review process.  Use them to promote success by effectively communicating with your team on a regular basis.  And keep in mind that valued employees are happy employees.


For more employer tips, check out 5 Ways to Reduce Turnover and Improve Engagement


leadership change

How to Guide Your Employees Through Leadership Change

Tactfully communicating the news of leadership change to employees will help diminish stress. Assuming employees understand the changes your company is going through can jeopardize morale and productivity.  Leadership change can be off-putting to staff.  It is crucial to clearly communicate how the leadership change will impact them and the organization, and how the transition process will take effect.  When employees don’t fully understand a change, it can become a barrier to commitment and can result in resistance or even turnover.

Prepare a Leadership Change Support Plan

  • Let it be known your sole agenda is to support them and hear what’s on their minds.
  • Hold team and individual meetings during which employees can express concerns and hopes.
  • Ask your employees what their concerns are.
  • Ask your employees what information they need rather than telling them what you think they need to know.

How to Use Employee Feedback

  • Responding to Employee feedback can promote engagement, productivity and morale when done correctly.
  • Answer employee questions as openly as possible. If some decisions have not yet been made, commit to delivering that information as soon as it becomes available.
  • Employees respond well to having their feedback heard and valued, especially during leadership changes.  It helps reduce fears of irrelevance or termination.

Stages of Change Related Stress

During periods of leadership change many employees go through stages of denial, resistance, self-blame and acceptance.  Being empathetic to these stages can help you refocus your team’s energy onto productive tasks.

Don’t Rush the Pace of Change.

The rate employees will move through the negative stages of change depends on the timing and intensity of the change, as well as open communication. Lead, don’t rush your employees through the leadership change emotions. This will keep employees from becoming paralyzed with stress and move them to a place of positive energy and productivity.


For more tips on employee engagement, check out 5 Ways to Reduce Turnover and Improve Engagement.



When is it Time to Raise Employee Salaries?

When employees quit, there is an inevitable disruption in productivity. Other employees will be pulled away from their tasks to fill in the gaps until you find a replacement; when you do hire a new employee, they will need time to learn your business.  Maintaining employee morale, keeping productivity high, and reducing turnover are important to keeping your business running smoothly. A crucial part of employee retention is routinely reviewing your company’s compensation packages and awarding raises as  the market demands. Competitive salaries can be key to encouraging employee loyalty, as it shows them how much you appreciate their efforts.  If you are looking for the right time to increase employee salaries, here are some tips to consider.

The Company is in Good Financial Health

If your company is experiencing noticeable success,  it is be a critical times to reward your employees with a raise.  When your company is doing well, the employees also know it.  Failure to consider this factor may cause employee morale to quickly plummet.

Employees are Asking for Raises

While a single employee asking for a raise may not be indicative of your employees’ satisfaction with their pay, you should pay attention when you get requests from multiple employees.

There is an Increase in Responsibilities

It is often incredibly important to recognize when you have employees that go above and beyond their normally required work. Additionally, if you have employees that have started to take on additional roles so regularly that you might think that they are just doing their job, it’s probably time to consider giving them more money. Responsibilities can also increase as a company matures. Just ensure that you aren’t asking people to take on more for the same amount of money.

Employees are Leaving for Similar Jobs With Higher Salaries

Occasionally employees find positions that are better suited for them with another company, and there is just nothing that you can do. While these moves are often out of your control, be mindful of why they are leaving. If employees regularly reference better pay in their exit interviews, it may be time to roll out the raises.

Salary can be a complicated issue to negotiate for employees. Hopefully, considering some of these factors can help make that decision easier for you to manage.


For more employer tips, check out Why Are Employees Quitting?

employee retention

How Important is Salary for Employee Retention?

The cost of replacing current employees is astronomical when you factor in the time it takes to hire and train them. As well as, the time associated with hiring and training new employees. Considering these costs, it is difficult to fathom why not all employers are laser focused on employee retention.

If you have an employee that’s about to walk out the door, should you offer them more money to avoid those costs? It is important to understand just how important salary is to maintain your workforce.

The Gap in Understanding Employee Retention

Polling shows that around 75% of employees that left a position did so for reasons other than pay. However,  90% of managers believe that money is the driving factor behind employee loss. In reality,  if employees don’t feel good about the environment that they are in, or the work that they are doing, no amount of pay can keep them in your office. Studies suggest that appreciation for their work was the single most important factor, followed by their relationships with coworkers.

Fostering Employees

While pay is often a tangible method of showing employees that you appreciate them, many don’t feel that it is important as regular feedback and praise when they have done something positive. Rather than simply look to increase employee pay, many companies choose to offer other incentives for great employees.

Additionally, making sure to help employees maintain positive work environments with their coworkers can pay great dividends. These can be simple group presentations or activities, breaks or quarterly lunches together. Simply making sure that you understand your employees’ needs, and then taking concrete steps to improve the work environment for them can lead to higher overall retention.

Present the Ladder

Over time, many employees will want to grow their own skills and take on increasingly difficult tasks for the company. Introducing a plan for employees to climb the ladder within the company can lead to motivated staff that works hard to understand all aspects of your business. You can also be sure that when your internal employees receive promotions, that they will be ready to hit the ground running.

If you want to increase your employee retention, it is important to look beyond the paycheck and find out what really matters to your staff.


For more employee retention tips, check out Keep Your Employees from Fleeing to Competitors