Whether you are an employer or employee in Canada, upskilling is required for business and career success. Because the accounting and finance industry and client demands continue to evolve, companies and employees must evolve to stay competitive.
- Upskilling is required for employees to successfully perform their work.
- Upskilling helps employees remain employable in the job market and will increase professional and personal satisfaction.
- Providing each employee with an upskilling strategy increases engagement, performance, and productivity.
- Implementing upskilling strategies elevates retention, revenue, and the bottom line.
Part of any employee development plan should include soft skills. Understanding employees’ soft skills helps managers understand their team members’ competencies. This also uncovers the areas in which employees require additional development.
- Developing employees’ soft skills benefits career pathing and promotions to leadership positions.
- Soft skill development supports internal recruiting and workforce planning. It also saves time and money on recruiting, onboarding, and training.
Find out how employers can create upskilling strategies focused on soft skills to benefit employees.
Create an Employee Skills Inventory
Develop a method to determine each employee’s talents and aspirations. Understanding their capabilities serves as a foundation for upskilling strategies.
- Find out whether managers are regularly talking with their employees about career development.
- Determine whether employees regularly ask about opportunities for upskilling, cross-training, or promotions.
- Organize the findings to include in the business plan.
- Use the information to develop employee upskilling strategies and soft skills.
Personalize Employee Upskilling Strategies
Use each employee’s skills, competencies, personality, and goals to customize an upskilling strategy. Base the strategy on the skills and competencies required for success in a role.
- HR and team managers can survey employees and individually follow up to tailor each upskilling strategy.
- HR and team managers can map out employee journeys, find opportunities for relevant training, and keep each employee engaged on the path that best fits them.
Develop Employees’ Soft Skills
Interpersonal skills are essential for accounting and finance employees. Examples include the following:
- Time management
- Critical thinking
Developing accounting and finance professionals’ soft skills provides the following benefits:
- Thinking strategically
- Proactively making business decisions
- Staying current on changing laws and regulations that impact business practices
- Identifying more efficient and effective business operations
- Telling stories behind the numbers
- Clarifying why the numbers matter and the actions to take
- Sharing issues and opportunities and their potential business impact
- Determining why something went wrong and how to improve going forward
- Increasing business value
Employees can develop their soft skills with the following methods:
- Prioritize which soft skills to develop. Employees can make a list of their most desired soft skills or ask family or friends for feedback.
- Schedule time to develop soft skills. Even 5 minutes each day adds up.
- Find resources to study. Examples include podcasts, blogs, online videos, curated content, books, and online courses.
- Practice developing soft skills. Employees can repeat new techniques until mastering them.