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Employee upskilling and reskilling –The needed skills to boost productivity, confidence and job satisfaction

Employee upskilling and reskilling –The needed skills to boost productivity, confidence and job satisfaction As industries rapidly change and new technologies emerge, it’s more important than ever for employees to keep their skills up to date. But what does that process look like? In this article, we’ll explore the concept of employee upskilling and reskilling and how it can benefit both employees and employers. As demand for new capabilities increases, reskilling and upskilling is how organizations develop the needed skills to enable employees to remain competitive in the business world. Soon, over 500 million jobs could be displaced by a shift in the division of labor between machines and humans. Even so, 97 million new roles are expected to be created, driven by technological advances and continuous digital transformation. Even for the talent that can remain in their same roles, the predicted share of core skills will change by 40%. The emphasis is on the desperate need for reskilling and upskilling in every job, department and company, and with significant change coming by 2025, the time to start is now. What is upskilling and reskilling? Employee upskilling and reskilling include taking on additional training to develop new competencies that are needed in their current role or to prepare for a career change. Here’s the difference between reskilling and upskilling and how these two techniques can better prepare your organization for future industry change. Cambridge dictionary definition:
  • Upskilling: is the process of learning new skills or of teaching workers new skills.
  • Reskilling: learning new skills so workers can do a different job or training people to do another job. Both are effective strategies for employers to contest what is expected to become a recurrent skills shortage. Upskilling occurs when employees gain new competencies to stay in the current role, whereas reskilling is about learning new competencies to transition to an entirely new role. Reskilling means looking for people with skills close to the new skills your company requires. It provides a lateral learning experience that can help with the vast amount of reskilling required of employees in the modern workforce. The World Economic Forum estimates that half of all employees will require reskilling by 2025 due to technological advancement.
On the other hand, a culture of upskilling means teaching employees new, advanced skills to close talent gaps. It involves keeping your team members, who have worked for your organization for several years with an in-depth understanding of your culture and customers, engaged in continuous education, helping them advance along their current career path. Organizations must be actively invested in employees’ careers because a considerable percentage of the employees would choose to stay with such organizations for longer.– The benefits of upskilling and reskilling employees As mentioned above, upskilling occurs when employees learn new skills or enhance previous ones to adjust to changes within their current role; for example, teaching a sales rep to understand and use online conferencing tools to meet with customers virtually. While reskilling involves equipping employees with new knowledge and skills to work in other parts of the business, for example, training a sales rep on how to use social media skills to enable them to move into a higher position on the marketing team. There are several advantages of investing in upskilling and reskilling over new hire training. These initiatives can: Enhance cooperation. Both upskilling and reskilling often involve job shadowing, cross-functional cooperation and collaborative learning — all of which forge stronger teams and strengthen shared goals.
  • Preparation against future disruption: Evaluation of industry skill gaps begins with training plans for upskilling and reskilling. This forward-thinking analysis builds resilience and ensures preparation for the next disruption. Reduce the cost of hiring overtime. The need to hire new staff to fill vacant roles decreases as the current employees engage in upskilling and reskilling since the cost of replacing a salaried employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary.
  • Increases employees’ productivity, confidence and job satisfaction: Upskilling and reskilling initiatives provide employees with the knowledge and skills they need to be productive members of the organization. It boosts employee retention by increasing workers’ confidence, motivation and job satisfaction.
  • Open doors to new roles: Perhaps the most significant benefit of upskilling and reskilling is that they create opportunities for valued existing employees to take on new roles and functions.
Tips for upskilling and reskilling your workforce
  1. Workforce development programs: Establishing workforce development programs in your organization is an excellent way to help address the employee skills gap. While technical skills like computer programming, data analysis and operations management are in demand, most employers also value critical thinking and problem-solving skills, along with leadership, creativity and emotional intelligence. Although there’s no shortage of ways to learn new skills on-the-job, your organization may offer quite a few options of its own. To do this, be financially ready with the right technology to support internal initiatives. Without taking action, your organization’s ability to meet its long-term goals is at risk with no access to the needed skills.
  2. Focusing on Skills: Skills are the language of any business. Upskilling process results in positive outcomes that surpass business profit-and-loss statements. Upskilling and reskilling also demonstrate a commitment to employees and social responsibility through inclusivity. It positively impacts various industries by solving skill shortages and using data-driven solutions, resulting in a constant renewal of workforce performance.
  3. Sharing Knowledge: Most employees rate the opportunity to learn as among their top reasons for taking a job. A considerable percentage would stay in a company if it helped them develop their skills. Employers should create opportunities for employees to access learning related to their jobs. Employers need to focus on the need for continuous learning and knowledge sharing. Organizations can customize learning to each employer’s preference while making the material accessible through different channels and formats. Micro-learning resources can be available just in time and at the point of need for the employee to pull and access on a desktop and any mobile device.
  4. Offer Internship Training and Assessment: Internship training programs help employers recruit, build, and retain a highly-skilled workforce. One business benefit of apprenticeships is that the individuals who come through the apprenticeship program are more loyal and have a low attrition rate. In other words, the trainees stay. Your organizations will derive a diverse pool of nontraditional hires from internship/apprenticeship programs. These hires become dedicated employees with customized skills. Internships and on-the-job training prepare employees for highly skilled careers. Classroom-based training is one-way to provide reskilling opportunities for workers, but it’s not necessarily the best. Online training comes in many forms, from face-to-face learning with a teacher for questions to live and on-demand learning to free micro-learning videos with tests and exams for assessment.
  5. Partnering with Schools: Another emerging strategy to hire workers with in-demand skills is via school partnerships. Educational institutions prepare students with life skills, and business and education have a synergistic relationship. When educational institutions partner with companies for student employment, the relationship prepares students to be productive future employees.
In conclusion, these strategies offer avenues to success today while getting your organization ready for the future. Employees who have developed several new skills over time will have more marketable skill sets and be valuable contributors to an organization. Investing in reskilling or upskilling promotes a dynamic corporate culture committed to continuous professional development that helps build effective learning. The result is a more versatile workforce and an organization better prepared to keep up with the technological and workplace changes for future challenges.  

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