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What Are the Benefits of Upskilling Employees?

upskilling employees

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Key Takeaways

1. Workforce upskilling is where employers provide training and development to existing staff to enhance their skillset. 

2. Employers benefit from upskilling employees as it adds to productivity. 

3. Remote work can pose a challenge when assessing whether employees need to upskill: It is hard to gauge how much people are taking in and whether they are utilizing certain skillsets well such as managing their time, and working under pressure. Therefore, it may be tricky to understand where there are gaps in skillsets.

4. Upskilling employees is a good way to attract new talent and also retain existing staff.

5. There are many ways in which companies can upskill employees such as providing on-site training, e-learning, workshops, self-learning/self-study, encouraging self-reflection, or providing learning materials. The level of training and development a company makes available to its employees is dependent on the industry and the culture of the organization.

With new technologies and information constantly becoming available, it is more important than ever that employees are up-to-date with current advancements.

Upskilling employees has a range of benefits, two of the core ones being:

  1. creating a collaborative ‘learning culture’ and general adaptability in the workplace
  2. saving resources by reducing the need to recruit new staff.  If employees feel as though they are improving and developing, and as though their employer cares about them, this can boost morale.

Offering ongoing training and learning opportunities is also a good way to attract the best employees to your business. The best employees will often be attracted to a workplace where they are able to grow and progress in their careers. 

By having a robust ‘learning culture’, everyone can benefit. Employees are able to benefit as they have the opportunity to develop their skills and experience. Similarly, employers benefit from a more skilled workforce which usually results in more productive teams. 

What does upskilling employees mean?

Upskilling employees or reskilling employees is the act of training and developing employees by keeping their skills up to date and relevant. This may include providing training sessions to expand their knowledge in a certain area or helping them grow by promoting career growth and providing resources for ongoing learning. The related task of ‘reskilling’ applies when an employee needs to be taught new skills to replace their existing skillset. 

By upskilling professionals, companies are making the most of their existing workforce by creating a well-rounded and stronger team. It means that employees are constantly keeping up-to-date and refreshing or learning new skills that will assist them in doing a better job for the company.

What are the benefits of upskilling employees?

The key benefit of upskilling employees for the company, is that it creates a forward-thinking and motivating environment for those involved. When an employer takes the time and uses resources to train and help develop their employees’ skills, it essentially shows the workforce that they are important and makes them feel valued. This, in turn, stimulates productivity and motivation to give back to the organization.

On the other hand, it is becoming the norm to have many employees work remotely which makes it more difficult to track performance and gauge levels of productivity and progression. It is perhaps the case that in many companies, employees are becoming stagnant and not able to develop as quickly as they would when surrounded by colleagues in the office where they can bounce ideas around. 

For those employees who learn better when communicating with others in person, working remotely may hinder their performance. It is therefore important for employers to ensure that they are able to continue learning and development virtually. Additionally, international companies with a global workforce, need to consider potential cultural and linguistic differences when developing training programs.

However, providing employees with the necessary tools to be able to develop their skills not only helps the employee themselves but also the employer. The more skillful and knowledgeable the workforce is, the better the company is able to function. Moreover, many companies integrate mentoring software to facilitate knowledge transfer and accelerate skill development within your organization. For instance, if a company provides training on time management, the more efficient an employee will become which improves the productivity of the organization as a whole.

If a company promotes learning and development, it is able to create more of a ‘learning culture’ where employees are constantly growing and finding new ways to develop. This will also allow colleagues to learn from each other.

What are the best methods or tools for upskilling employees?

A good way to approach workforce upskilling is by providing continuous training sessions or workshops on particular topics that would assist employees in their roles. It is also beneficial to offer cross-organizational skill-building opportunities.

Self-learning is also a great way to promote development as it puts the employee in charge of their own learning. Some companies provide e-learning courses or mini-quizzes or tests to help track progress and motivate employees to retain new information.

Also, by introducing a mentoring program whereby colleagues can help mentor fellow colleagues, it allows employees to develop skills by learning from more experienced colleagues and giving others a chance to teach and provide guidance and mentorship to others.

Furthermore, it is important to encourage employees to come up with goals and objectives so that employers can support specific learning needs within the workforce and help staff develop in areas that they are less confident with. A good method for tracking upskilling is by asking employees to provide self-reflections on their learning to help them see how far they have come in their development process. Additionally, asking for feedback on training undertaken will help to understand how it can be improved upon in future.

How Horizons can help with upskilling?

Horizons provides international employment solutions making it easier than ever to hire employees from anywhere in the world. We can provide strategic advice on how upskilling or reskilling employees can be part of your international expansion.  

Frequently Asked Questions

There are different ways that employers can upskill or reskill the workforce but ultimately, it is very much dependent on the organizational culture, the industry and the company’s budget. A company can provide as much or as little in terms of resources to be able to upskill its employees. They can provide training, e-learning, workshops, self-learning/self study, encourage self-reflection or provide learning materials. Upskilling is dependant on the skills required for the particular job and therefore different methods to help employees can be adapted accordingly.

Upskilling employees or reskilling employees is where companies provide training and developing opportunities to employees with the idea of keeping their skills up to date and relevant to avoid skill gaps.

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