The Future of Work: Employee Upskilling and Reskilling

Global workplace trends have experienced a massive shift in the last decade and these changes are accelerating faster now, throughout the coronavirus pandemic, then ever before. For years, a global skills gap has been developing, with upskilling and reskilling programs emerging as a way to cultivate the future of the workforce. 

As business leaders grapple with the impacts of the pandemic and attempt to adapt to new ways of working, reskilling and upskilling programs are a top priority. A recent report found that over the past year, 42% of companies have ramped up their reskilling and upskilling efforts, and 74% of employees who worked at companies without training offerings said they would prefer to work at a company that offered these programs.

We often think about changes in workforce trends in terms of individuals: How can I improve my resume and become more marketable? But this also applies to business leaders. Not only do they arguably have a societal responsibility to invest in the training and development for their workers, but it will also benefit their company by saving money in the long run and improving employee retention.

“Research suggests it can cost as much as six times more to hire from the outside than to develop and hire from within an organization.”

About upskilling and reskilling

Upskilling is a workplace trend that facilitates continuous learning through training programs and development opportunities that aim to expand an employee’s experience, improve performance, and minimize skill gaps. Reskilling refers to training and development for an employee or person moving towards a new position or area of specialization. Upskilling and reskilling programs can take the form of online courses, mentorships, lunch and learn sessions, and more. 

Upskilling and reskilling initiatives are not only about learning new skills, but embracing cultural shifts and a learning-for-life mindset. These initiatives focus on expanding your current employees’ skill sets, allowing them to grow on a personal level, as well as excel in new opportunities within the company. Companies save money by investing in their current employees instead of spending time and money searching for and training new candidates.

The Skills Gap

For years, there has been a widening gap between vacant positions requiring new skills and competent candidates to fill them. This phenomenon is often referred to as the skills gap. As the digital world constantly evolves, new knowledge and skill requirements for workers arise. As technology creates new opportunities and job openings, companies need to fill these roles with candidates who have applicable specialized skill sets.

Four out of five CEOs cited their employees’ lack of essential skills as a threat to growth.  Training programs allow organizations to enhance their current workforce by strengthening employee learning opportunities. These programs apply to all positions, even management and executive level roles. VForce can help with a variety of remote learning and development opportunities, from sales training, to onboarding to IT leadership and coaching.

Why are upskilling and reskilling initiatives important?

Fostering a workplace culture that focuses on the personal and professional development of all employees has numerous benefits. Investing in your workforce’s future demonstrates that you value your employees and care about their wellbeing and accomplishments. Having happy and fulfilled employees will increase productivity and attendance, and reduce staff turnover. This also lowers operating costs: The Integrated Benefits Institute estimates that having unhappy, unhealthy and/or unfulfilled employees can cost U.S. employers $575 billion and 1.5 million days of lost productivity every year.

These benefits help explain why several leading companies are investing heavily in upskilling. Amazon, for example, recently committed $700 million to an upskilling initiative, providing internal training to promote customer satisfaction and worker advancement. Upskilling has become a corporate priority across the board, as companies work to develop and retain the top talent to continue to improve and advance their business.

The bottom line is that investing in training and developing your workforce is beneficial to business. Enhancing your employee’s skills will lead to the development of well-rounded, satisfied team members.

As the first and only comprehensive remote workforce solutions platform, VForce has many resources available to you on your journey to include employee learning, training and development into your business model. Our experts can help you and your team with cutting edge leadership development and sales training courses, onboarding, and more. Contact us today for a free consultation!