Best Practices for Encouraging Upskilling

In last week’s article, we explained the benefits of upskilling employees. If done right, upskilling programmes can lead to improved motivation and morale, increased productivity, and cost savings. However, management may struggle to find the right way to implement and encourage upskilling in their workforce.

Below are 4 things you should consider when looking to implement an upskilling programme in your firm.

Identify knowledge gaps in your workforce

By identifying these gaps, managers can tailor training programs to address specific areas of weakness and personalise the learning offered. This can lead to increased engagement and productivity. Over 77% of L&D professionals say that personalised learning is vital to employee engagement. Employees prefer training and activities that relate to their job roles and career goals.

Identifying knowledge gaps is also crucial for insurance companies to stay competitive in a rapidly changing industry, as employees who are up to date with the latest trends and technologies can lead the development of new products and services for customers.

Provide learning and development opportunities

To ensure that employees in the insurance industry have time for continued learning, employers must incorporate upskilling opportunities into employees’ duties. Allocating a set amount of time for employees to spend on training is essential to encourage continuous learning.

To further encourage upskilling, employers can provide access to various useful resources, such as online learning tools, skills workshops, conferences, and learning materials, such as books and articles.

Mentorship programs are also gaining popularity among large companies, with about 70% of Fortune 500 companies implementing such programs, according to Forbes. These opportunities offer several benefits, such as fostering a sense of community and enhancing existing training initiatives.

Such programs are particularly useful when individuals are about to take on a more senior position. Experienced team members can provide guidance and support to learners as they transition into a new role.

Prioritise learning goals in performance reviews

To encourage and engage employees in upskilling, leaders and companies must have regular conversations about their career aspirations and development needs, during performance reviews. Additionally, providing flexible learning options, such as microlearning, flexible time off, and other initiatives, can support staff development and encourage engagement in upskilling opportunities.

By incentivising upskilling and incorporating learning into the job description and formal review process, insurance companies can create a culture of continuous learning and development, leading to increased employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall success.

Balance hard and soft skills

Many managers in the insurance industry believe that soft skills development should be a top priority for employees with aspirations of career progression. A Deloitte study found that soft skills-intensive careers will make up two-thirds of all jobs by 2030. A lack of communication and collaboration competencies is reported as the main cause for workplace failures by 86% of executives and employees, with many stating that they struggle with developing leaders.

The Development Zone hosts an extensive catalogue of more than 500 regulatory, technical, and professional skills courses that will help you get the most out of your team’s potential and improve workplace culture. These include soft skills, such as:

  • Business Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Managing a Team
  • Personal Development

And much more!

For more information about the Aviva Development Zone and to sign up for a free trial or demonstration, visit

About the author

Luke joined RWA from July 2022 - July 2023. He has 10 years of graphic design experience creating marketing material and 7 years of direct marketing experience, most recently working as a freelance social media marketing manager. Luke’s role at RWA involves overseeing RWA's social media channels and assisting with the creation of e-learning and blog content.

Get RWA Insight In Your Inbox

Regular business news and commentary delivered direct to your inbox each week. Sign up here