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Investing in Your Workforce: Upskilling and Reskilling Your Employees

Many organizations change roles over time in order to keep up with the changing workforce. This results in employees often needing to refresh existing skillsets or learn new skills in order to continue to remain valuable and relevant members within the organization. While there are many strategies organizations can take to accomplish this, upskilling and reskilling employees are often the best.

Upskilling, which is the process of teaching employees new skills that are relevant to their current roles, is one strategy organizations can use to keep up with the ever-changing job market. This can be done through individual or group opportunities, and often results in benefits for both the employee and the organization.

When organizations restructure or make significant changes to roles, however, upskilling may not always be sufficient. In these cases, organizations may need to reskill their employees instead. Reskilling is when employees are trained to perform a completely different job function. While reskilling may be a more significant undertaking for organizations since it often requires more time and resources, it is still beneficial to the organization to retain employees instead of going through the process to hire new employees.

Any time an organization requires its employees to learn new information and skills, there are benefits to investing in current employees instead of seeking new ones. Some of the benefits are:

  • Employee Retention - It’s always more economical to invest in current employees than it is to move through the recruiting and onboarding processes to bring on new employees.

  • Employee Satisfaction - Employees who are provided with opportunities for professional growth are often more satisfied with their job and are more likely to stay with your organization.

  • Increased Productivity - Employees who have top-notch skills for their role are often able to complete tasks more efficiently and accurately.

  • Flexibility - Employees with wider sets of skills are often able to adapt to changing situations and demands in the workplace.

Does your organization need to invest in upskilling or reskilling employees in order to remain competitive in the changing job market? Figuring out the answer is actually pretty simple if you follow these steps:

Conduct a Skills Gap Analysis

Using tools such as interviews, surveys, and performance evaluations, organizations can identify gaps between the skills employees currently possess and the skills needed for ideal performance within a role. This task is much easier if job descriptions are up-to-date and reflect an accurate list of the essential skills required for each role.

Develop a Training Program

Once gaps are identified, determine the training(s) required to close those gaps. This could be organization-wide, team, or individual training that is delivered in a variety of ways depending on your workforce. Consider taking advantage of both synchronous and asynchronous training opportunities.

Evaluate and Make Adjustments

Assessing the effectiveness of your upskilling and reskilling efforts is important. Gather formal and informal feedback from employees about the training program and make adjustments as needed. It is also valuable to review your skills gap analysis to see if your training program is effective and if skill gaps are closing. 

While this process may seem overwhelming, you can rely on your HR partner to provide support and guidance every step of the way. Reach out today to learn how Cause Capacity can support your organization with upskilling and reskilling your workforce!

If you’re interested in a do-it-yourself program that you can implement immediately, check out our Individual Development Plan Toolkit!


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