What is Upskilling?
Upskilling is a process of expanding an employee's skills and strengths through training and development. This approach reduces skills gaps to help employees perform better and take on new challenges.
Upskilling helps improve the existing employees' skill sets through training, enabling workers to advance in their careers and explore new roles within the company. Employees can boost their value at work and improve their job security, job satisfaction, and earning potential by keeping up on the most recent business developments and technological advances.
As technology creates new job opportunities, companies must find candidates with relevant, specialized skill sets to fill these roles. Through upskilling, organizations can address the talent gap and fill open positions while retaining their current workforce. At the same time, it also provides employees with opportunities for growth and development.
What is the Potential of Upskilling Employees?
Employers increasingly recognize the importance of ongoing training and upskilling in the workplace. It helps by broadening their job pool by including employees who may not have the requisite experience but are willing to learn new skills. A larger pool of candidates can be obtained for their open positions by focusing on individuals who demonstrate the qualities an organization desires.
On the other hand, organizations can also overcome the challenge of talent shortage in the global market by training and upskilling their employees. It enables them to fill positions through internal hiring to achieve their objectives.
Comparison Between Upskilling and Reskilling
It is the process of acquiring new skills or enhancing the current skill set.
It is the process of acquiring new cross-functional skills.
It teaches new skills to help employees optimize their performance.
It trains employees to adapt to the demands of a different job role within the company.
Benefits of Upskilling
Upskilling offers various benefits for both businesses and employees. Here are some of the significant advantages of upskilling in your company:
- Real-Time Adaptability: By implementing internal upskilling programs, you can train and deploy existing talent to fill the gaps as they arise. It ensures that your company is not entirely reliant on the labor market and can quickly respond to changes in business needs.
- Time and Resource Saving: This process also enables you to save time and resources. Internal learning and development costs are much lower than hiring and onboarding a new employee.
- Improved Productivity, Engagement, and Retention: By incorporating upskilling methodology, your employees can become more efficient, productive, and agile, staying relevant and up-to-date. Offering upskilling opportunities helps employees envision themselves staying with the company long-term and prevents them from feeling trapped in their current role.
Types of Upskilling
Some of the common types of upskilling techniques include:
- Agile Online Training – This training focuses on speed, flexibility, collaboration, and more.
- In-Person Training – It focuses on individualized learning.
- Blended Learning – It combines two primary learning options - online and classroom training - to provide a personalized upskilling experience.
- Formal Education with External Courses – It entails high-quality, accredited training to support career growth within the organization.
- Mentorship, Coaching, and Shadowing – They focus on one-on-one guidance and support to employees to develop leadership and soft skills.
- Microlearning – It delivers small, bit-sized learning modules to help employees learn new skills and knowledge and a quicker pace.
- Hands-On Opportunities – Employees apply their newly-acquired skills into practice, providing the company with immediate return on investment.
Terms Related to Upskilling
- Reskilling: It is the process of acquiring new skills or knowledge to adapt to changing work requirements or job roles.
- Cross-training: It is a practice that involves teaching employees skills beyond their primary job responsibilities to increase their flexibility and enhance their abilities.
- Microlearning: It is an instructional approach that uses short and focused learning activities to achieve specific learning goals.
- Skills gap analysis: It identifies the gaps between the current workforce's skills and knowledge and the requirements of their job roles.
- Competency assessment: It evaluates employees' skills, knowledge, and abilities to determine their proficiency in specific job roles or tasks.
- Learning management system: It is software that delivers, manages, and tracks learning content and activities for organizations and individuals.
- Performance management: It involves a systematic process of setting goals, tracking progress, and providing feedback to enhance employees' job performance and meet organizational objectives.