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ATD Blog

Upskilling Your Organization to Increase Engagement and Retention With Instructional Designers

Thursday, February 23, 2023

When you hire new employees, you evaluate their prior experience, compare their skills to your needs, and then make your hiring decisions. There must be a match between what they offer and what the company needs. But many talented individuals are only satisfied in one place for a short time. They seek opportunities to solve complex challenges, enhance their skills, and make significant contributions to the organization. If managers do not meet these needs, employees will look elsewhere for professional fulfillment.

One method for employers to retain talent is through upskilling. The more employees know about their field and position, the more confident and fulfilled they feel on the job. They’re not just going through the motions; they are experts. Develop and deploy the skills below to help your team members enhance their abilities through upskilling and create a more engaged and motivated workforce.

Build Confidence
Becoming an expert on the job boosts employee self-esteem and confidence. As a result, employees are likely to volunteer for greater work challenges or projects outside their comfort zone. Confidence enables them to contribute during meetings, share ideas, and mentor co-workers.

Promote Engagement and Retention
Talented people want their careers to grow. If they can’t get promoted internally, they will likely seek opportunities outside the company. Upskilling can increase their eligibility for internal roles and show that the company is willing to invest in its people.

Motivate Top Talent
Hiring top talent takes time and effort, which can pay off in terms of your company’s success, but it can be a waste if employees aren’t inspired to continue working there. Upskilling gives employees the resources they need to remain challenged, motivated, and ready to take on new projects.

Make Training Available and Accessible to All
Training should be available in various platforms and formats to ensure it’s widely available and easy to access. In person, online, video, and synchronous and asynchronous are just a few options.


Put Employees in the Driver’s Seat
Allow employees to take charge of their own development. Managers should work with their direct reports to develop a plan to help them reach their professional goals, but ultimately, the decision is in the hands of the employee.

Reward Growth and Effort
Recognize that employees are developing their skills and working on improving themselves. Inform them of deadlines and clear a path to help them get there. Inform them of upcoming promotion opportunities so that they can put in extra time.


Why Is an Instructional Designer Essential to Any Upskilling Effort?

Better Learning and Engagement
Because learning is their professional focus, instructional designers have more tools and resources at their disposal. They understand different learning styles and how to inspire and engage different types of employees. They can help you create learning paths for different roles to prepare employees for new positions.

Enhanced Program Quality
Instructional designers know how to build an ideal learning experience. They set clear objectives and paths to achieving them. They build programs for employees, managers, and the organization as a neutral third party. They will design a program that includes testing to evaluate the progress and assessment of the program.

Holistic Approach to Learning
Instructional designers can ensure that learning programs align with your company objectives rather than offering irrelevant, disconnected classes. An ideal learning environment aimed at upskilling employees is best attained by providing consistent opportunities throughout the company and being available to all employees.

About the Author

Herb Tieger is the president and CEO of Clarity Consultants, an L&D solutions company that helps organizations evaluate strengths, develop talent, train leadership, and manage change. Herb co-founded Clarity to serve Fortune 500 companies by providing instructional designers, training facilitators, and project management consultants.

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Upskilling is great, if it is focused on serving customers profitably. Great businesses like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Capital One partner with employees to serve customers, and doing so profitably, so they could continue to serve them. This article provides more background:
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