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Upskill your team

Three ways to upskill your team to achieve better results

It’s clear that today’s organisations need teams of people with diverse skills and the ability to adapt to new challenges swiftly. Easy to say, but the challenges are many!

The post-pandemic landscape has revolutionised our lives with remote work and digital communication, making effective teamwork more challenging. In addition, business transformation in response to ongoing change has a flow-on effect by requiring some teams to restructure or reform with new members.

Take a moment to assess your team’s performance. Are you flourishing or simply surviving in this new era?

Regardless of your response, nurturing your team to achieve optimum effectiveness is crucial for your organisation’s future. Therefore, it’s essential to find a way to equip the team with the necessary skills to tackle emerging challenges and capitalise on opportunities.

To bolster your team members’ skills for improved results, consider these three ways to upskill your team:

1. Embrace Your Talent

Developing a cohesive team requires a mutual understanding of individual strengths and weaknesses. The starting point to recognising the capabilities of others is an accurate appreciation of your own. However, true self-awareness may not be as common as you think. Many people believe they are self-aware, but studies have shown that only a small percentage are!

Team leaders can take the lead by exploring their capabilities and impact on others. By sharing their insights with the team, they can establish a safe and supportive atmosphere for members to discuss their skills and areas they need to develop openly.

Done well, this gives insight into the team’s collective capability to deliver results and nurtures the positive energy found in high-performing teams. We are fortunate to have seen many times how a deep understanding of team talent sets the stage for dynamic teamwork and better outcomes.


  • Choose an assessment to help team members understand where they stand now on the skills that matter most for being effective in their roles. Whether you use a psychometric evaluation or 360-degree feedback, ensure the content is relevant to workplace behaviours and performance.
  • Invite individuals to present an overview of their results to the team so that they can support and encourage each other for personal development. Dedicate time during regular meetings or arrange a facilitated session to strengthen team competency.

2. Foster Collaboration

Well-planned collaboration with stakeholders is crucial for a team’s success because it promotes engagement and a commitment to achieving outcomes. Importantly, it allows teams to gather essential information from stakeholders to deliver excellent value to them.

One challenging aspect of collaboration is comprehending stakeholders’ diverse and occasionally conflicting interests. By recognising these concerns and priorities, teams can tailor their strategies for connecting with each stakeholder group.

Using collaborative language creates a strong foundation for meaningful relationships. Phrases such as “What’s your view on this?” and “Let’s work together to find a solution” exhibit a willingness to consider various perspectives, cultivating a sense of partnership.


  • As a team, create or revisit a list of your key stakeholders, including individuals and groups. Progressively contact them to review what they need from you (and what you need from them). Gather specifics, ensuring you don’t make assumptions, to establish a plan to deliver what they require.
  • Implement an agreed approach and schedule for team communication with stakeholders. Random check-ins can be helpful at times but would generally be unnecessary. Instead, establish goals, provide regular updates, and track progress as key elements of effective stakeholder management.

3. Maintain Focus

Is your team grappling with increasing demands on their time and expertise? Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in urgent tasks and run out of time for what truly matters.

To address this, establish a clear mission for the team and allocate dedicated time for priority work. In addition, eliminate distractions by ensuring meetings serve a specific objective and only involve essential participants. Doing this will maximise efficiency and keep the focus on the mission.

However, enhancing team productivity goes beyond efficiency – it’s also about cultivating positive team dynamics. By identifying challenges that call for joint resolutions, team leaders create an environment where members feel valued and are empowered to contribute their unique skills toward a shared goal.


  • Invite your team members to review their schedule of meetings to determine which they need to attend personally and which they could delegate to someone in their team who would benefit and learn from the experience.
  • Strengthen team dynamics by identifying a challenge that impacts every team member and help them to work together to find the best solution and draft a project plan to achieve a successful outcome. Then, when they have implemented their solution, celebrate success, and move on to the next challenge!
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Engagement and talent retention

Are any of these issues on your agenda? Are they keeping you awake at night or would you simply like to get a bit better at them?

Engagement and talent retention are tipped to be among this year’s key people management issues, according to Josh Bersin (Redesigning the Organization for a Rapidly Changing World, January 2015). This resonates with us because, in the course of our work, we frequently hear the comment “we could do better with regard to engagement”

When we delve deeper, research on engagement reveals some startling statistics – actively disengaged employees outnumber engaged employees by 2 to 1 (State of the Global Workplace, Gallup, 2013).

A 2014 global survey of than 18,000 employees by LinkedIn indicates that for those people either actively or passively looking for alternative jobs, the top five most important reasons for considering a move:

  1. Opportunities for advancement
  2. Better compensation and benefits
  3. More challenging work
  4. A role that was a better fit for the skillset
  5. More learning opportunities.

When one overlays the gradual but inexorable demographic change and the cost of replacing staff, it reinforces the importance of retaining good people.

So, why aren’t organisations better at engaging their good talent? And by good talent, we don’t just mean the high performing-high potential stars in box 9 on the talent matrix, we’re including those in the ‘mighty middle’ who consistently deliver but may not have aspirations beyond their current type of job and may not make much fuss about their dissatisfaction.

Based on coaching individuals across a wide spectrum of roles and industries, we have observed some common themes that relate directly to engagement:

  • The majority of people like receiving feedback for doing a good job.
  • Capable individuals do not see a burgeoning in-tray of tasks or projects as development.
  • Employees welcome the opportunity to discuss, explore and develop their careers.
  • Organisations that differentiate talent are able to offer more satisfying development opportunities to key performers and high potentials.

Organisations that address these themes and take action to fix what needs fixing can turn around low workplace engagement in order to drive better business outcomes.

Whilst every organisation must address engagement and talent retention in the context of its workforce, culture and business conditions, there are best practices that apply to all organisations and we will focus on some of these in future blogs.


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Enhancing the Employee Value Proposition

How many new employees did you hire in the last 12 months?

What attracted them to join your organisation?

You may have listed the benefits of working with you on the career section of your website, but do you really know?

If you are finding it hard to source top talent and not securing the highly capable, motivated candidates you need, you may want to revisit your Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

A good place to start is by asking your most talented employees what they like most about working for you; and why they stay with the organisation. You could be surprised. The drivers that motivate your people may have changed, especially if the demographic of your workforce has shifted.

Next, capture the views of new employees in the onboarding process. Canvas their first impressions of what your organisation has to offer and revisit them in 12 months to see if the reality measures up to the promise of your EVP.

A strong EVP that delivers intrinsic satisfaction with the work experience drives employee engagement, leading to a healthy and happy workplace.



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