Upskilling Your Workforce

COVID-19 has led to companies realizing that upskilling their workforce must be done to compete in the rapidly changing market. This can be quite a daunting task so in this three-part series, we will explore the various options companies have for upskilling their employees.

Upskilling is the process of changing or adapting your skills to meet the new demands in the business market. It can be a planned and deliberate process in which you consciously acquire new knowledge and skills, or it can happen unconsciously as you learn on the job. Either way, companies are finding themselves having to upskill their employees to stay competitive. This is why approximately 40% of workers require re-skilling within six months of starting a job, and 94% of leaders expect their staff to learn new skills on the job.

Companies are finding it a challenge to fill vacant positions with skilled employees in the current economy. This is partly because many employees seek jobs that offer better pay and benefits, and some are leaving for a completely new industry opportunity.  With the advancement of technology, many jobs that were once done by human beings can now be done by machines. With the current economic and employment situation companies have to compete for a limited number of employees, and those employees need to be skilled in the companies’ key areas.

Upskilling your workforce is preparing them for present and future jobs. You give them the skills needed to compete in a rapidly changing economy.   Upskilling also makes your company more attractive to potential employees since you are investing in them and their future.

Invest in Current Staff Instead of New Employees

There are many benefits to upskilling or re-skilling your workforce rather than hiring new employees. It is a more cost-effective and company stabilizing option. It can be expensive to hire new employees, and you risk not finding the right person even if they have the skills you are after. Add to that the fact that a high percentage of new hires leave a new job within 6 months, so you are back to the drawing board.  Upskilling your current employees is more affordable and you have someone already familiar with the company, its culture, processes and procedures. This adds stability to your team and your company and helps ensure critical continuity with customers and vendors.

The best and brightest employees are always in high demand, and they are likely to find better opportunities elsewhere if they feel that their skills are no longer relevant or needed. You keep staff engaged and invested by providing learning and advancement opportunities.  These are both essential to ensure they stay long-term. Staff is a company’s most valuable asset and investing in them pays huge dividends.  The cost of training vs the cost of staff turnover is significant.   With the ability to train teams virtually using tools like Jigsaw Interactive’s multi-screen sharing capability, upskilling can easily be part of a weekly or monthly planned process.  Virtual training has many benefits, from cost-effectiveness to easier to manage programs and using a solution that was built specifically for training and learning turns your training program into a learning event.