In a post-COVID world, companies and employees have to keep up with new technologies and the skills needed to succeed in the workplace. A company’s ability to create training and development programs to expand its employees’ skill sets will become a competitive advantage in the future. Upskilling and reskilling are two ways for companies to approach skill development in their firm. Reskilling provides employees with a job pivot by training them on a completely different set of skills in order to take on a new position. Reskilling might be the right solution if you have a dedicated workforce that you just don’t want to lose.

Upskilling is the process of acquiring new and relevant competencies needed today and in the near future. Common examples of upskilling efforts include digital skills, analytics skills, and organizational transformation skills.

Benefits of Upskilling And Reskilling

There are many advantages to having skill development programs other than staying ahead of the competition. Below are some of them.

1. Improves Retention

Investing in upskill development makes your workers feel valued and supported and less likely to switch jobs. It ensures that employees’ skillsets won’t become obsolete, and also helps them in planning their careers. It also improves retention rates and saves the company the cost of hiring and training new employees on an ongoing basis.

2. Boosts Morale

Employees who have training and development opportunities are happier in their roles and have higher morale compared to others. Reskilling your workforce helps to keep the employee in the company while helping them advance their career. It also creates a deeper sense of purpose.

3. Promotes Adaptability

Companies that proactively develop and maintain a skilled workforce will be able to adapt to new challenges, especially with the rapid changes in technology. An adaptable workforce can shift with changes in the market and confront challenges better.

4. Increases Productivity

Upskilling the workforce helps employees by giving them the tools to be more productive at their jobs. It helps them be more accurate, creative, and faster which can free up time to pursue new ideas and initiatives within the firm.

5. Increases Customer Satisfaction

When employees are happy at their jobs and believe that the company is supportive, they tend to work harder and better. This increases their motivation to solve customer problems and with the right skill development, allows them to be up to date on the latest industry trends and recommendations making them better at serving clients.

6. Attract New Talent

Most HR professionals spend so much time searching for candidates with the right job skills. When current employees are happy due to opportunities provided by the firm, they’re more likely to recommend the organization to their network of friends, past colleagues and family members. They become the biggest brand advocates for your business which will build a reputation as a great place to work.

How To Create An Upskill And Reskill Strategy

Here are some pointers to develop and implement an effective upskilling effort in your organization.

1. Skill Gap Analysis

The first step for successful reskilling is to identify the current knowledge gaps in the firm through a skill gap analysis. Look at current and future business requirements and determine what a future workforce might look like. This will be based on your particular industry, technological changes, and company goals. 

2. Build An Organization-Centric Training Program

Once the knowledge gaps have been identified set up your upskill development in a way that benefits the organization. Look at various options like group training or one-on-one coaching for effectiveness. Check whether lessons can be taught virtually, through mentoring, or outside consultants and set goals and certifications targets if applicable. Many platforms offer customized plans for corporates that can be implemented for an organization of any size.

3. Design Plan For Individual Employee

Learning and development programs are not a one-size-fits-all solution. The plan will have to be tailored based on each employees’ needs, their role within the organization, and their long-term career goals. This will require managers to have frequent conversations with the employees and together choose the right course of action.

4. Administer The Project

Once the plan is in place, onboard employees to begin their learning journey. Companies can promote uptake through financial incentives and creating a culture that makes learning, career development, and hiring from within a priority. Set up a communications team, publishing success stories on an internal platform where individual employees are showcased as role models. Set up opportunities for workers to communicate with one another via support groups, informal meetings, and online platforms.

5. Monitor Results And ROI

Upskilling is an investment, but it is equally necessary to track employees’ engagement and measure the benefit of skill improvement on the company’s bottom line. This will help assess and evaluate the overall return on investing in L&D projects and help make the program better over time. This can also be used as a method to reward the top individual’s performance by helping them secure promotions or internal transfers.

6. Upskilling Techniques

While the most obvious method to upskilling is through courses provided on different online platforms below or an internal Learning Management System (LMS), there are a few other techniques that a manager can adopt. This includes peer mentoring, where senior employees provide guidance to junior employees; job rotation where an employee is shifted laterally amongst different departments to gain knowledge; and lastly, job enlargement where the employee is given additional activities and responsibilities while in the same role to prepare for the future. 

Courses And Platforms For Skilling The Workforce

Now, that you have decided to implement an upskilling program for your workers, here are a few platforms that are suitable. You can find an upskilling course for virtually every single job and industry that will keep you ahead of the competition. 

1. Udemy

Udemy has a large selection of courses across various subjects with opportunities to learn emerging topics in AI and machine learning.

2. Skillshare

Explore new skills, deepen existing passions, and get lost in creativity. With so much to explore, real projects to create and the support of fellow-creatives, Skillshare empowers you to accomplish real growth.

3. Linkedin Learning

Learning & Development pros at 78 of the Fortune 100 companies choose LinkedIn Learning because it teaches skills people can use right away. With expert-led online learning that’s personalized and social, employers can quickly drive learner engagement.

4. Google Online Courses

Digital upskilling will become increasingly important over the next few years. Google provides certifications and courses to jumpstart your career. As digital skills evolve faster, it is important to constantly update one’s knowledge on the subject.

5. Upgrad

Upgrad can help you move up in your career with specialisations from top universities and is one of the best platforms in India providing skill development programs.

By investing in the upskilling and reskilling of your workforce, you’ll be reinforcing to your staff that their development is a priority to you. In order to truly reap the benefits, organizations must provide their employees with personalized recommendations, and actionable steps to easily learn the skills they need at their own pace.

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