In today’s rapidly evolving world, companies should encourage their employees to pursue continuous learning as a lifelong endeavour. For businesses of all sizes and shapes, maintaining the pace of technological progress is often a problem. Technology opens up significant economic opportunities but also leaves skills shortages, notably in the manufacturing, healthcare, and construction sectors, where there is a specific need for qualified personnel. It is also being realised that developing and nurturing an employee who is currently a member of the firm is less expensive than hiring someone from outside the company. Companies are now allocating their investment to those already working by upskilling and reskilling them.
What is Upskilling and Reskilling?
The primary distinction between both is that upskilling refers to the process of acquiring new skills so that a person is better able to perform their work duties. In contrast, reskilling refers to an individual picking up a new range of abilities in order to perform a new or different job. To put it briefly, reskilling and upskilling can help businesses obtain the skills necessary to thrive in the competitive market.
While an organisation may no longer require a particular skill set from an employee, they are nevertheless interested in using some of the knowledge that an individual has accumulated over the years regarding the business and its procedures.
Are Upskilling and Reskilling the same?
The goal of upskilling is to improve skills and performance in a current career or specialised sector through ongoing education—additionally, these abilities aid in adjusting to shifting market dynamics. Upskilling frequently raises an employee’s worth by modernising their expertise and putting them in a position ready for the future.
By adding new abilities, reskilling enables a worker to transition into a different position within the same company or another organisation. It does more than brush up on prior knowledge. To reskill and become successful in a new field, you might need to take additional certificate programmes or perhaps get a degree.
Who should Upskill and when?
- Individuals whose skill sets are already out of date. For instance, workers who have taken time off from work or who haven’t upgraded their skills in a while may urgently need to do so to maintain their employment.
- People whose skill sets lapse into antiquity the quickest. Some professions undergo more rapid change than others. IT professionals, for example, need to upskill more frequently to stay updated with the developments in the field.
- People that are seeking job advancement. While some employees are content with their existing roles, others want to move up the corporate ladder. Someone vying for promotion will need to upgrade their skills to demonstrate their capacity for a higher position.
- Employees whose company is facing changes. Changes in a company may affect people’s jobs. For instance, if a company decides to use a digital chat function instead of a live call service, it will need to upskill its employees to use the new technology.
- Somebody looking to change jobs. If an individual is looking to shift into a different role or industry, they might also be required to reskill.
10 Reasons How Upskilling and Reskilling Benefit the Workforce and Business Organisation
1. Early skill acquisition and knowledge gaps
A comprehensive upskilling plan doesn’t merely concentrate on enhancing talent development. Employees can also pinpoint limiting attitudes, habits, and gaps that obstruct their ability to accomplish their jobs. They might reveal these pain spots through routine knowledge checks and self-evaluations to get their objectives back on track. For example, your upskilling plan can include certification routes that emphasise interpersonal or communication skill development. If employees desire to explore leadership positions and continuously improve their skills, they can put their listening skills and empathy to the test.
2. Addresses emerging challenges
Organisations faced more than just the evolving work landscape due to the COVID crisis. Employees must, therefore, be prepared to face new challenges related to the company’s operations and the advancement in the particular industry. For example, if you’re introducing new software to improve on-the-job productivity and streamline work processes, employees must understand how to maximise functionality and diagnose common issues. Without an efficient upskilling and reskilling recruitment plan, your workforce may face a steep learning curve due to a lack of support.
3. Retains top performers
Self-development via reskilling and upskilling workshops is a benefit of the job that many job seekers look for. However, it’s also a significant factor in why top performers choose to remain with your company rather than seek employment elsewhere. Introducing an upskilling or reskilling programme demonstrates your concern for their progress and personal development. They should be given ample amount of time to consider how well their existing skill sets fit their interests and provided the opportunity to even cross-train in other fields. As a result, your company gains immediate advantages as you develop a team of highly skilled employees and lower training expenses for new hires.
4. Reduced recruitment costs
Even before onboarding, hiring new staff requires time and money in the form of recruiting, interviews, and background checks. Additionally, there is always a danger that a hire won’t work out, even with a good hiring process. You can save money and time by retraining your present staff instead of going through the hiring and onboarding process from scratch. This frees up your resources to train your current employees for their upcoming roles in your business.
5. Improves client satisfaction
Happy employees generate happy clients. Employees produce better work when they are more satisfied with their employer and have faith in the goals they are pursuing. Additionally, by keeping your team up to date on industry developments, upskilling empowers them to provide clients and prospects with the finest advice and insights. For the benefit of working with a more skilled, proactive team, clients are prepared to spend more. And if your clients are pleased with the service you provide, they will promote your brand more strongly.
6. Attracts new talent
According to research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 83% of HR professionals have problems recruiting, with the skill gap being the major speculated cause. Naturally, if your business is successful, you’ll probably need to hire new employees to supplement your competent, seasoned crew. Employees are more likely to promote a brand when they experience a sense of meaning in their work and achieve client satisfaction.
As a result, they are more inclined to tell their friends, former coworkers, and family members about your company. Suddenly, you have access to a sizeable talent pool with a wide range of options when it comes time to grow your company.
7. Improved employee morale and engagement
Employee engagement and motivation are maintained by an ongoing process of upskilling and reskilling. Job satisfaction boosts both employee and organisation productivity and efficiency. Nowadays, both of these have become essential components of organisational strategy and stand to be the reason why organisations might survive in the post-pandemic period.
8. Nurtures emerging talent
Another crucial justification for implementing an upskilling or reskilling training programme is talent management. You should be able to identify up-and-coming MVPs from the crowd and provide them with the skill-upgrading resources they require to optimise their strengths and identify any weaknesses. Although there are many workers who are eager and prepared to take on more responsibility, there are few prospects for development. Given that it enables individuals to change their career trajectories and make greater contributions to your organisation, upskilling is essential to leadership development.
9. Offering employees training increases loyalty
The company gains a lot from offering technical training to its employees, but the employees also gain something of value. Your most valuable workers are interested in advancing their careers. Accessible training opportunities are an excellent way to demonstrate appreciation for them, particularly if they are connected to a company campaign.
Employees are more likely to stay with a company when they perceive it is willing to invest in them. According to LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning study, employee retention is two times higher at organisations that offer internal mobility. Additionally, employees who change jobs internally are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged in their work than those who remain in their current position.
10. Creates a culture of learning
Employees enjoy learning. To stay competitive and relevant in the workforce, they turn to upskilling. Your staff members will feel appreciated, and a positive work environment of active learning will be promoted if you offer training. It will be less likely for staff to be inundated with the material if daily learning is encouraged rather than annual training sessions.
A mindset of active learning will make your organisation more receptive and ready for any challenges or disruptions that may arise. We hope that the aforementioned reasons helped you understand the importance of employee upskilling and reskilling and that you and your organisation are more likely to continue thriving in the cut-throat competitive market with these valuable employee enhancement approaches.
In conclusion, upskilling and reskilling have become more important than ever in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing job market. Learning new skills and knowledge can help individuals stay competitive, advance their careers, increase their earning potential, and future-proof their careers. Individuals and organizations can approach upskilling and reskilling in a variety of ways, such as self-directed learning, employer-sponsored training, professional development, job rotation, and apprenticeships. While there are some challenges to upskilling and reskilling, addressing these challenges can help individuals and organizations successfully navigate this important process.