When the pandemic began 1.5 years back, organizations saw a rapid change in the way they functioned. Not only this, the skill gap which was prevalent because of technology, increased after COVID hit. It became a challenge for organizations and leaders to fill the ever-increasing skill gap accelerated by the pandemic. The solution comes with upskilling and reskilling your employees. With the volatile nature of business and rapidly changing economy, now is the right time for HR leaders and employers to start these initiatives. It will not only help them in bridging the skill gap, but also help them achieve higher retention rates.
Upskilling and reskilling, although used interchangeably, have completely different meanings and significance. Both are ways for businesses to help their employees grow in the organization and improve their skills.
Upskilling – Upskilling involves employees improvising on the existing skill sets that help them grow in the current role. It ultimately prepares them to take up greater responsibilities and move to more senior roles.
Reskilling –Reskilling refers to employees learning new skills to move to different job roles in the organization. This is mainly done in two scenarios:
i) When an employee wishes to learn new skill sets and transition to a new role in the organization. ii) When an employer wishes to retain an existing employee and train them on new skills for a new role within the organization.
Skill Gap Analysis is a tool or process which helps in identifying and bridging the gap between the current skills and desired skills of the workforce. It helps employers and organizations to identify the training needs, uncover gaps, and help in succession planning, and career progression of employees. It serves as a tool for identifying individuals or teams suitable for upskilling and reskilling according to changing business needs.
Benefits of Upskilling And Reskilling Your Employees
Improves Employee Retention: Employees when see that their organization is invested in their career development and growth, they tend to stay with the organization for a longer period. It shows that employers and organizations care for their employees, which helps in retaining top talent and improves the overall retention rate.
Saves Costs: Hiring and training a new employee is costly! Getting a new hire onboard involves costs in terms of time and money. SHRM estimates that in the U.S. cost per hire is $4000, and takes about 42 days to fill a new position. Whenever an organization plans for a new hire, some of the costs involved is:
Advertising for a new role on job portals
Short-listing and interviewing candidates
Readjusting budget to meet new hire’s salary expectations
Waiting for the new hire’s term of employment to get over at the previous organization
Onboarding the new hire
Instead of hiring someone from outside the organization, upskilling and reskilling your own employees reduces the cost significantly. Although it involves the cost of training, it is much less than what goes into hiring someone new.
Helps Bridge The Digital Gap: The new generation of workforce is tech-savvy and cognizant of all the changes taking place in the field of AI, analytics, digital marketing, cloud computing, and so on. Upskilling and reskilling opportunities will help the older generation of employees to adapt to digital technologies easily. It will not only make them technology cognizant, but will also help them perform their roles effectively.
Builds A Culture Of Learning: Upskilling and reskilling initiatives create a culture of continuous learning in the organization. Learning becomes an ongoing process for all the employees. Employees continuously learn and hone their skills to stay updated with the latest in-demand skills in the market.
Workforce Is Resilient: Upskilling and reskilling your workforce prepares them for the future. It helps them to adapt easily and makes them more resilient to market changes. In a tumultuous pandemic-stricken business market like this, a resilient workforce is what makes a business stronger.
Employees become more engaged: A continuous culture of upskilling and reskilling keeps employees engaged and motivated. They become satisfied and happy at work. It increases the efficiency and productivity of the employees and the organization.
Upskilling and reskilling have now become an integral part of organization strategy and the way to sustain businesses in the post-pandemic era. Have you identified your employees who are eligible for upskilling and reskilling yet?
Gabby Davis is the Lead Trainer for the US Division of the Customer Experience Team. She develops and implements processes and collaterals related to the client onboarding experience and guides clients across all tiers through the initial implementation of Engagedly as well as Mentoring Complete. She is passionate about delivering stellar client experiences and ensuring high adoption rates of the Engagedly product through engaging and impactful training and onboarding.