Skills are one of the most valuable assets in the modern workplace. They cannot only make an organization more profitable and productive, but also lead to greater advancement opportunities for employees. In this article, I’ll share what eLearning professionals need to know about upskilling in corporate eLearning.
Upskilling In Corporate eLearning: What eLearning Professionals Need To Know
Upskilling is the practice of building skills that are not necessarily required for the job, but can still help to improve a learner’s personal or professional life. It can also involve the development of necessarily skills beyond what is mandatory. For example, a sales associate can choose to upskill by building their negotiation abilities outside of the corporate training environment. eLearning professionals can give their learners the opportunity to hone their talents and expand their skill sets by integrating upskilling into their corporate eLearning strategy.
Here PulseLearning provides 6 tips to promote upskilling in corporate eLearning:
1. Encourage corporate learners to create a personalized upskilling plan.
Every corporate learner has the skill sets they need to do their job effectively, as well as to improve their personal lives to some extent. This is why it’s important to create an individualized plan for each member of your corporate audience and empower them to identify what skills they are lacking. In many respects, upskilling is a very personal endeavor, as everyone has unique interests and talents that align with certain skills. For example, a corporate learner who wants to work on their interpersonal abilities might want to focus on their communication skills. However, that may not appeal to someone who would prefer to build their technical skills. They key to a successful upskilling plan is making it learner-centric. If corporate learners feel as though they have power and control over their own eLearning experience, they are going to actively participate and give it their all.
2. Focus on job-specific skills.
In addition to skills that are personally chosen by the corporate learner, it’s always wise to focus on skills that employees will need to use on a regular basis. For instance, customer service associates may want to focus on their communication and conflict resolution skills instead of working on their negotiation abilities. Ask your employees to write down every task and process that they carry out on a daily basis, and then develop their job-specific upskilling plan using the list as a guide. You can also monitor them on the job to see which skills might benefit them in the workplace or conduct interviews with their supervisors.
3. Tackle one skill set at a time.
One of the most effective ways to approach upskilling is to tackle one skill or skill set at a time, instead of trying to build several skills all at once. Figure out how you can fill the skill gap by assessing the employee’s current abilities and comparing them to their skill goal. You can then develop online training activities and materials that cater to their individual needs rather than generalized exercises that may not support their upskilling efforts. Once the learner has developed the skill, they can then move onto the next eLearning module to matter another. To improve retention, be sure to integrate previously acquired skills into the proceeding modules so that they can apply what they have learned.
4. Integrate peer networks into your corporate eLearning strategy.
Upskilling in corporate eLearning doesn’t have to be a solo journey. In fact, you can use peer-based networks, such as social media sites and forums, to make your corporate eLearning strategy more interactive and collaborative. This gives corporate learners the opportunity to benefit from the online training experience of professionals who have already developed the skill. For example, joining a LinkedIn group that focuses on a specific field or skill can expose corporate learners to a wealth of information and insight. They can ask questions, learn proper habits that can build the skill, and even determine if other associated skills can help them to achieve success.
5. Use real world examples and stories to engage corporate learners.
Sure, an online lecture or virtual presentation can simplify a complex idea and give your corporate learners a general overview of how to master a skill, but stories and examples make it personal. When your corporate learners actually read about how they can use a skill in the real world or meet characters who have mastered the skill and have achieved success in their lives, intrinsic motivation is more likely to occur. This is due to the fact that they can see, first hand, that the skill leads to positive results. Rather than just learning about the ideas or concepts, they get a glimpse of how these concepts can lead to real world benefits outside of the online training environment.
6. Offer supplemental online training resources for self-starters.
Inevitably, there are going to be corporate learners who want to upskill on their own time to take their abilities to the next level. For these individuals, it’s always a good idea to create supplemental online training resources that they can access outside of the online training course. Articles, eLearning videos, webinars, podcasts, and blog posts are all examples of online training resources that you can add to your list. You can also keep it organized by developing different lists for various skill sets. These resources are also invaluable for those who may be struggling with their upskilling, as it gives them the opportunity to seek out additional training tools. If you want to take it to the next level you can also create self-assessments and mini eLearning scenarios that your corporate learners can use at the end of each study session to test their knowledge and skill development.
Use these tips to create a successful upskilling online training strategy that gives your corporate learners the online tools and resources they need to reach their true potential. Keep in mind that it’s not about learning as many skills as possible, but mastering a specific group of skills that will actually benefit them in the real world.
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