Upskilling and Reskilling: Reshaping Your Workforce
Upskilling or reskilling current employees can help you fill open positions more quickly in a constantly-evolving workplace.
What are Upskilling and Reskilling?
Upskilling and reskilling are two similar but distinct ways to retrain workforces. Both options help employees grow within their careers and help organizations to succeed in the changing business environment.
- Reskilling involves training employees in new skills to help them make lateral moves into new roles within the organization.
- Upskilling focuses more on soft skills, such as management or leadership, and allows employees to move up in their field within the organization.
Another way to think about it is this: if you have a sous chef and want to train them to become a pastry chef, that is reskilling. If you want to train the sous chef to become head chef, that is upskilling.
Building Skills for an Evolving Workforce
Upskilling and reskilling of workforces have increased in recent years to meet hiring demands, while also helping to retain talent and save money. Either way, employees have more opportunities than ever to develop new skills to meet organizations’ needs as they continue to commit significant time and resources to training. According to the 2021 Training Industry Report, companies spent an average of $1,071 per learner and employees received nearly 64 hours of training.
Further underscoring the importance of this approach, 58 percent of respondents to a McKinsey Global Survey on reskilling said that closing skill gaps in their companies’ workforces has become a higher priority since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The report also noted that forty-six percent of respondents report an increase in redeploying talent at their organizations as a means for closing skill gaps.
Why Should You Upskill or Reskill Your Workforce?
The challenges and costs associated with hiring in the current employment environment are well-documented. Upskilling and reskilling can yield a number of benefits to help with recruitment and retention, including better employee engagement and loyalty. Indeed, employees value and embrace the importance of learning new skills. A global survey of workers conducted by PwC shows that 77% are ready to learn new skills or retrain completely.
Upskilling or reskilling programs can help position organizations as employers of choice. They can also help attract top talent and customers by demonstrating you value your employees and are committed to helping them advance their careers.
These programs can serve as an effective strategy for avoiding layoffs when people don’t have the right skills. According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), it costs employers an average of $4,129 and takes an average of 42 days to fill an open position. Choosing to reskill or upskill your workforce allows your organization to make an investment in its employees and retain good workers.
How to Upskill or Reskill Your Workforce
Start reskilling or upskilling your team by giving them access to online education platforms, implementing learning management systems (LMS), mentoring, or a number of other means.
Not sure where to start? The TalentBridge team can help your organization develop comprehensive Upskilling and Reskilling programs to put you on the path to employee growth and retention.
Meet the Author: Lori Crimmins
Chief Human Resources Officer