Employees don't wake up and wonder how they can improve their skills. Instead they live by patterns that determine which skills they need to earn an income. When their patterns don't change they don't need new skills. When patterns change, the employee must change as well. How does a manager improve employee skills?
First, create the momentum for change. Patterns rule people's lives and without a change in the pattern people are generally unwilling to go through the stress of change. Let them they know change must happen now!
Second, there must be a reason to change. Sometimes we can simple explain to them the necessity of doing things differently while at other times we might need to use incentives to support change through performance adjustments.
Third, give workers a proper perspective. Let them conceptualize how their work skills impact the rest of the organization. Putting the work they do within a proper perspective can make a difference in their ability to understand the necessity of changes. Think of how these skills fit within a company's process.
Pushing people to go further is important in getting people to change. As manager we should create the momentum for change, provide the reasons for change, and give the worker proper perspective of change. As managers, it is our responsibility to foster change in ways that results in more productivity down the road and leads employees to goal achievement.