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A tabby cat sitting on wooden floor and looking at the running (or jumping) tiger sketched (chalk drawing) on the wall.
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Hidden skills: Accelerating knowledge transfer and upskilling

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Head cheerleader for Career Magic, Ekua Cant, delves into the key components of knowledge transfer and skill progression – uncovering four key approaches to efficient upskilling.

11th Mar 2022
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According to the Chinese Zodiac Calendar, we’ve just entered the year of the tiger. Tigers are associated with having strength, bravery and willpower. 

Employees, leaders and organisations have had to adapt to a very changeable operating environment, which has brought both challenges and opportunities. 

Whilst I acknowledge that it has been an unprecedented time for employees, HR leaders and organisations alike, I contend that “there’s always something going on”, to a lesser or larger degree, and it’s about the mindset that you adopt towards your personal learning and development that will enable you to gain knowledge rapidly and to upskill with the self-confidence of a tiger! 

The World Economic Forum projects that by the end of 2022, over half of all employees will need re-skilling and upskilling to respond to the changing work requirements. Living through the lockdowns and the ongoing pandemic, what has become apparent is that your workforce has many hidden talents and skills

Encourage and invite your employees to share their “hidden skills” they use outside of work t

Hidden skills evaluation

It’s about how we help employees to see that they can use “their hidden skills” in their current job and not let them only be the reserve of their voluntary capacity or their home lives. 

Encourage and invite your employees to share their “hidden skills” they use outside of work to help them to adopt new technology, ways of working or to be more productive. Increasingly employees have had the opportunity to re-evaluate their skills and what skills are needed in a more changeable working environment and marketplace. 

With access to many free courses and opportunities to access learning management systems with a plethora of courses and knowledge, now is the moment to introduce a “learning attitude and mindset” to your workforce. 

One that enables them to see that continual learning serves them to be more valuable to your company and also in prime position for new opportunities and ways of working that are more innovative and market-leading. 

Knowledge transfer

Work cultures need to be ever more focused on knowledge transfer, upskilling, reskilling and being creative about how your organisation shares knowledge and skills. 

Those employees who attend training, go on courses need to be engaged to provide knowledge transfer and championed for their ability to help others and to increase the skills capacity of your company. 

So how can you encourage your employees to unlock their “hidden skills”? Here are four ways that employees may be encouraged to become “upskilling champions”:

1. Make it simple

Your employees may feel like taking the time out of their schedule to learn or to upskill is a “time sink”! Make it easy and bite-sized for your employees to engage in education, training or micro-learning can solve these issues. People normally consume content in small chunks, so make your content easily digestible in 5 to 15 mins. Provide a number of formats, video, audio, written, with tests, quizzes and games for engagement.

Providing incentives and rewards is a proven technique for positive reinforcement.

2. Peer coaching 

Peer coaching is when you get two or more colleagues with new knowledge or skills to teach and help one another solve learning problems in the workplace. It’s an informal practice where peers can talk to each other informally, ask questions and decide on the best way to share and disseminate their knowledge. 

Peer coaching also provides the opportunity for your employees to build leadership skills, learn to manage and adapt to feedback and can be a fantastic way for upskilling your employees in soft skills. 

3. Reward staff for upkskillng and learning 

Who doesn’t like a reward or to feel recognised for their work? Providing incentives and rewards is a proven technique for positive reinforcement. So reward staff for learning new skills, but crucially sharing and providing knowledge transfer within their teams. Linking skills to your performance or rewards structure is a way to incentivise learning. 

4. Turn skills into resources 

It’s so easy for “learning to be lost” and not to be documented or shared! So get people to write, record or make short video tutorials on how to do the essential things that team members need to be effective team members. Encourage team members to make handy tips or guides for common problems. 

Finally, the aforementioned tips will help your organisation to create a “continual learning” culture, where knowledge and upskilling are seen as a way of life and seen as valuable by employees and organisations alike. 

If you would like to get in touch with me about my e-learning and personal development packages for your employees, get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Interested in this topic? Read The awareness factor: How to upskill your learners more efficiently

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