Not all of the six types of programs explained in this document are right for every employer—especially if your company is small. To be sure you have the right program(s) for your company, it is important to evaluate your goals for any upskilling program and the problems you hope it will address. In some cases, it might be best to start with one program and add more as your needs and goals change. To get started, ask yourself the following questions:
Skills versus knowledge — Are we hoping to develop our workers’ skills, knowledge, or both?
Mastery — What is the best way for our employees to demonstrate they have mastered the skills or knowledge we want them to obtain?
- Is it professional experience?
- Is it a certain score on an assessment?
- Is it a certificate or degree from an educational institution?
- Is it a professional license?
Timeframe — How long is our company willing to wait for our workers to develop these skills or knowledge? Are we willing to invest in long-term strategies? Will the new skill or knowledge be implemented immediately or must other events occur first (e.g., new equipment be installed, new facilities opened)?
Cost — How much are we willing to spend to enable employees to develop these skills or to gain the knowledge?
Source — Where can the new skills or knowledge come from — internal or external sources?
Method of delivery — How is this learning best conveyed?
- Is it in a classroom or in the workplace?
- Is it in person, or can it be delivered using technology-enabled distance learning?
- Does this type of education require everyone to be in the same place?
- Can participants learn at their own pace?
There are many skilled professionals who specialize in helping companies determine the best course of action to meet their needs. Some of these providers are listed on the Additional Resources page at the end of this playbook.