In the ever-changing workplace, skill development persists as a tried-and-true advancement strategy for employees at all levels. Whether you’re just starting your career or are part of the way through the journey, adopting a lifelong learning mindset and pursuing skill upgrades better equip you to navigate twists and turns on the road to career success.
If you’re an employer or human resources professional, one of your goals is to provide your staff with the tools they need to succeed and effectively contribute to your organization. Skills training for career development is a way to accomplish this aim and help your staff work smarter and not harder, which benefits everyone involved.
In this article, the second in our employee development series, we’ll explore several skill areas employees can develop or improve to bolster their careers and add value to their organizations.
“Everyone has something meaningful to contribute. A bedrock strategy of true success is to discover and foster individual strengths and use them to benefit others.” ~ Sanquinetta Marie Dover, Dover Solutions founder
1. Soft Skills
Teamwork, problem-solving, and flexibility are examples of what recruiters call soft skills. Ubiquitously transferable, soft skills enable employees to communicate, manage conflict, and collaborate.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a type of executive function soft skill that involves understanding and regulating behavior. If you have a difficult day or unsatisfactory interaction with a coworker or business associate, it’s your EQ that helps you put everything in perspective while you remain calm and effective. Team members who struggle with EQ concepts can benefit tremendously from training in this area.
Staff with interpersonal skills and a work ethic — and who demonstrate leadership through self-motivation — become valued contributors to their organizations while furthering career objectives because of their ability to adapt, learn, and grow.
2. Remote Upskilling
As remote work becomes more common, the ability to expand on existing skills both proactively and independently becomes a skill in and of itself. Career candidates need initiative and confidence to assess their own skill set, source upgrade solutions, and act on those opportunities.
Reading industry publications, listening to podcasts, and attending virtual events such as webinars are all ways to engage remotely in career development. Whether you are entry-level clerical staff improving your keyboarding skills or have a role in IT and are working towards a CCNA certificate, remote upskilling is accessible and advantageous.
In addition to job-specific career development, remote upskilling presents the opportunity to develop other valuable and transferrable skills, such as time management and personal organization. Taking on training while working at home may seem overwhelming until you flex your scheduling muscles and devise a plan to keep yourself on track and accountable.
3. Software and Technology
Mastery of widely-used software positions job candidates competitively in the quest for advancement. One example of this software is Microsoft Office, which covers an array of application choices; spreadsheets, presentations, and word processing are all of value in any industry. The hug percentage of companies in the U.S. using Office 365 make this suite of programs a prime focus for employee training.
Technology is not just a tool to facilitate workflow; in some organizations, it’s the core of the business. If you work for a software company, for example, there are likely multiple training opportunities to advance your position and increase your job prospects.
4. Job-Specific Training
A Customer Service Specialist (CSS) is the vital link between the customer and company and is an example of a role that requires job-specific training. When performed skillfully, the role of CSS results in new business, successful client retention, and dispute de-escalation. An employee responsible for customer service brings to the role soft skills such as leadership and emotional intelligence but also requires job-specific training regarding company products and policies.
Look for opportunities at your company for job-specific training outside of your current role. Your employer might need vacation or sick days backup for a coworker’s position. Taking on this training increases your value to the employer while broadening your skill set for future opportunities.
5. Core Skills Training
Core skills are highly transferrable between roles and even industries, and they should be a priority in employee training for career development. These are the skills that enable you to work on a team and share ideas and information.
Communication is one such example. Whether it’s public speaking or the written word, the ability to effectively convey information is a highly valuable core skill. The purpose of communication affects the way you use it; for example, your word choices and delivery methods might differ between language intended to persuade and that which is meant to instruct. Fluency in oral and written communication can be a make-or-break core skill, the development of which can benefit any staff member.
Employee training benefits organizations and staff. If you’re an employer or HR manager, adding staff skill assessments and upgrades to your management plan is a worthwhile undertaking. If you’re an employee who wants to uplevel your skills, you don’t need to wait for your employer to lead the way. Be proactive and look for professional self-improvement opportunities.
The next article in our employee development series will examine career growth essentials such as testing, certification, and licensures aimed at promoting career development. Contact Dover Training Institute for more information and complete this form to get information about our next training courses.