Blogs3 Ideas to Spur Skill Development in Your Workforce

July 18, 2016, by Ryan Miller

As an HR leader, one of your top priorities includes new skill development while keeping current skills relevant within your workforce of employees. We’ve spent a lot of time with HR leaders, helping to support the creation of solutions to skill development. Most of the time, an external training company is brought in, but the following solutions can go a long way in fostering a progressive, collaborative company culture. We all know that keeping your workforce skilled and exceeding expectations will boost employee retention and company success.

  • Utilize employee expertise: You have a pool of extremely skilled workers and each generation and employee displays different expertise. For example, younger generations tend to have a much better grasp of social media and technology. Start utilizing the resources already at your disposal – your own workforce! Task younger workers with training employees with much less experience in social media or technology. Then, allow older generations to teach relevant skills to younger workers. Don’t forget to have employees connect again and follow-up! This goes a long way in ensuring skill retention and fostering a collaborative company culture.
  • Consider volunteer opportunities: Many companies are offering employee benefits for volunteering hours, but this can also be a useful skill building exercise. If you run a technology company, consider having employees donate time to solve IT problems at a low-income school or non-profit. Employees develop increased problem solving and interpersonal skills, but more importantly they gain exposure to community problems and challenges. Take time to pick projects and causes that are in-line with your organizations goals and will endow employees with valuable, relevant skills.
  • Build a robust education oriented skill development program: Seems obvious, right? Too often, employers pay for employees to attend classes or workshops without actually discussing the goals and objectives of this type of skill development. A comprehensive strategy includes time between managers and employees discussing appropriate skill development, objectives for completing activities, and follow-up work for skill retention. Employees are more likely to take part in a program that clearly outlines future personal benefits, and companies are more likely to increase benefits when employees choose the correct programs.

Hopefully, this is enough to get you started. Your next step should be to schedule time to meet with managers, employees, and executive team members to collect more ideas from all levels, maintain best practices, and build out robust systems for skill development across all levels. 

To learn more about ways in which Centennial supports HR leaders, please contact Ryan Miller at (714) 740-1111 ex 274 or

This is part 2 of a 10 part series titled, The HR Leader.