Ways to support upskilling within web development teams
August 2, 2021
Web developers are becoming valuable assets to companies in nearly every industry as we become more and more fond of technology in our day-to-day lives. Having someone well-versed in developing web applications and services is influential in company growth. Having that same person committed to upskilling is even more beneficial to your business.
Experts define upskilling as “the process of taking your skills and knowledge in a certain area to a new level.” Because technology is constantly levelling up, it’s best for those on your web development team to do the same if you want to remain competitive in your industry.
Without proper support from leadership, your web development team’s efforts to upskill will be unsuccessful. If you want to provide your team with the level of support and encouragement they need to succeed in their quest to improve, you’re in the right place. Here are four tips to better support upskilling within your web development team.
1. Learn what’s next for web development
One of the best ways to optimize upskilling on your team is by learning what’s next for web development. When you stay up-to-date on web development trends, you can find out which skills are in demand for those trends. Then, based on which trends you plan to implement in your team, you can encourage members to pursue upskilling those particular skills.
The next way to support upskilling within your web development team is to ensure your team chooses the most productive skills to develop.
2. Focus on the most productive skills to develop
Because web development is rapidly changing and expanding, there is a massive list of skills to choose from. Unfortunately, your team may get overwhelmed by either their never-ending list of interests or an inability to identify which skills matter to achieving their career goals.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, help them pinpoint their web development interests. Next, chat about their career goals. Then, determine what they would need to learn to stay engaged in their current role on the team as they work toward the career goals you all talked about. Understanding where each person is and where they want to go will help you choose the most productive skills to develop.
Also, even though you want your team to stay with you forever, many of your members will have the opportunity to move forward in their careers, thanks to your focus on upskilling. Because of this, they’ll be able to list core skills on their resumes that communicate how they can help their next company solve their most pressing business problem.
For instance, let’s say one of your team members wants to upskill an in-demand programming language like Typescript because a role they’re eyeing requires it. If you help them upskill successfully, they’ll be able to list “proficient with Typescript” on their resume and put themselves further in the running for their next step up in their career.
Another way to support upskilling is to create a concrete development plan for each member.
3. Create a personalized development plan
You don’t want your support for upskilling to stop at conversation. Your discussions about upskilling should end with you creating a personalized development plan for each person on your team. Each plan should include details on:
Which skills they’ll be upskilling and why.
Where their learning will take place.
Who will be involved in the process.
Their daily and weekly schedules once they start.
How they’ll work and pursue upskilling simultaneously.
What resources they need to be successful.
The goal date for completion.
How these skills will be utilized in the company after they’re improved upon.
For example, let’s say one of your team members wants to upskill user experience design. They’ve identified user experience as one of their interests, and it also happens to be a skill lacking in your web development team.
The best way for them to improve this skill is through classes. You all may decide that online classes are the best way to ensure they can still work and pursue this education simultaneously. You’ll create a schedule that keeps them in a routine that allows them to focus on both their job responsibilities and upskilling. You’ll also determine what supplies they’ll need, the workspace they’ll use, and the online resources available to them. All of these things and more should be in the development plan.
Additionally, as you move forward, ensure you’ve determined a budget for upskilling incentives and resources and have a plan for providing those incentives and resources.
4. Determine your budget for upskilling incentives and resources
Deciding to support upskilling is one thing, and affording it is another. From providing incentives to those team members who partake in upskilling to ensuring each person has what they need to complete their development plan, you must ensure you have a budget for what comes with upskilling.
First, audit your business finances. Find out exactly where you are financially and if there is any room to create a budget for upskilling resources, tools, and incentives. After determining your budget, figure out which resources you can gather now and what you need to do to afford the rest in the future.
Ultimately, don’t feel like you have to afford everything right now. Instead, choose the resources and tools you need to begin helping your team upskill and add more as they become affordable.
Supporting upskilling in any workplace is valuable, but especially within a web development team. This is because of technology’s ever-changing nature and the constant need for people to keep up with and leverage these changes effectively. Implement the above tips to ensure you’re adequately supporting upskilling within your web development team.
About the author:
Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.
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