7 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Upskilling Online Training

7 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Upskilling Online Training
Summary: You want your employees to give it their all on-the-job, but are you giving them the crucial training resources they need to succeed? In this article I share 7 common mistakes to avoid in upskilling online training.

Which Mistakes You Should Avoid In Upskilling Online Training

Investing in your most essential asset, aka employees, ensures that your company stays competitive and retains its top talent. And an effective upskilling online training program helps them not only improve work performance but also master new tasks and take on new roles. They can identify hidden strengths and bridge gaps that keep them from climbing the corporate ladder. Which makes them even more valuable assets to your team. However, you should tackle the most common upskilling online training pitfalls so that every employee has the chance to hone their talents.

7  Upskilling Training Pitfalls And Tips To Steer Clear

1. Launching A One-Size-Fits-All Upskilling Training Program

Not every employee has the same aspirations or areas for improvement. So, why would you develop an upskilling online training program that takes a ‘one size’ approach? Personalized paths give employees the power to focus on skills that align with their job duties now and in the future. For example, abilities they need to become a supervisor or team leader within the next year. You should also conduct some background research to gauge their preferences and personal goals. Lastly, include a good variety of resources that cater to different learning preferences. For instance, kinesthetic activities that involve more tactile elements, such as serious games. As well as audio-based activities like podcasts that employees can listen to on-the-go.

2. Failing To Identify Skill And Performance Gaps

Skill and performance gaps help you zero-in on resources and activities to include in your upskilling online training strategy. Rather than covering irrelevant talents that don’t really tie into their job duties or responsibilities. Conduct surveys and assessments to find out what your employees know, where they’re lacking, and which skills they need to achieve their goals. For example, simulations can help reveal communication or problem-solving skill gaps that are holding back your customer service team.

3. Ambiguous Job Roles And Task Requirements

You cannot develop successful upskilling online training resources without first identifying the roles and requirements of your employees. Which tasks do they perform daily? And which skills do they require to complete these tasks and improve on-the-job productivity? Conduct a task needs analysis and evaluate your LMS metrics and business reports to look for pain points. This also helps you break work-related processes into their most basic components so that you can custom tailor content. Furthermore, you need to determine the role that employees play now and which roles they’d like to fill in the future.

4. Not Offering Moment Of Need Support Resources

Upskilling online training isn’t a one-time event. It calls for ongoing support and knowledge reinforcement to ensure that employees achieve the desired outcomes. This may be in the form of a just-in-time training library, peer coaching program, or live events that refresh their memory. Every employee should have continual access to support resources that help them overcome common challenges and improve understanding. They must also be given the chance to offer their own feedback and input. Such as which skills they want to focus on based on their immediate career goals or ‘five-year’ plan.

5. Taking A Solo Skill-Building Approach

Many organizations assume that a personalized upskilling online training approach involves solo activities. That employees should work on their own to develop their talents and abilities. While there is some autonomy involved, employees must also be able to work with their peers to broaden their experience. For example, collaborate on projects or discuss topics in social media groups. This gives them the chance to exchange information and help one another hone talents. Namely, skills they have already mastered and can pass on to their peers through feedback, coaching, or mentoring. They can also take this time to share personal anecdotes and experiences that showcase the benefits of specific skills.

6. Not Adding Any Real-World Context

Skills are virtually worthless if they’re based solely in theory. Employees must be able to utilize skills in the workplace and apply them in different contexts. For instance, to complete a customer service task or resolve a workplace conflict. Thus, your upskilling online training must offer them the chance to use their skills in realistic situations. Such as simulations or scenarios that involve customer personas. The employee needs to apply their interpersonal and negotiation skills to land a sale. These activities allow them to learn from mistakes and disclose hidden gaps. As well as see how their talents can benefit them on-the-job and potentially even help them advance within the organization. For example, they can use their newfound teamwork skills to embark on a management path.

7. Foregoing Self-Evaluation Opportunities

Start with a self-assessment that enables employees to identify their own strengths and weaknesses. Then follow-up with frequent online training assessments so that they can track their progress and disclose emerging gaps. Every employee must be empowered to evaluate their performance without fear of being judged by their peers. They should also be able to adjust their path accordingly based on their observations and personal reflections. It’s best to include some self-evaluation pop quizzes and interactive resources in your microlearning repository, as well. That gives employees the option to assess themselves whenever the need arises. For example, before performing a task that has been problematic in the past or prior to negotiating a difficult sale.


These oft-repeated mistakes can derail your upskilling online training strategy and reduce L&D ROI. Not to mention, lose your top performers who are looking for opportunities to broaden their skills and advance in their careers. The secret to successful upskilling is personalizing, ongoing support, and giving your employees the power to assess their own performance.

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