How upskilling and reskilling can help you create a future-ready workforce and boost your retention
No matter if your workforce is made up of baby boomers or Gen Z, everyone will need some upskilling or reskilling if you want your team to be future-ready.
Thanks to ever-evolving technology, the way your business and employees work is always changing. In just the past year we’ve seen the rise of Slack, Trello, Zoom and hundreds of other remote working tools that have become integral to the way we work.
The shift to remote working made us all realise that the way we do business can drastically change in a short period of time. So much so that companies like Amazon dedicated $700 million to upskilling their workforce last year.
And while that might be chump change to Jeff Bezos, it shows that upskilling and reskilling are being taken seriously in business.
If you don’t invest in your employee’s skills, your business won’t be future-ready.
What is upskilling and reskilling?
So if you want to get your entire workforce future-ready, should you use upskilling or reskilling?
- Upskilling is where you learn additional skills
- Reskilling is where you learn completely new skills
Although they sound similar, the difference is in the type of skills you learn.
“Upskilling your workforce by teaching them skills that they don’t have will make them more efficient and productive. Reskilling gives people the opportunity to try something completely new.” – Lucy Smith, DG Founder and CEO
So where you might give your junior marketers some design training to help them develop visual promotional materials, giving them software development training would be completely new (presumably!)
Why are upskilling and reskilling important?
“It’s critical to upskill and even reskill in our global economy marketplace where the opportunity is there to reach new clients anywhere in the world.” – Anne Campbell, DG Client Liaison Manager
When you invest in your team’s skills, you invest in your business. Even for ‘local only’ businesses, when you expand your team’s skills you’ll be able to reach more clients.
“It’s critical that you use upskilling and reskilling to get your workforce future-ready and drive loyalty. With both routes you are investing in your people which means they will be more likely to stick around and help you grow in return.” – Lucy Smith, DG Founder and CEO
87% of millennial workers said that professional development opportunities were very important to them in choosing a job.
A sense of purpose, progress and development is vital in finding long-term happiness in your career – at least for me. And when you invest in my personal and career development, I’m going to want to invest in your company.
So upskilling and reskilling aren’t just essential things people consider in finding a job, but in choosing whether to stay too.
How to know which skills your employees need
- Do a skills audit – look through all of your past performance appraisals for common themes.
- Ask your staff – a great way to identify what people want is to just ask them. By asking your staff what training they need to get even better at their jobs, you’ll get an accurate picture of what your employees want long-term.
Upskilling and reskilling methods
- Online course access – an easy and simple way to encourage independent learning is to give your employees access to a course or even an entire learning platform.
- Group sessions – if there are any skills lacking in your entire workforce, a group session is always a fun way to incorporate training and team building. These are great for soft skills like productivity and efficiency.
- Encourage skill sharing – skill sharing among your employees is natural in the office, but when working from home it isn’t as easy as looking over someone’s shoulder and asking questions. So encourage your employees to run their own skill swap sessions with each other! I recently did one of these with my colleague, teaching her some writing tricks while she taught me the basics of video editing!
Are your workers open to upskilling and reskilling?
If your workforce is open to upskilling or reskilling, it’s a great way to make your business future-ready while investing in your employees.
But if you’re struggling to find employees that are eager to learn. why not employ people that are already in the habit of personal and professional development?
Browse the top candidates in the UK today by checking out our hiring hub.