There is no denying that with the advancement of technology, the economy and the global job market are changing fast. There is a huge demand for employees who have relevant skills that help in solving modern problems.
According to a recent Gartner report, 58 percent of today's workforce requires new skills to execute their jobs successfully. In addition, the World Economic Forum (WEF) recently produced a report recommending that employees all around the world should engage in upskilling and reskilling to prepare for the future of work.
Upskilling and reskilling the workforce are needed to keep up with today’s world as it helps in training the employees to deal with new technologies and modern business problems.
What is Upskilling and How Does it Differ From Reskilling?
Upskilling means teaching employees new, advanced skills in order to bridge their talent gaps. It provides the employees with required training and assists them in progressing along their existing career path.
As these employees have been working in the company for a long time, they have formed a deep understanding of the office culture and clients. As a result, it will be more valuable to the managers to upskill their skills, rather than hiring new candidates for these roles.
Reskilling, on the other hand, is looking for people with 'adjacent abilities', or those that are similar to the new skills that the organization demands. It offers a lateral learning opportunity for the employees.
Why do Upskilling and Reskilling Need to be Prioritized in any Organization?
Every other business, from small to medium-sized to large-scale, has a digital presence nowadays. This massive shift to online has mostly been beneficial for businesses, but at the rate the workforce culture has changed literally in a matter of months, it is hard for the existing employees to keep up with all these new changes.
In addition, the number of talents necessary for a single job is growing at a rate of 10% every year. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), by 2022, more than half of the present workforce, or around 54 percent, will require "substantial" reskilling to keep up with future job demands.
So, it is high time for organizations to provide training and professional development for their employees in order to have relevant skills needed for this technological world.
How do You Invest in Upskilling and Reskilling?
Although two-thirds of the business managers believe that employee development programs help in addressing the skills gap, they are slow to take action. The reason mainly is financial constraints.
Investing in these areas rather than hiring new candidates does actually pay off in the end. With proper guidance and introduction to modern technologies, the old employees will be able to meet the company’s long-term goals more efficiently than a new hire.
Importance of Upskilling and Reskilling
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment and lack of job satisfaction have skyrocketed. It has also resulted in a significant drop in the world economy. However, after every major disaster comes a period of prosperity.
With all this in mind, updating and learning new skills now will definitely put your company in a better position to take advantage of a stronger economy, especially with all of this growth and optimism. So, if you want to ensure that you have a competitive advantage, now is the time to consider updating your present skills and abilities.
Due to the sudden and broad-ranged digitalization of the industries, jobs, and skills that were existing and were in demand just 10 years ago, are now obsolete. On the other hand, it is creating new and exciting job roles like social media managers, cloud computing specialists, app developers, and user experience managers.
Companies badly need robust employee learning and development programs to be relevant today.
Benefits of Upskilling and Reskilling
According to an article on Emeritus, there are roughly 65 unemployed people for every 100 job openings.
Some of the top benefits of upskilling and reskilling are:
- The challenges posed by the digital revolution have forced businesses to evolve on a regular basis. Companies that spend on educating and adapting their existing workforce have a better chance of quickly implementing change and remaining competitive.
- Both reskilling and upskilling are investments in internal personnel to meet business requirements. This cuts down on the time it takes to hire someone, as well as the costs and time it takes to properly train them.
- Employees' loyalty is reinforced when they see that the company is investing in them to raise their professional profile or provide them with new chances. This makes people less likely to take another job offer, and they are more likely to stay with the organization for a long time.
- Continuous employee training improves the company's reputation and the employer's brand image. The company will be a lot more appealing to the industry professionals in the field, and attracting fresh talent will be that much easier.
- Investing in reskilling or upskilling fosters a dynamic corporate culture dedicated to continual professional development, which aids in the establishment of an effective learning culture. As a result, the staff is more adaptable, and the company is better prepared to tackle future difficulties.
Impact of Upskilling and Reskilling
The impact of upskilling and reskilling includes:
- Being future-ready: For any business, being able to meet the current and future market needs is an extremely important thing, which determines its relevance in the industry.
- No extra expenditure on new hires: If you focus on reskilling and upskilling your own employees first instead of hiring a new, then it will not only save you the cost of training new hires but will also earn you the respect of your old employees.
- A survival strategy for the modern world: Employee reskilling or upskilling is no longer a trend, but rather a survival strategy that helps a company grow. According to experts, up to 58 percent of IT personnel need to improve their abilities in order to effectively handle their work duties.
Best Practices for Doing Upskilling and Reskilling
Some useful practices of upskilling and reskilling that you can implement in your company today are:
- Motivating your employees to take up courses that teach new and relevant skills.
- Make the learning process a fun activity by incorporating everyone and doing learning activities that will encourage all of them to learn more.
- Find or create the perfect learning and development strategy which will help your employees learn everything the best way.
- Introduce professional courses like machine learning, AI, and Data Science that will bring your employees up-to-date with today’s skill demands.
- Try out exciting assignments that will broaden the knowledge of the workers.
- Last but not the least, always track and keep the progress report, to look at what method is working and what isn’t. Or, to find an insight on other future ideas of practices that can be applied.
How to Build a Learning Culture in the Organization
It really doesn’t take much to build a good learning culture in a workspace that nurtures and fosters learning just as much as in educational institutions. Follow these few simple steps to build a healthy learning culture in your organization today.
- Provide all the necessary resources needed to make the learning process easier in the workspace.
- Every person is different, so naturally, their learning path and style would also be different. Keeping that in mind, plan the process of learning something flexible and open to a certain degree. Try to align the company’s goals to the individual goals too.
- Try different learning methods to find out what works best, because curriculum for learning and development should be developed using a variety of methods, including self-directed and traditional instructor-led training.
How to Motivate Employees to Upskill and Reskill
For the hesitant and uncertain employees, the one and only and the most effective motivation is pay raise. It is also very important to align their personal goals and expectation with the vision and strategy of the company.
A learning culture inside the office will help tremendously in maintaining motivation throughout the learning process. Creating a mentor-mentee system where you connect the employees with their mentors who motivate them will also help.
Check out the Hero Vired’s enterprise upskilling programs to know more!
What are Some Action Plans That You Can Make to Upskill and Reskill Your Employees?
Some likely action plans that you can make today to upskill and reskill your employees are:
- Assessing your employees’ current skills
- Listing out all the skills that will be needed in the next five years in your business
- Educate and motivate your employees on the need for upskilling
- Set upskilling and reskilling goals
- Decide on the best learning format and course for your employees
- Choose the best training and skills development course
- Monitor the progress
- Match upskilled employees with new opportunities.
There are multiple benefits of upskilling and reskilling the workforce. No one, not markets, individuals, or even the economy as a whole, has any influence over the future, as the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated.
Long-term goals are more likely to fail now than ever before, which is why employee reskilling and upskilling are more important than ever. That’s why companies like Amazon have nearly invested $700 million to upskill and reskill their employees. Now is the time to start reconsidering.
Hero Vired helps your teams upskill and reskill with custom enterprise learning programs that are suited to the on-ground needs of your business.