Employee Skill Training: Upskilling, Reskilling, and Beyond

Employee skill training has never been more important—and here’s why upskilling, reskilling, and beyond are critical strategies you should be embracing now.

Employee Upskilling, Reskilling blog image

Reskilling and upskilling from within are big trends that are here to stay. By 2024, it’s estimated that 40% of workers will require up to six months of reskilling, while 94% of business leaders expect their workers to pick up new skills. And this is a trend that pays off: 93% of CEOs who roll out upskilling programs see increased productivity, an improvement in talent acquisition and retention, and a more resilient workforce.

Organizations are recognizing the need to invest in their employees’ development as the demand for new skills continues to grow. This investment yields significant benefits, including increased productivity, improved talent acquisition and retention, and the creation of a resilient workforce. Here’s why employee skill training is crucial for future-proofing your organization.

What is Reskilling and Upskilling? 

Reskilling and upskilling encourage continuous learning through training and development, expanding the skills, knowledge, and competencies of current employees, fostering growth, and enhancing their contributions. By expanding the skills, knowledge, and competencies of existing employees, organizations can adapt to changing demands and equip their workforce with the necessary tools for success.

Skills as the Currency of the Future

We’re not producing things as much as we have in the past, but we are imagining things. And this requires different skill sets. Things have also become a lot less predictable. You can no longer send new employees to a training location, immerse them for a week, and then give them three months to get up to speed. They need to be ready right now to hit the ground running. You’ve got teams and departments that are severely understaffed.

Employee skills are now in more demand than reputable, advanced degrees. And students beginning college today may find the skills they learned as freshmen out-of-date by the time they’re seniors. But when they apply for a job at your company, they will demand career paths with training to get them there, at the speed of a Tik-Tok video (or even faster). 

Is your L&D organization ready to meet these challenges, and ones you don’t even know about yet? Because you can bet that what you’re doing today for employee skills training won’t work, or be able to keep up if it’s not agile enough. 

The Imperative of Upskilling and Reskilling

Maybe five years ago, your employee training process included a handful of programs focused on reskilling and upskilling existing employees. After all, keeping and developing an employee is always less expensive than hiring, onboarding, and training a new one. But now it costs even more and it’s harder (maybe impossible) to replace a valuable employee. 

Not only should your L&D team be creating engaging, easy-to-access, and relevant reskilling and upskilling, but you also need to consider employee skill training. Why? A recent statistic pretty much says it all: by 2030, more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there won’t be enough skilled people to take them.

It’s essential to know the differences between reskilling, upskilling, cross-skilling, and new skilling so you can develop the right content and program for employees:

  • Reskilling – when employees learn new skills that replace existing skills
  • Upskilling – when employees learn new skills to progress in their current role or career

It’s also good to know that many of your peers are tackling this head-on, right now, which means you can too.

Tackling the Talent Demands

Employees want additional opportunities for career growth and skills development: SHRM shared a recent report citing that 68% of workers say they would stay with their employer throughout their career if the employer made an effort to upskill them. And nowhere is this more apparent than with frontline employees: more than 70% want advancement opportunities according to McKinsey.

If you encourage and support continuous learning through employee skill training, you’re going to prepare your workforce to adapt to change and future-proof your organization. How? By equipping them with the skills they need to leverage new technology and techniques to drive innovation and growth. 

Preparing for Change and Driving Innovation

Encouraging continuous learning through employee skill training equips the workforce to adapt to changes and positions the organization for future success. By providing employees with the skills necessary to leverage new technologies and drive innovation, organizations foster a culture of growth and maintain their competitive edge. This section explores the role of employee skill training in preparing for future disruptions and seizing opportunities for innovation.

Organizational Benefits

Employee upskilling and reskilling initiatives enhance productivity by equipping employees with the latest skills and knowledge needed to excel in their roles. When organizations invest in their employee’s professional growth, it demonstrates a commitment to their development, boosting employee satisfaction and loyalty. This, in turn, reduces turnover rates and the associated costs of hiring and training new employees.

Moreover, upskilling and reskilling programs contribute to creating a more resilient workforce capable of adapting to technological advancements and evolving market demands. By staying ahead of industry trends and equipping employees with relevant skills, organizations can maintain a competitive edge and drive innovation within their industry.

Lastly, investing in employee upskilling and reskilling enhances an organization’s reputation as a desirable employer. By offering opportunities for career advancement and professional growth, organizations can attract top talent and position themselves as leaders in talent development. Employee upskilling and reskilling initiatives not only benefit individual employees but also have a transformative impact on the organization.

In an era characterized by constant change, investing in employee skill training is paramount for organizations seeking to thrive and remain relevant. By embracing reskilling and upskilling initiatives, organizations can attract and retain top talent, adapt to technological advancements, and ensure the long-term success of their operations.

Discover how Inkling’s solutions leverage employee skill training to drive employee satisfaction and achieve remarkable business results. Contact or chat with us today!