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  • Writer's pictureGemma Walton

Building A Business Case For Upskilling Your Current Employees

Updated: Apr 25

By offering training to upgrade skills and upskill, not only do you give your current employees the skills they are looking for, but you are also investing in your company’s future. If your business has skills gaps then building a building case for upskilling your current employees is crucial if you want to retain your top talent. Those skills gaps need to be filled and you want to retain high-potential employees and develop their talents, then upskilling or reskilling are both viable options. By offering both reskilling solutions not just to current team members, but to departing employees, you can help to sustain their career growth and their long-term employment opportunities while finding new roles outside of your organisation.

Building A Business Case For Upskilling Your Current Employees

While reskilling is focused on providing training in new skills, upskilling helps workers progress through their current careers. Upskilling means teaching workers new skills and specialisations that revolve around their current work role or career path. Upskilling refers to the process of teaching employees new or more advanced skills. Upskilling is ongoing training and development which increases the skills and abilities of an employee.

Upskilling is the long-term investment of increasing the knowledge, skills, and competencies that will advance the employees career. Upskilling is a type of learning that helps employees perform their jobs better, providing more education and training that builds on their existing skills. Upskilling provides employees with tools and knowledge needed to do their jobs more efficiently, efficiently, or with more modern methods.

While upskilling is focused on improving the employees ability to do the job at hand, reskilling involves developing a toolkit needed for a completely different work. Reskilling provides employees with the opportunity for job rotation, training them on a totally different skill set to transition into their new role. Both are opportunities for the employee to advance in the organisation, however, reskilling is the learning opportunity that helps the employee get ready to advance in their career or lateral move into a new role, while upskilling is where the employee grows within their current role.

Upskilling is when managers provide employees with opportunities to learn and grow within an organisation. Upskilling employees allows companies to promote workers up the ladder and to new roles, which can be exciting for workers and makes them feel invested. Upskilling gives employees in every level of the business--from entry-level employees all the way to executives--the opportunity to build career paths and get access to better-paying jobs.

Upskilling makes sure employees skill sets do not get outdated and shows your people that you care about their careers and futures. Upskilling employees means making training accessible to them as part of their roles--helping them to enhance existing skills or developing relevant new ones.

Ideally, companies will offer continuing training opportunities for employees to benefit from and build on their skills. There will be skills that you will have to teach and train on, depending on what is needed by the company, but employees will have some good ideas for training as well. Keep in mind your goals and those of your employees as you determine what shape and structure training is going to take.

Once you have identified what skills gaps your company has, you can start developing a training plan, or an employee development program. A baseline for every employee will allow you to build a customised development plan for every individual employee. Before creating your reskilling strategy, do an exploratory phase to understand the skills that your workforce base needs in the future.

Ideally, you are looking at a solid upskilling solution that can use data about employee skills to understand where your organisation falls short. With input from employees, think about skills that are missing, but that are going to be necessary to continue to succeed. Revisit the goals of your skills improvement and provide instructions to employees about a few tangible use cases for those skills, making sure supervision is in place when needed.

Upskilling Your Current Employees Building A Case

Knowing all this in advance will assist in developing training that is engaging and helpful for employees. Chances are, every employee you are training is going to be using his or her new skills uniquely -- applying them in a variety of situations, which require different levels of expertise.

Many companies already make it a point of training their current employees, helping them to build skills that meet changing demands in the workplace. Through the opportunity for training, companies are getting employees that are excited to work and are much more productive. Employees with training and development opportunities are happier in their roles and have a more positive view of their futures in the company.

The benefits of job rotation to both employers and employees include updated knowledge and skills, increased performance and productivity, cross-trained workers able to cover for various roles on short notice, stronger relationships among employees from different departments, and greater appreciation of all the challenges that each person faces in the workplace. While these rotations can be temporary, and employees return to their original jobs when their rotation is completed, the new skills they have learned may make them better suited to fill other roles in your organisation, making it easier for them to transition throughout your organisation instead of leaving. At the end of the rotation, an employee can either go back to their original role, richer from the experience, or advance into a new role. Job Rotation In this skill-building strategy, employees’ cycle through various jobs within a single organisation in order to gain new experiences and skills.

Incorporating upskilling helps create a more cohesive work environment in which employees feel secure about their skills. Developing a plan for formal training for employees makes them feel valued, improving their morale when they are on the job.

Providing employees, a learning base when they leave, with incentives for continuing to grow professionally from the other organisation, may encourage key talents to come back into your group with new skills and knowledge, leading to faster performance. Employees affected by downsizing may benefit from additional support to ensure that they have the skills needed to catch the eye of hiring managers and successfully transition into the modern, highly competitive labour market. These metrics will be helpful in determining not only the success of your upskilling training programs but will provide employees a frame for success within the programs.

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