Identifying the most effective options for GIS training and upskilling will ensure your GIS investment is quickly maximised.
When I’m asked this question ‘what are the benefits of upskilling my workforce?’, I pose the following three questions:
What do your staff currently do?
What do your staff want to do?
What skills do you need in your organisation to be successful?
When these questions are asked in a Q&A forum, or in a survey format, answers come easily. The first one, for example, relies on staff to relay what they do in their job each day.
What are their current workflows? Asking these questions can often yield quick ROI. Upskilling through teaching people about better ways to do their work quickly via floor-walking or targeted workshops may quickly improve work efficacy.
If new technology is needed to do this, then a more formal training curriculum will undoubtedly improve not only best practice in the workplace, but identify key people who take this new technology and ‘run with it’.
Choosing the learning pathway that aligns to the individual’s role and interests will help maximise your GIS investment.
The second question also holds true for those who are willing to run with new technology. When asked what your staff want to do, you give them an opportunity to identify their willingness to improve their personal skillset.
Encouraging an individual’s position within an organisation (even in terms of skills, not title), where applicable should be encouraged.
In fact, identification of these types of curious people often yields talent in unexpected places. Upskilling their colleagues for similar work when you have a staff advocate can really improve people’s willingness to improve their work practices, and encourage better teamwork.
The final question, directed back at an organisation, should be revisited often: ‘what skills do you need in your organisation to be successful?’ Is it related to a new project; do your competitors have a business advantage; are there skills for improving team cohesion?
I think it is always important to remind yourself that people have come from somewhere else, and as such, may have skills they wish to share with the wider organisation, or even to upskill people in particular processes.
Using skills surveys can help identify these opportunities, as well as measuring long-term ROI as a metric for professional development success. Staff enjoy being part of the journey and having their voices heard.
And if that is backed up with a capability development plan and a program of checking skill improvement and refinement of requirements, staff are likely to be engaged with the initiative.
Today’s training options – instructor-led online, eLearning, knowledge transfers or on-site classroom training– are adaptable to different industry requirements.
Finding and filling the gap between passionate employees and organisational requirements yields multiple rewards – it improves productivity, keeps employees engaged with their work and provides an ongoing forum to identify new skill requirements and ultimately drives business success.