Companies must upskill their employees now—here’s why

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Upskilling reaps more than just competent employees—it is the first step towards creating a company that can withstand the changing business landscape. As the COVID-19 pandemic and digital transformation disrupt almost every industry at an exponential pace, teaching staff additional skills is needed now more than ever.

According to a survey by the International Labour Organization, 65% of companies globally have increased their upskilling efforts mostly due to the pandemic. Realizing that their businesses and the market could instantly ride a downward slope, companies rely on their workforce to keep their operations afloat. 

Now is the time for employers to amplify upskilling programs. Given that the world is already looking at the future of work, initiatives to prepare the workforce must be at full implementation. 

Companies that invest in advanced upskilling efforts are said to be more confident about the future of their businesses despite the uncertainty of the current times. And it starts with recognizing employees’ potential.

Continuous Self-Improvement

For a company like TaskUs whose headcount is approximately 31,500 employees globally, learning opportunities through internal training, coaching, and experiential learning are extremely important when it comes to strengthening the workforce.

Staying true to its core values of Continuous Self-Improvement and Always Strive for Excellence, TaskUs curates programs and projects that help employees achieve both their personal and professional goals. 

The Business Insights and Data Science (BIDS) Bootcamp, a 40-hour training on Business Insights, is one of the upskilling efforts of TaskUs in the Philippines, and will soon be offered in TaskUs India. Teammates with a passion for analytics can voluntarily apply for the program to sharpen their knowledge. Graduates eventually have the chance to be a part of the TaskUs BIDS team after further assessments. 

The career growth opportunity began in 2020. One of the graduates of this program is Jasmin Canlas. After finishing the program, Canlas became a Business Insights Analyst.

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Business Insights Analyst Jasmin Canlas knows that it’s in her nature to challenge herself and push herself to the limits when it comes to learning new things. She is grateful for the opportunities that TaskUs is providing.

She started at TaskUs back in 2018 as a Teammate and knew what she wanted since then. “I had envisioned myself moving up or advancing my career as soon as possible. I wanted to be challenged and I wanted to learn new things every now and then,” she shared.

Canlas believes that it is very important for companies to take part in pushing employees to aim higher as most people become complacent in their current roles and skill sets. She added, “If a company really wants to rise up to any challenge that would come its way, it should invest in its employees.”

TaskUs has internal applications, training, and apprenticeship programs that encourage and equip teammates to join other departments where they could further grow. Company-provided training, such as the BIDS Bootcamp, is the gateway to boost employees’ morale and confidence to aim for growth. 

“Upskilling is very crucial if we want to compete on a larger platform,” Canlas shared. 

TaskUs also recently launched its Tuition Fee Reimbursement and Professional Development Programs globally. The programs offer to reimburse a portion of the costs for furthering education toward an Associate, Bachelor, Master, or Doctoral degree from an accredited college or university, or approved certification program related to employees’ current roles or chosen career path.

Honing leaders

TaskUs invests in its people’s learning so employees can be effective in their job and also be prepared to take on bigger roles. With the right tools and resources, the company aims to produce more leaders from its current pool of employees.

This deems true for TaskUs India Operations Manager Ayushi Sharma who started as a Teammate and got promoted to a leadership position within a span of 16 months.

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TaskUs India Operations Manager Ayushi Sharma shares that her success journey would not be possible without the development programs and the support and guidance of her managers-turned-mentors.

One of the company’s Leadership and Development programs that boosted her career was the Team Leader (TL) Certification program. The training combines synchronous and asynchronous types of learning designed to upskill Team Leaders to become more effective in their roles.

Aspiring leaders are given the opportunity to earn their stripes through completing a robust program, which starts with an assessment of their competencies. They then go through specialized and in-depth training sessions focused on various leadership concepts. 

The program, being highly individualized, made Sharma’s progress quicker. One-on-one weekly coaching sessions with supervisors, which are mandatory at TaskUs, also played a big part in her development. 

“The coaching from my immediate supervisor played a significant role in my growth. I could totally second the fact that ‘leaders create more leaders.’ My journey with TaskUs is based on this,” she said.

Apart from the TL Certification, TaskUs also has the Operations Manager (OM) Certification, offered to the newly promoted or hired OMs. The non-linear training program equips managers with the necessary skills, tools, and techniques to help them build and manage a productive and engaged team.

TaskUs also has developmental training programs for Learning Experience Leaders, Subject Matter Experts, and Client Analysts, just to name a few. It also has preparatory programs for employees who have the potential to take on the next step.

Future of Work

Recognizing that the future of work will heavily adopt automation, organizations must be keen to equip its employees with the competencies needed to adapt to the demand for advanced digital and analytical skills. This is why TaskUs invests in programs to develop its highly skilled and multifaceted Super Teammates; these enable them to focus on more complex tasks and functions.

TaskUs has different programs such as foundational training for building a design and problem-solving mindset. It also has advanced tools training that allow participants to transform innovative ideas into actual platforms and solutions. 

In 2020, TaskUs piloted its Future of Work (FOW) Program to provide a series of training sessions for frontline teammates to improve their technical capabilities. FOW maximizes the use of low-code and no-code platforms to create solutions for typical challenges encountered at work.

Teammate Nic Alvarez volunteered to be one of the participants of the said program. 

Teammate Nic Alvarez is grateful for the training opportunities provided by TaskUs, which focus on bringing out the best in every teammate.

FOW starts with a two-week orientation followed by platform training for tool and application development. At the end of the program, Alvarez’s team in particular was able to create a tool that focuses on resolving escalation issues. 

“We aimed to have a one-stop-shop tool for a smoother escalation process. At the same time, we wanted teammates to have their own dashboard with shortcut links for all campaign tools. Essentially, we created our very own productivity tracker,” she shared. 

According to Alvarez, upskilling efforts also produce great results. “Companies with upskilled employees have an edge. Innovative employees and efforts spearhead advanced ideas and solutions.” 

Alvarez’s tool is now being used by multiple campaigns globally and pilot-tested by various clients for adoption. The tool oiled the wheels of the operations team for better Average Handling Time (AHT) and Average Speed of Answer (ASA), resulting in increased productivity overall. Operational errors were also minimized with the tool monitoring the escalations that come in. 

Return on Investment

In effect, investing in employees allows companies to transform opportunities into big wins faster, more efficiently, and with greater impact. 

Happy employees lead to happy customers. And when employees feel valued and are more confident about their future with the company, they produce better work. As a result, companies benefit from increased efficiency, campaign growth, optimal performance, and high customer satisfaction. 

Since January 2021, TaskUs has had close to a thousand internal promotions globally. And its upskilling programs have contributed to the company’s industry-leading Employee Net Promoter score (eNPS) of 72 and Client Net Promoter Score (cNPS) of 75 in 2020; improved performance meeting key KPIs; and the company’s ridiculous growth as of Q2 2021. Upskilling also helped in employee retention: TaskUs had a voluntary attrition rate of 15% in 2020, which was remarkably low for the outsourcing industry

It takes the perfect blend of highly capable humans, technology, and continuous investment in learning for businesses to remain competitive today and in the long run. But it all begins in developing and investing in employees. After all, the future of work is still human.