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18th Oct, 2021

Christy Houghton
Christy Houghton
Job Title
Social Media Content Executive

According to a 2020 Reed survey, one of the key reasons people chose to leave their job was a lack of opportunity to progress.

With the number of vacancies now at their highest level since records began in 2001, as well as staff shortages across multiple sectors, it’s more important than ever to retain your existing workforce.

Learning and development is one of the best ways to show that you value your employees and are invested in their longevity at your company.

Upskilling your teams can save you time and money. You’ll need to identify the key skills they require, and whether they have the necessary competencies in this area. If they lack these skills, or need refinement, then you should investigate available courses.

Choosing a training course that suits an entire team can be challenging, since everyone learns in different ways, but there are ways to make your search seamless.

Training courses exist for any skill you can possibly think of, and these are easily accessible online, without costing the earth. If you’re not sure where to start looking, Reed lists high-quality, affordable training courses across a wide variety of subjects.

When you find a few potential training providers, what makes a course the best option?

There are some key considerations you need to make:

  • What skills or qualifications do your team members need?

  • What do they lack, or what areas do they need improvement?

  • How do they learn best?

  • What is your budget?

  • What results are you hoping to achieve?

Comparing courses

Keep your requirements in mind, as well as other desirables. Think about the goals of the individual and your goals for your team.

Create a checklist - list the elements you need, and any elements that would be useful but not essential, to compare each course that might be suitable. For instance, is it necessary for the trainee to receive a qualification at the end or is it just to refresh their existing skills?

Do your research – find out as much about the company providing the course as you can, such as their expertise in the subject, or their reputation in customer service. Would they understand your company culture enough to create a course that suits your needs?

First impressions – use your instincts and you can usually tell if the course is right for you. Check their website and ensure there are no red flags, including obvious spelling or grammar mistakes. A learning provider’s website quality reflects the quality of their courses: it should be easy to navigate, well organised and of high quality.

Look for flexibility – this is an essential trait that all the best courses have, because they can be adapted to suit your team and each person within your team. Any course that offers a one-size-fits-all type of learning most likely isn’t going to fit anyone.

Exercise caution – similarly, if they claim to be able to offer everything under the sun, then they are likely not able to offer much depth. Don’t dismiss them entirely, but tread carefully and ask questions. Is there any evidence that they can measure success and record attendance accurately?

Consider cost – paying a bit extra could be worth it to get you the best course. Try comparing the highest price and the lowest price courses that do what you need and see what each might be missing. You could find that the lowest price course does what you need – or possibly rethink what you consider essential or a luxury.

Identify learning styles – there are at least four types of learning methods: audio, visual, kinaesthetic and reading/writing. You need to choose one based on the needs of those in your team. You might find that some would learn better by doing something active (kinaesthetic learning), and some would find it more effective to watch a video (audio/visual learning), for example. A good learning provider will be able to adapt their courses to meet your needs.

Adapt to individuals – certain skills may require different types of courses. For an individual who needs to learn soft skills, an in-person seminar might be the best option for them. If one weakness in your team is use of technology, an online course would likely benefit team members more. Finding a course with elements of everything available gives you the best range that can suit everyone.

Benefits of upskilling

You most likely hired your team because you saw potential in each of them. This is your chance to help them reach that potential and create the professional you’ve always needed them to be. It might be that they only require a nudge in the right direction. As they grow, they’ll only become more valuable to you and your business, and more grateful to you for your support.

Training them to improve will produce better results for employee retention and their productivity. Creating a culture of teaching and learning will help your employees feel valued.

For more information on upskilling your teams, download our free manager’s guide to learning and development.