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Upskilling is a great way to make sure your employees have the skills and knowledge to succeed in the workplace. Upskilling or reskilling current employees creates a dynamic, well-rounded workforce and is often a smaller investment than hiring and training a new worker. It is also a viable way to beat the skills gap and often increases employee retention. But what if you don’t have the resources for seminars or additional training courses? Is upskilling on a budget even possible?

We’ve talked about the benefits of upskilling before, but we think it’s important to know that upskilling on a budget is within reach. Whether you employ five workers or 5,000—it’s possible to upskill your employees in a cost-effective way.

Upskill with Free Industry Resources

Many professional organizations offer free educational programs and content that can be used to upskill employees. These may include:

  • Data analysis and reports
  • Online trade magazines and journals
  • Blog posts
  • Online videos
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars

Here are some suggested resources to get you started:

Construction Connect

A free library of resources for general contractors and subcontractors. with information available to download and share. Find building codes, case studies, product information, industry snapshots, infographics, videos, webinars, papers, and more.

The National Association of Manufacturers

You don’t have to be a member to take advantage of these resources. Find news, practical insights, manufacturing data by state, industry statistics, and the manufacturers’ outlook survey.

Safety+Heath Magazine

Find free articles on everything from the latest OSHA updates to trends in personal safety equipment. Find case studies, fact sheets, infographics, podcasts, webinars, and more. Sign up for an email newsletter with safety topics tailored specifically to your industry.

Thought Leadership from NBS

Part of our mission here at NBS is to help you build a safer, more efficient workforce. Our blog offers timely topics on safety, employee wellness, the skills gap, and more. Find practical insights and relevant subjects right here at NBS.

Upskill with Job Shadowing and Mentoring 

Often, you don’t have to go far to find your most valuable resources. Mentoring programs are a great way to utilize the knowledge experts already in your organization. A good mentor provides less experienced employees with:

  • On-the-job experience
  • In-depth knowledge on a particular industry
  • Quicker time to competency

Setting up a mentorship program doesn’t have to be complicated, and often looks different from one company to the next. If you’re not sure where to begin, you can always start with a day or two of job shadowing instead of jumping right into a mentoring program.

Upskill with Skills Assessments

Sometimes busy employees need upskilling that gets right to the point. Skills assessments are industry-specific tests designed to measure a worker’s knowledge and technical skills. When used correctly, the data from these tests can be used as part of an organization’s overall strategy to build a more qualified, more efficient workforce.

As well as strengthening the organization as a whole, skills assessments are also a great way to pinpoint training needs to improve an employee’s skills, help them learn new industry-relevant knowledge, and reduce time to competency. Since most employees (especially Millennials) prefer working somewhere that offers additional learning opportunities, skills assessments also improve employee retention and help close the skills gap.

Build a Superior Workforce with NBS – take the first step with our sample assessments

Customize Upskilling for Your Workforce

Upskilling is not one-size-fits-all. Different solutions will work for different organizations. If upskilling is relatively new territory for your company, try starting small. Gather resources and discuss how to implement training in one or two key areas. Consider focusing on skills that will benefit your organization as a whole or skills that your workforce will need as new technology develops. Digital skills, new equipment, and safety regulations are all good places to begin upskilling.

It’s also worthwhile to customize upskilling for different learning styles. Some people learn by observing and others by doing. Accommodate these learning styles by letting workers choose between different learning materials. For example, offer a choice between watching an instructional video or having a mentor supervise an inexperienced worker. If you have a fair amount of millennials and Generation Z workers, try learning approaches like gamification or microlearning.

Upskill with NBS

Upskilling or reskilling your employees should be part of an organization’s strategy to build a stronger workforce. Upskilling increases employee retention and is a way to reduce the skills gap. As we’ve seen, upskilling doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Taking advantage of free resources, job shadowing and mentoring, using skills assessments, and customizing learning are all cost-effective options for upskilling on a budget. With over 130 skills assessments, NBS is here to help upskill your employees and build a more knowledgeable workforce. Contact us about how to get started!