Importance of Upskilling and Reskilling in the Post Pandemic Era

November 16, 2021
Anjali Sharma, Global head of L&D

Forward-thinking businesses are shifting from jobs to skills, re-establishing a successful future by implementing a robust skills strategy. Drastic COVID-19 slowdown and standstill in business have quickly demanded action to keep organizations productive or even just afloat.

Training activities once considered inconsequential are now deemed critical. Many established organizations are investing in a workforce adaptable to market changes through upskilling and reskilling rather than hiring new talent for specific needs.

Often used interchangeably, there are significant differences between these two words:

 Upskilling improves an employee’s current skill set to grow in their current role and brings more value to their work in the organization.

 Reskilling is essentially retraining an employee for a new position. Through this process, an employer looks to retain the employees by training them in a new discipline.

A recent PwC study shows that 79% of CEOs are concerned about their workforce’s existing skills and ability to meet dynamic workplace demands.

man sitting at desk wear headset watching webinar video
Source: Adobe Stock

Why it is essential to upskill and reskill employees in an organization

Upskilling and reskilling employees are crucial for a business to survive and grow to the next level. Investing in existing employees ensures better quality control, greater job satisfaction, and higher retention rates.

Distributed Teams

Remote work is the ‘new normal’ that organizations must accept. While working from home, upskilling is the right strategy for boosting an employee’s sense of purpose, well-being, and self-esteem. A collaborative learning environment provides seamless and intuitive training initiatives to learners by allowing peers to educate each other. Investing in reskilling promotes a dynamic corporate ecosystem committed to continuous professional development, helping build an influential learning culture. The result is a more versatile workforce where an organization is better prepared to face any future challenges.

Online Video Conference Call
Source: Adobe Stock

Opportunity in Adversity:

Due to the unprecedented crisis, many organizations are facing numerous hiring challenges. They need to retrain employees to take up the desired positions. Overall, upskilling and reskilling programs can improve employee engagement and retention, attract new talent, and increase inter-departmental collaboration. Employees prefer to work with organizations that invest in their future. Upskilling ensures that the skills of the workforce are relevant. This, in turn, helps boost employees’ morale. Reports suggest employees who receive high-quality training and development opportunities show better results.

Retain and Attain Top Talents:

Happy employees tend to work harder and stay committed to an organization for a long tenure. They help fuel innovation ideas. Rather than hiring a new candidate, it’s cost-effective to transition existing staff into new positions. Organizations that train existing employees for new tasks or roles can retain those employees, saving the cost of hiring a replacement. Millennials, and Gen Z, are constantly looking for challenging career opportunities. The majority still value career development and seek out employers who can provide learning benefits. They are highly interested in steering their own personalized learning experiences and incorporating information from various resources and materials. Organizations can attract young talents through innovative learning programs, which play a vital role in job satisfaction.

Future-proof Business:

Many companies invest in learning and development to tackle challenging tasks and produce innovative ideas. Organizations can create a holistic, cross-trained workforce and increase their employees’ effectiveness. This helps dramatically improve employee engagement and breaks the monotony of work, leading to faster organizational growth. Upskilling keeps the existing workforce updated on industry trends, allowing them to offer clients and prospects the best recommendations and insights.

male and female colleagues discussing project ideas
Source: Adobe Stock

Top 3 L&D (Learning & Development) trends to watch out for in 2022 and beyond:

 Microlearning provides short, focused content for learners to study at their convenience, specially designed for skill-based training.

 Learning analytics is one of the newer trends in the world of education where Big Data meets traditional quantitative methods of learning.

 Gamification or game-based learning uses game elements to teach a specific skill or achieve a specific learning outcome.

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