Understanding Hiring vs. Upskilling vs. Training
Guest Post: Pat McGrew, McGrewGroup, Inc. and The Print University
Employees are the lifeblood of any business. They engage with customers, handle administrative and production tasks, and keep things humming along as orders come in, work is produced, and deliveries are shipped. When it is time to add a new team member, we look for people who have the skills and will fit into the culture. Hiring is only one part of employee nurturing. Upskilling and training are two essential elements in ensuring that your hiring process bears fruit.
Hiring is bringing a new person into a job within the organization. You may hire someone for a role vacated by another employee, a new position created to expand capabilities or augment resources, to add a layer of supervision in a department that has grown, or to bring in new skills. Hiring starts with selecting a candidate and offering the job. On acceptance, the next step is to get them acclimated to the company and matched to their responsibilities which sets them on their path to productivity.
Once an employee is on board, the best practice is to nurture them so they remain satisfied with their job and have opportunities to gain more responsibilities and move into new roles. There are two terms that are sometimes used interchangeably but refer to different processes that describe ways to help employees grow – upskilling and training.
Upskilling programs are broad in concept and designed to prepare team members for new roles. They usually include access to education to enhance basic business and supervisory skills that are transferable to any new assignment. There is a focus on soft skills, critical thinking, and building an infrastructure for professional growth. The goal is to prepare employees for growing inside the company, so upskilling programs are often part of yearly employee retention plans. Training is a more specific activity, usually focused on specific tasks, tools, and outcomes.
Training ensures that employees can operate software or hardware effectively, but it is also crucial when new programs come to the shop, like LEAN manufacturing. There is usually a narrower scope and specific anticipated outcomes tied to intended timeframes.
With labor acquisition and retention challenges in today’s market, the best practice is to hire the most enthusiastic people you can find. Even if they have print-specific industry experience, don’t ignore the need to train them in your specific environment and build an upskilling plan to help
them grow. ThePrintUniversity.com can be a great video-on-demand training resource for new and experienced employees to learn the terminology inside your shop, how work flows through a print shop, and to become familiar with the many technologies you use!
Pat McGrew helps companies perform better. As Managing Director for McGrewGroup, Inc., she promotes Best Practices for your Business using her 30+ years of experience as a software company owner, marketer, analyst, industry evangelist, and consultant to enable business growth. She assesses workflow and bizflow effectiveness, and develops strategies and triage engagements for products, services, and businesses. Pat covers print and customer communication channels for data-driven and static marketing, transaction, packaging, label, and commercial print with experience in offset, inkjet, and toner. An experienced professional speaker and facilitator, she is the author of 8 books, the editor of the Xplor EDBOK, a regular industry content contributor, host of #PrintSampleTV, and co-host of #ThePrintReport. She is co-proprietor of ThePrintUniversity.com, a new education initiative. Pat is certified as a Lifetime Master Electronic Document Professional by Xplor, as a Print Buyer for Variable Print by PCPI, and as a Color Management Professional (CMP), CMP Digital, and BrandQ Professional by IDEAlliance. Find Pat on Twitter as @PatMcGrew and on LinkedIn.
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