Blog Managing People

How a weekly check-in helps employee upskilling

Updated 14th April 2022

A high performing team is like a well-oiled machine. But just like machines, if parts are missing, it won’t work as well as it could. Employers face this challenge in the form of skills shortages, higher attrition and changing business demands becoming all too typical. So, let's look at how a weekly check-in can help you with employee upskilling.

Forbes reports that, over only four years, one-third of the skills required for any position become unimportant enough that they're no longer included in the job description.

A weekly check-in helps you understand which skillsets are missing from your team. But most importantly, an employee check-in shows you which employees might be best placed to learn these skills through employee upskilling or reskilling. It’ll also help you keep track of their development.

HR blame lack of skilled candidates

Seventy-five percent of HR professionals who had difficulty recruiting in 2019 blamed it on applicants lacking the necessary skills.

So, the pandemic hasn’t actually caused these issues, but merely shone a spotlight on them. A 2018 SHRM study reported that 83% of US businesses had difficulty hiring acceptable candidates in the previous twelve months. Over a third reported a drop in candidate quality across the board, with 45 percent citing poor applicant quality for specific positions.

The UK has a digital skills shortage. Less than half of British employers think students leaving full-time education have the digital skills needed for the workplace. While 70% of those students expect employers to train them on the job.

There is an imbalance of talent thanks in part to the great resignation. But developing staff with an employee check-in could be the solution.

How a weekly check-in supports employee upskilling

This is an opportunity to support your people to reach their full potential. The added benefit of upskilling your existing staff is that it motivates them to become employee advocates. That means you’ll be a more attractive employer to new talent, giving you another way of overcoming skills shortages.

So how do you implement on-the-job learning with minimal disruption or adding workload to everyone’s working lives? A weekly employee check-in can integrate upskilling with their other responsibilities.

Check-ins are light-touch but generate lots of feedback

A weekly check-in is more frequent but far less bulky that your average survey. Don't worry about losing data this way, either. Compared to old-fashioned surveys, smaller and more personalised set of questions will get you a much higher response rate. You can also set individual questions, giving time and space to personal development and upskilling. Additionally, the frequency makes sure you get real-time insight rather than just a snapshot.

And, as a source of regular feedback, weekly check-ins make it easy to identify skills deficits in your team. It can give you a clue about who wants to learn what. Putting an employee on a training course because it's what you want is one thing. But they won't bring the same level of passion as someone who has been interested in that skill from the outset.

Check-ins encourage your people to ask for help

Check-ins offer a range of qualitative and quantitative questions addressing different aspects of the employee experience. They tend to be quite open-ended. And even the quantitative ones usually have sections for further information.

This enables your staff to raise issues that matter to them, as well as the areas they’re most eager to improve. This sense of participation is essential for building the engagement necessary to get your team onboard with employee upskilling.

And over time, you'll build up a dialogue with your staff. If you put the work in, you'll get to a point where your people look forward to their weekly check-ins. At that point, invested and engaged employees will start bringing up issues of their own accord.

Goal-tracking helps identify weaknesses and strengths

Goal-tracking is a major part of our weekly check-in that turns performance tracking on its head. Rather than a top-down request, your team pushes information upwards. Goal-tracking also gives you a solid metric.

For example, SMART Goals can show where an employee has difficulty with specific subtasks while excelling at others. By breaking a project down into its simplest stages, you can more clearly see how employees get on with eah part of it.

On the other hand, OKRs might show that completed projects aren’t having the impact on company objectives that you need really them to. They're best-used for aligning employee efforts with broader company goals. They're an excellent motivator for staff who might otherwise feel like cogs in a machine.

Check-ins track retraining and upskilling progress

A Weekly10 check-in helps employees track their progress with workplace training courses. It’s incredibly easy for managers to add courses to the profiles of their staff, and for employees to tick off completed sections as they go.

Developing staff with an employee check-in will help you take your first steps in building a truly education-friendly workplace culture.