Tips for Reskilling and Upskilling Your Workforce

Growing the business from within and can becoming more appealing to current and prospective employees

by Elle Mason

What is upskilling?

Upskilling is a form of training often designed to help an employee become more effective or gain advanced expertise in their current role. For example, an IT technician may upskill in new technologies, or a manager may upskill by learning advanced communication practices.

What is reskilling?

Reskilling is a form of training designed to help current employees transition into different roles. For example, if a department became obsolete, those employees could be reskilled to integrate into a new area.

Why are upskilling and reskilling going to be a trend in 2022?

Upskilling and reskilling have been key areas of priority and focus for several years now. In fact, this was the case even before the pandemic. But COVID-19 accelerated this timeline. It created economic uncertainty, required businesses across industries to change their working models, and sped up automation. Now, the World Economic Forum predicts that 85 million jobs will be displaced and 97 million new ones will be created by 2025.

But there are reasons outside of economic necessity to prioritize upskilling and reskilling in 2022, too – particularly as we’re in times that make employee retention difficult. Upskilling and reskilling can help you grow from within and can become more appealing to current and prospective employees.

Specifically, a few of the benefits are:

  1. Save money on hiring and training: Hiring and training are an expensive investment for organizations, and they don’t promise a return. After all, an employee can quit right after training if they’d like to. But reskilling and upskilling current employees can save money, compared to hiring new employees, because employers won’t have to spend resources training them on current company processes, protocols and ways of doing things.
  1. Retain your top employees and attract new ones: When businesses invest in employee development, they become more attractive to top talent and they make current employees feel more valued and committed to the organization. Increasing internal mobility is a clear path for retention – as employees won’t have to look outside of the organization for their next promotional opportunity.
  1. Improve your organizational morale and employee versatility: When employee’s feel valued, committed, and invested in, the morale is generally much higher in the workplace compared to when they don’t. Further, by upskilling and reskilling, employers are building a more versatile and agile workforce.

Methods and tips for upskilling and reskilling your employees in 2022

You probably already have a training program in place. First, analyze it: What are it’s strengths? What are it’s weaknesses? What skills does it cover? What are the gaps? From there, you can begin building on what already exists or revamp it entirely in order to avoid starting from scratch. The best approach is going to be dependent on your type of business, your available resources, the skill itself, and the learning styles of your employees. Given that, it’s best to experiment with a variety of learning methods and determine through feedback and data which is the most effective or engaging. Some examples include:

Micro-learning: Short content formats like a five-minute video or a three-minute article that employees can access flexibly on their own time are increasing in popularity. It doesn’t require substantial investments in time but still allows people to learn continuously and on-demand.

Peer-to-peer learning and mentorship programs: Mentoring programs are often discussed in the leadership development and “soft skill” space but they can also be appropriate for hard skills. Peers can work on cross-training opportunities together and senior skill holders can mentor junior skill holders as they embark on their training journey.

Self-training opportunities: Working with employees to develop personal plans for their own development that outline their learning goals is another option. Employees can then explore the best avenue and opportunity for reaching their learning goals which can include certifications, courses, workshops and beyond.

Software: Many organizations have chosen to roll out software or technical training implementation – particularly when there’s a key skill or knowledge gap across the board. Examples of this can include virtual or augmented reality training (VR/AR), and learning management systems (LMS).

But the best way to upskill and reskill your employees in a way that resonates with them is to solicit their feedback! People have different learning styles and preferences. While one team may love the idea of peer-exchanges, another team might recoil at the thought and prefer independent development through software and courses. Ultimately, you need to learn from and listen to employees as they tell you where they’d like to see themselves go in terms of career growth – and then help them create a roadmap to get there.

And GoCo can help.

  • Automate Time-Consuming HR TasksRe-skilling and up-skilling employees will take more time out of HR’s day. Creating an up-skilling plan for employees, identifying training programs and modules to use within the company, and managing mentorship relationships will take more time. There’s no time better than now for automating tasks like onboarding, manual benefits enrollment, manual payroll runs, and spreadsheet time tracking to focus on improving your own workforce.
  • Customize training workflows in GoCo – Once you’ve decided on your up-skilling and training process within GoCo, create custom HR workflows within the platform with multiple tasks, assignees, and permissions for completing training. I.e. Embed training documents, videos, and assignment questions within your workflow and track completion progress.

See how GoCo can simplify your HR