One of the most important aspects of how to judge your ability as a manager is by judging the ability of your employees. Are they self-sufficient, naturally curious and willing to learn new skills that will benefit themselves and your employer? If so, you should definitely be encouraging them! Inspiring employees to learn new skills and deepen existing ones is a goal that all managers should have.
The Importance of Learning New Skills
Encouraging employees to learn new skills is good for your business because it results in good will from employees and employees are able to use the new skills they learn to do better work for the business. Keeping up with new technologies and organizational standards is something that can benefit companies across all industries, and encouraging employees to learn new skills is the most important part of doing either of those things.
What You Can Do to Inspire Employees to Learn New Skills
One of the best ways to encourage employees to learn new skills is to make it evident that the business supports skill development. There are several ways to accomplish this:
- Frequent constructive feedback
- Coaching opportunities
- Mentorship programs
- Skill-building workshops
- Informative conferences
- Encouraging membership in professional organizations
Another way to motivate employees to develop and grow professionally is to give them an incentive that they will receive after they successfully implement their new skills and desired goals are met. Having a specific goal and reward can give your employees a tangible reason to take the time and learn new techniques and skills.
Improving Existing Skills
Maybe everyone in your business already has sufficient training. Another way to encourage employees to learn is to support them in deepening the skills they already have. Maybe there’s new accounting or design software that you would like to invest in. You could reimburse a couple of volunteers who are willing to learn the software and discuss with them whether it would be a good investment for the company.
Additionally, giving everyone in your company encouragement to stay up to date on best practices by joining professional organizations, attending and hosting conferences are great ways to increase the value your team brings to your company as part of a forward-thinking and highly-functional team.
The Importance of Cross-Training
Cross-training is one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to training employees. The idea behind cross-training is that no one should ever be so crucial to the success of your business that the business would descend into chaos if something happened to that one person. Whether someone slowly becomes jaded and resentful towards your company, wins the lottery, or has to unexpectedly take extended medical leave, you should never be left in the lurch while trying to get their replacement up to speed. Cross-training also improves empathy between departments; it’s harder for someone to think, “That other department has it so easy,” once they have a better understanding of what the other department actually does all day.
A cross-trained employee benefits by having a wider skill set that can be added to a resume when they decide to move on or leveraged into a promotion within their own company.
If you want to create a dynamic and successful business, one of the most important parts of that is cultivating an environment where employees are encouraged to develop new skills and deepen existing ones. Investing in your employees in this way always provides a great return, in the form of better output and goodwill generated for the company in exchange for supporting their career development.
MTI Events has been recognized as one of Kansas City’s top small businesses. At MTI Events we specialize in incentive travel programs, meeting planning, special events, trade shows, merchandise incentive programs, team building and more.