Timing right for employees to upskill and resell

Janet Arrowood

Working from home has become the “new normal” and likely could remain that way for many more months. But if working remotely presents challenges requiring new or revised skills, what better time to provide staff with training and opportunities to build those skills?

Remote work has probably emphasized areas where employees might benefit from new or improved soft skills. Providing staff with the opportunities and encouragement to try something new or enhance existing skills benefit employers and employees.

Perhaps your industry requires continuing education. During the course of “normal” work, it’s often difficult to carve out time to attend in-person sessions. But during a remote working situation, numerous online courses meet continuing education requirements, improve employee skills and knowledge and save money compared to in-person training.

The same applies to the various certifications, designations and licenses available in many industries. Now is the perfect time to encourage and support employees who want or would benefit from working on one of these upskills.

For example, engineers who’ve completed their Engineer in Training (EIT) might pursue their Professional Engineer (PE) designation. Human resources specialists could start or complete their efforts to obtain the Professional in Human Resources or Senior PHR designations.

For those working in financial services and insurance, there are numerous upskilling opportunities, including the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and additional securities or insurance licenses as well as such specialist certifications as Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) or Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU). For accountants, there are several options, including the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Enrolled Agent (EA) designations. Other valuable certifications include the foundation, practitioner or professional certifications for proposal managers and Project Management Professional (PMP) designation. All of these can be earned online.

For general education, GEDs or other professional education opportunities, there are numerous online course available through local and national colleges and universities. It’s possible in many cases to arrange special sessions or courses for just your employees and tailor the materials to meet your company or organization needs.

Any of the preceding training and continuing education and many other licenses, designations and certifications can be obtained through professional, experienced, accredited online providers.

As an example, a simple internet search of human resources certifications, insurance certifications, securities continuing education or accounting professional education will return hundreds of results.

Once you’ve identified some potential resources or trainers, check with professional associations, the Better Business Bureau and states in which the offeror is registered to verify they’re real and provide quality training the appropriate industries recognize.

Now is also a great time to have your staff reskill by learning the latest versions of a software package or providing management training to enable supervisors to keep up with industry trends and changes. You might also consider retooling the portfolio of a sales representative into a marketing coordinator or revising the role of an entry-level human resources professional to become the organization’s customer relationship manager and arranging appropriate remote learning to build the right skills.

The possibilities for upskilling and reskilling are endless. The resources are readily available. The tailored or enhanced skills are vital to your business success, employees value training and the timing is perfect.