Upskilling your Staff

This is how you can upskill your staff, and why your profit margins will thank you if you do!

Guest writer:

Jenny Field,
MAX Solutions Training General Manager

November 09 2016

Is it a good idea to upskill my staff? Will it be cost-effective? Will I have the time? Will it be worth it in the end? Absolutely.

Training or upskilling your staff will not only save you some serious cash, it can have a multitude of other benefits as well, including:

Staff have higher satisfaction levels in their job. If employees are happy, they’re more likely to stick with you. Reducing staff turnover saves you money as well.

Staff are more motivated, which means they’re more likely to go above and beyond for your business.

Increased productivity and efficiency. A trained team wastes less resources, money and time, and they’ll produce a higher quality of work.

A trained workplace is a safe one. If you’ve trained your staff, you’ll reduce the amount of accidents and incidents, which can be insanely costly in more ways than one.

You’ll become an employer of choice, meaning you will attract the best talent, and have a great reputation in your community (which can really help your bottom line!).

I don’t know anything about training or upskilling, what do I do?

Upskilling can be informal training (such as day-to-day coaching and mentoring in the workplace) or formal training (think apprenticeships, traineeships, certificate courses). 

When introducing training, it’s best to start small. Here are some easy ways to get the ball rolling:

Workplace mentoring

Obviously quite an informal method of training, but hugely effective. Taking 10 minutes a few times a week to teach staff a new skill can really pay off in the long run. 

Some employers choose to gather the troops before the work day starts each day or week teach them something new (especially useful when everyone is fresh in the morning!). Or you might choose to buddy up some colleagues and start a culture of cross-training. It’s easy when you do it in small chunks, and can really inspire a positive culture of learning in the business!

Short online courses

Short online courses might not be formally recognised, but they can be great for developing skills for your staff. Great news is that they’re free, can be done at any time and suit entry level right through to senior management. 

Check out sites like For those of you with iPhones and/or Apple ID’s, iTunesU is a great resource that features educational audio and video files from universities for free download in the iTunes store.

Traineeships and apprenticeships

Traineeships and apprenticeships are a more formalised approach to training, and many employers find that their trainees and apprentices turn into long-term employees. If you choose to go down this route, there are a lot of government subsidies and incentives that you can access to help with the cost of training.

If you’re not hiring but want to check out traineeships and apprenticeships for your current employees, many Registered Training Organisations will work with you to tailor accredited training programs for your staff. This can be a great way to make staff feel valued, productive, and stay with you in the long run! Give MAX a call on 1800 625 350 to find out more about this.

So there you have it, a few simple ways to promote learning and upskilling on a tight (or non-existent!) training budget. If you want to know more about training or upskilling your staff, you can email us at or call 1800 021 560.

Jenny Field has over 25 years experience in the Vocational Education and Training sector, with knowledge and experience in adult learning, team development, strategic planning, curriculum development, policy advice, student advocacy, workplace engagement, and promoting community and industry engagement for life-long learning. Jenny is currently the General Manager of Training with national human services provider MAX Solutions, and is passionate about the education and training of adults, the recognition of peoples skills and empowerment of educators

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