four upskilling examples
Training & Learning

4 Real-Life Upskilling Examples and Why They Work

The current economic reality and widespread layoffs, hiring freezes, budget cuts has put L&D in the hot seat. Businesses need to fill skills gaps and meet business goals while keeping costs low. An increasing number of organizations are recognizing that upskilling from within is the way to go: in 2022, 72% of L&D programs focused on upskilling and reskilling initiatives.

In the race to upskill employees, the most effective training programs are those that address specific skills gaps, utilize internal subject matter expertise, and leverage collaborative learning. To inspire your own L&D initiatives, we’re sharing four real-life examples of upskilling strategies that have boosted productivity, improved problem-solving capabilities, and reduced training costs. Here are the highlights of these success stories:

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1. AlphaSights leverages internal experts to become course authors

AlphaSights, a global knowledge on-demand company, doubled in size and scaled its training by creating in-house courses. The company encouraged their internal subject matter experts (SMEs) to create training using an authoring tool and collaborating with peers to become co-authors. 

AlphaSights had its share of challenges because they needed to upskill their employees to match the company’s growing needs. Previously, the company’s training sessions were presentation-based and relied on face-to-face classroom learning. Plus, only the L&D team created employee training, which meant some courses weren’t always the most relevant or useful. 

As a result, employees lacked the motivation to complete training courses. The L&D team also didn’t have a way to track progress or measure the effectiveness of their material. Without a new approach, employee engagement would have sunk, and new skills impossible to teach.

AlphaSights employed a bold upskilling strategy and turned to the experts who knew their training needs best—their employees—and brought them into the course creation process with the help of 360Learning. With an easy-to-use authoring tool, SMEs from different departments like engineering or commercial, turned their knowledge into e-learning courses. The training content instantly became more role-specific, relevant, and engaging. 

Ultimately, the company mobilized more than 300 employees—27% of their workforce—to become course authors and share their knowledge. Their course completion rate soared to 95%, with improved engagement and productivity. Using 360Learning, they can now consistently monitor progress and training results, which helps them prioritize training initiatives that best serve their business needs. 

Download our free resource: 9 Tips to Help You Create Great Training Courses

2. Murex creates a learning culture through collaboration

Murex, a fintech company with 2,500 team members across 19 locations, began their upskilling journey by creating complete visibility across teams and leaning into a culture of collaboration that not only improved internal engagement, but customer engagement as well.

Before their move towards collaboration, the company was using a project management tool that wasn’t integrated with the learning platform they were using. As a result, even though they had 60 training projects identified, L&D was operating in a silo with limited context and inputs from coaches and producers. This meant that courses weren’t always useful or relevant, and lacked the context that internal experts could provide.

Murex leveraged 360Learning's all-in-one learning platform to solve this challenge. The Champion solution made it easy to manage projects within the platform and bring all stakeholders into the training creation process. With this 360-degree visibility, an L&D team member can create a training project and list the objectives, tasks, and deadlines. They can assign employees as authors and stakeholders as reviewers, or list two or more experts as co-authors on a training course. 

The streamlined workflow made it super easy to use the project forum to ask questions, engage in discussions, and provide feedback on the courses, leading to a collaborative learning environment. Ultimately, this type of feedback loop and peer training creates a continuous learning culture, which helps keep the upskilling cycle in motion. 

Murex noted their boost in productivity; they were able to deliver weekly training with the help of over 400 internal experts, published more than 350 courses to their catalog, and achieved an NPS score of 83.  

3. ConnectWise empowers employees to learn in the flow of work

ConnectWise, an IT solutions provider, empowered their help desk technicians and new hires to learn in the flow of work and get up-to-speed on industry developments. ConnectWise created training programs that required less time away from vital tasks, and filled crucial skills gaps.

The biggest challenge for ConnectWise was creating training that was better adapted to their industry. In a rapidly evolving field like IT, upskilling is an even bigger challenge because you need to onboard and train employees quickly. Plus, ConnectWise needed to upskill employees without interrupting their workflow or scheduling training sessions when they were required in the field.

The company used the 360Learning platform to reduce onboarding time for new employees, by helping them learn in the flow of work. A first step for ConnectWise was to gather all their training materials in a centralized platform so that learners could find the learning they needed without wasting time. With new technology, the L&D team spent a lot less time on administrative tasks and was able to build, update, and deliver training in the moment of need. As a result, they brought down course creation and delivery time from one to two months to just one to two weeks.

ConnectWise also used mobile learning to give their technicians access to upskilling opportunities at their convenience. Their employees can participate in micro courses on their mobile device, whether at home, during a commute, or between customer calls. This helps them refresh or absorb new learning material and do their jobs confidently. With an average course length of 12 minutes, technicians spend less time on training and more time attending to clients.

4. Supportworks built a talent pipeline with a leadership development program

Supportworks, a home services company, embraced leadership development as a way to upskill employees and build the next generation of managers. They were able to expand their talent pool for future leadership positions and create a company culture that values employee development.

Like many companies in the aftermath of the pandemic, Supportworks had to juggle a hybrid workforce along with new tools and technology. They needed to build a hybrid learning program that met the needs of franchisees and employees while developing leaders that would carry the work forward.

The company used a blended-learning approach to upskill their dealers and employees. In other words, they deployed a mix of synchronous and asynchronous training, along with instructor-led training and self-paced online learning to launch their ManagementU program. This leadership development program was built by a collaborative network of in-house experts, leaders, and the L&D team, with inputs from executives and the dealer network. Learners apply concepts from the program while learning a mix of soft skills and technical skills. Topics included recruiting and onboarding, communication, and building an ideal workplace culture for their own companies.

As a result, participants with different experiences and backgrounds get a baseline level of knowledge that they are more likely to retain and use. So, when the same learners attend in-person upskilling programs, they already have basic leadership skills and can pursue a new career path.

Watch the webinar: How Supportworks Drives Great Customer Education with 150+ Tailored Courses

Transform your company work culture with upskilling

Upskilling can effectively increase employee retention, lower operational costs, and create a people-first company culture. LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report noted that “opportunities to learn and grow” became the #1 factor in defining an exceptional work environment, and is bound to remain a top priority in 2023 and beyond.

In an uncertain economy and even tighter labor market, you need to be able to retain your top talent to save on recruitment and training costs. To do this, L&D teams must help companies become true learning organizations–where employees aren’t just functioning with current skill sets, but also gaining new competencies. 

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