When considering whether to start an upskilling program, there are a number of factors to consider:
The importance of a learning — First and foremost, you should consider whether it is important to your company’s long-term success to have a learning culture whereby your employees pursue and value opportunities to learn and build their skills throughout their careers. To determine this, ask yourself these questions:
- Are we always looking for more efficient processes?
- Is technology playing an increasingly important role in the company?
- Is my company’s industry and its skill needs evolving quickly?
- Do we assess our future workforce skill needs and anticipate shortages?
- Is it important for my company to innovate new ways of doing business?
- Are we looking for new products and/or services to provide to our customers?
- Do our employees interact with our customers?
Other factors you should consider and questions you should ask include:
- Turnover rate — What is our turnover rate? How does it compare with industry standards? Does turnover affect our productivity or competitiveness? Would we like it to be lower?
- Retention rate — What is our retention rate? How does it compare with industry standards? Are we keeping our most productive employees or are they pursuing growth opportunities with other companies?
- Internal promotion rate — What is our internal promotion rate? When we have vacancies, are our employees equipped to step into these positions and succeed? Do we prefer to hire from within or to bring in someone from the outside? If we prefer to bring in someone from outside, why is this? Is it because a person from the outside brings new ideas and skills our current employees don’t possess?
- Recruitment costs — How much does it cost us to fill a position from the outside? Are our new hires able to step in immediately and be productive?
- Days to fill a vacancy — How long does it take us to fill a vacancy? Is it faster to fill a position internally or externally? Do we have a ready pool of candidates to draw from?
- Company fit — How well do outside hires fit within our company culture?
- Mission — Do we want to be known as a company that cares about the long-term success of our workers?