How employees can improve their workplace skills

Everyone feels the need to improve their workplace skills from time to time, and there’s a whole host of reasons to do so. Whether you’re looking to progressup the pay scale to a job with more responsibility as part of your next career move or you’re simply looking to inject some variety into your work by being able to take on different projects, there are all kinds of reasons to invest in your career in this way. And with so many widely available options, there’s bound to be a workplace skill improvement opportunitythat will benefit you. Here are some top tips for getting your skills into shape no matter what your requirements. 

Take a course 

When it comes to professional development, often the first thing that springs to mind for many people – both employer and employee – is the traditional training course. Usually, this involves either goingto an external location for an away dayor having a training provider come into the workplace to runa session. However, one of the problems with the traditional training course model is that it saps working time away from the day job, and this can cause lost revenue for the employer. For that reason, employers only tend to hold working day training courses on subjects that they either have to train their staff in by law or which have a very clear business benefit.

That means that other skills which are important but not essential are sometimes overlooked because they simply aren’t sufficiently revenue-generating;however, with the advent of the internet, that’s all changing. Online services thatallow employees to complete training courses either in their own time or without the large time costs and inconvenience of travel to a venue are exploding in popularity, and they incentivise both employers and employees to becomeinvolved. The Knowledge Academy offers a wide range of courses including everything from agile project management training, to Microsoft training, all of which can be completed at the employee’s convenience.

Shadowing other professionals 

For those looking to watch and learn when it comes to their professional development, another good way to pick up the skills necessary to advance your career is to shadow those who are above you on the career ladder. If you have a certain trajectory you would like to follow in your career, asking to shadow someone in your organisation who is already at that position is a great move because it allows you to see what life is really like in that role.

Some people avoid doing this because they don’t want to be seen as too keen, but it’s actually a really smart move. Often, those people shadowed others when they were younger and were in your position, so you shouldn’t be afraid to ask. After all, the worst they can do is politely decline and offer you an alternative, such as a casual meeting to discuss your plans.

Retraining completely 

Sometimes, however, the professional development direction in which an employee wants to move is not one which is focused around their current job or industry. For those people who want to fully retrain, it’s often a little more complicated than simply enrolling on a training course: acquiring the necessary skills and accreditation to move into a new career is not something that can easily be done, and often it may require sacrifice – either by taking time out of work or giving up your evenings to study.

The good news, though, is that all kinds of retraining programmes exist – and they may well be happening in a place that’s convenient for you. It’s worth speaking to someone at a local university or further education institution about what your options are, as there may be a local scheme that allows you to retrain flexibly around your other commitments. That is often the case withqualifications like the NVQ, which can open up a whole world of occupations such as healthcare, teaching assistant work or social care.

If you would like to either pick up more skills relevant to your current sector or you’re planning to fully retrain and move into a new industry, it’s definitely worth looking into how professional development can boost your CV and equipyou with an expanded set of workplace skills. From enrolling on an online course to learning from the pros by shadowing someone in your organisation, there are plenty of options available to you no matter what you want to achieve.