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The Importance of Upskilling Employees for the Evolving Workplace

Upskilling employees has become crucial for organizational success. As technology advances and remote or hybrid work models become the norm, developing both technical and soft skills ensures employees remain adaptable and competitive.

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The evolution of the workplace environment in 2024

Over the years, the way we work has changed quite a lot. As different technologies disrupt the market, creating job roles and responsibilities that didn't exist before, and as more organizations switch to a remote or hybrid model of working, it’s fair to say that the workplace environment of 2024 has and continues to evolve rapidly.

Due to the changing nature of the workplace, the need to develop and upskill employees has come to the forefront. As we step into a virtual world where people from different backgrounds and walks of life come to work together, geographical boundaries don’t exist, and being easy to work with is one of the most important qualities that is looked for in a potential candidate.

Continuously working on one’s technical and soft skills and adapting them to the new environment seems like a growing necessity, especially in the boom of AI. While AI may put many jobs at risk in the future of work, according to The Financial Times, economists predict that new opportunities — and higher wages — might be coming for those whose work prioritizes people skills.

The skills you need in the ever-evolving workplace environment

Upskilling is the art of skill development by leveraging the latest technology to fill any skill gaps and enhance the productivity of an individual. Organizations can use an employee upskilling program to conduct a skills gap analysis and implement upskilling through training initiatives like online courses, webinars, seminars, on-the-job training programs, and even team building activities!

Focus your upskilling on:

1. Effective communication

If your employees work in a remote setting or hybrid model, you must improve their communication skills. Upskilling employees in effective communication can help them mitigate workplace conflicts, improve productivity, find innovative solutions to problem-solving, and express their opinions and ideas clearly.

As an HR executive or learning and development manager, you can achieve this by offering your employees communication skills workshops, seminars, and webinars. You can also create team activities that allow the team members to interact and communicate with each other. Encouraging your employees to actively reach out to their teammates and listen to concerns respectfully and helpfully can help them upskill their communication skills.

How to get started 👉 Practice effective communication in a Communication Skills Workshop
Virtual Communication Skills Workshop by Confetti

2. Networking and relationship-building

In today’s digital world, there are immense opportunities to network with people outside a designated team and department. By encouraging your employees to keep an open mind and a curious approach while meeting new people, and looking for opportunities to participate in company events, both in person and remotely, you can help them build stronger relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

You as an employer can help with employee upskilling by introducing them to courses that focus on relationship building, especially if you aim to sell a product or service. You can also pay for any networking and relationship-building courses that your employees want to participate in.

How to get started 👉 Host a Networking Water Cooler for your team! 
Virtual Networking Water Cooler by Confetti

3. Active collaboration

Encourage collaboration within your team by making them work together on different projects, and taking everyone’s opinions into account. This is by far the most effective way for employee upskilling. Suppose you’re planning to bring new collaboration tools to the organization, such as shared inbox tools, or project management software. In that case, having a practical training session is also a good way to get your employees comfortable with the new technology.

Many online courses can help employees understand how to use remote collaboration tools such as Asana, Trello, Notion, etc.

4. Smart time management

Whether one is in a professional setting or a personal one, if they know how to manage their time well, they’re golden. Employees who are time savvy can responsibly utilize their time. They’re also more likely to be given opportunities to lead and grow.

To help your employees upskill their time management skills, you can offer training and seminars on goal setting, stress management, delegation, multitasking, prioritization, organization, and eliminating distractions.

5. Ability to lead

With a hybrid and geographically liberated workspace at our disposal, the opportunities for leadership roles are immense. A tech company’s employees don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to become a team lead, they can do so from the comfort of their home.

By honing their leadership skills through upskilling, and reskilling, they can adapt themselves to a work environment that welcomes personal and professional growth and appreciates those who show up and work on themselves. Many organizations invest in leadership and management courses for their top-tier talent to create future leaders for business development.

How to get started 👉Learn new skills in a Mindful Leadership Workshop
Virtual Mindful Leadershop Workshop by Confetti

6. Successful teamwork

As important as it is to be a good leader, it’s equally important to be a good team player. Being easy to work with is such an underrated skill that even neuroscientists at Harvard vouch for it.

To help your employees with upskilling in the art of successful teamwork, encourage them to ask for feedback, learn to play not against their team, volunteer for projects that match their interests, and help out fellow teammates. 

How to get started 👉 To solve this Escape Quest, your employees will need to work as a team! 
Escape Quest by Confetti

7. Strong work ethic

Advanced skills that show a person has a strong work ethic include being responsible for their work, resilience, critical thinking skills, problem-solving mindset, intrinsic motivation, continuous learning, and a desire to be mentored.

HR professionals can upskill employees in the art of strong work ethic by conducting useful workshops, inviting speakers, or imbibing the example of strong work ethic by appreciating those who upskill their attitude, character, productivity, attention to detail, attendance, initiation, and have a desire to learn from their mentors.

Usage of applications that track employees' performance on the basis of their work ethic can help you identify the areas lacking, and strive to create the right employee development plans for them.

8. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage and regulate emotions in a healthy manner. Signs of an emotionally intelligent individual in a workplace include self-awareness, confidence, staying calm under stressful situations, strong social skills, openness to constructive criticism, authenticity, ability to apologize, and curiosity.

By appreciating and teaching the importance of these skills in a workplace environment, you can help your employees upskill by equipping themselves with the necessary emotional intelligence skills, all of which can help them become a good team player and a responsible leader.

How to get started 👉 Practice taking a walk in someone else’s shoes at the Empathy Water Cooler
Virtual Empathy Water Cooler by Confetti

9. Impactful conflict resolution

No matter what a job description specifies a role as, problems and issues come up everywhere. Having an intrinsic ability to move through stressful situations and calmly handle conflicts is an important skill to have in an ever-evolving workplace. Hence, as an HR professional, you need to create opportunities for employees to improve their conflict resolution skills.

Skills needed for conflict resolution often revolve around diplomacy, negotiation, active listening, empathy, innovation, clarity, and brevity. 

How to get started 👉 Learn the art of responding vs. reacting, as well as handling conflict with empathy in DEI Conversations at Work
Virtual DEI Conversations at Work by Confetti

10. Quick decision making

Quick decision-making is the holistic approach of looking at an objective perspective, understanding the pros and cons of a situation, and the ability to make decisions with a higher percentage of success in a short span of time. In an ever-evolving workplace, the skill of quick decision-making can’t be ignored.

So, plan games, activities, and workshops that tackle the power of quick decision-making in the workplace.

How to get started 👉 Flex quick thinking through the art of improv in a round of Think Faster!
Think Faster by Confetti

Add upskilling to your employee development plans

Being ahead of the curve when it comes to upskilling your employees for an ever-evolving workplace environment can seem tough at first, but that also makes it exciting. When your employees can adapt to new situations, they can open themselves up to new and high-level responsibilities.

When a workplace environment challenges them to better themselves through upskilling, it means that the job is worth it. Learning how to handle people, situations, and boardrooms is a skill that can only be learned by someone willing to step out of their comfort zone for a successful career and continuous professional development.

Want to learn how Confetti team building activities can contribute to your upskilling efforts? Schedule a call to speak to a Confetti expert today!

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