The future of work is being restructured and highly driven by digitization, a change accelerated by COVID-19. The skills workers have today either need a refresh or have become redundant, which creates a skill gap. As a result, companies are looking for specific skills and competencies to gain a market advantage. In response, upskilling and reskilling have become essential for employees and companies to stay relevant.
In this post, we’re looking at why upskilling and reskilling are essential in today’s job market.
You might have heard these two words a lot more recently. Why?
There are 3 key reasons:
According to a PwC’s talent trends report, these 3 reasons have driven organizations to now look for people with a mix of soft, technical, and digital skills. This helps organizations create a workforce with the right mix of skills.
74% of CEOs across the globe are concerned about finding workers with the right skills to stay competitive. Also, 82% of employees and 62% of HR directors believe workers should re-skill or up-skill annually to help an organization maintain a competitive advantage.
Why is Kikao64 interested in upskilling and reskilling?
We are a modern workspace that hosts diverse groups of people – freelancers, professionals, entrepreneurs, startups, non-profits, students, athletes, and creatives – who come to work, connect, network, and grow. In the process, we learn about industry and market trends and needs.
We see how roles change, companies seeking employees with new skills, and employees striving to fill skills gaps. We are better placed to understand market demands and provide opportunities for skills development. Book a Space with us online, call us to take a tour, or walk in and enjoy the best working environment and become part of our community.
Upskilling and reskilling both mean learning new skills. But there’s a difference.
Upskilling is learning new skills (for individuals ) or teaching workers new skills (for organizations).
Trainingindustry.com defines upskilling as “the process of building an employee’s existing skills and strengths to enhance their skill sets.”
This means upskilling involves advancing or increasing the current skill set of employees with additional training or education. The added skills may be due to company needs, modern industry advancements, shifting workforce duties, or a lack of available worker skills.
Reskilling on the other hand, is learning entirely new skills to do a different job (for employees) or training individuals to do a different job (for organizations).
Reskilling employees can position them to take on different tasks in the company. According to Delloite, it’s a way of building an employee’s “Adaptability, flexibility, and a commitment to tasks and a goal towards lifelong learning.
While upskilling and reskilling the workforce enables companies to build a future-ready workforce, they allow employees to build their careers and even take on new jobs.
Upskilling involves acquiring new and relevant industry competencies. Common examples of upskilling include reporting skills, digital skills, analytics skills, data analysis, and organizational transformation skills.
Reskilling involves acquiring new skills in the same industry or different industries. For example, software retailers like Softwarekeep might reskill their remote customer service agents in the latest industry products such as Windows 11 and software as a Service (SaaS) trends.
A programmer can upskill to become a systems analyst. The same programmer can acquire new skills such as graphic and web design and content marketing to support a company’s digital marketing efforts.
Reskilling can also imply equipping yourself (or your employees) with ‘adjacent skills’, close to the new skills an industry or a company requires. It provides a lateral learning experience.
There are different ways to upskill or re skill including:
The benefits of upskilling and reskilling might be different for organizations and individuals. However, the key benefits are:
Work continues to have emerging challenges and parameter changes partly due to the COVID crisis and increasing digitization. COVID-19 exposed the nature of work and skills gaps in companies. Employees now need reskilling and upskilling to tackle future emerging challenges. The shift to hybrid work and co-working spaces, for example, needs employees to be tech-savvy and more digital.
There are many reasons for digital upskilling or reskilling. One of the reasons people upskill and re-skill is to adapt to change and keep up with industry and market trends. Upskilling and reskilling training allow individuals and employees to become aligned with new skills and fill the skills gap in the market or industry.
The opportunity for self-development through reskilling and upskilling courses is an important job perk that many candidates look forward to. Equally, it’s also a key reason why a company’s top performers stay within an organization. Having an upskilling and reskilling program is a gesture to your employees that you care about their personal growth and development. In turn, the organization benefits directly, because you cultivate a team of highly qualified professionals and fill the skills gap.
Having an internal upskilling and reskilling program saves time and resources. Compared to hiring and onboarding a new employee, the cost of internal learning and development is lower. It’s also an opportunity to help employees grow at a low cost. You’re teaching employees how to learn, making them more prepared for change.
A strategic reskilling and upskilling plan focuses on talent development and allows workers to identify and fill gaps, limiting beliefs and behaviors that hinder their job performance. Periodic upskilling and reskilling helps both the company and workers improve their skills and fill any gaps that the market or industry demands. It’s also an opportunity for knowledge checks and self-evaluations to help them stay on track with their individual and company goals.
Spotting talent and nurturing them is one of the important roles of HR directors or company leadership. It is vital to be able to pick emerging MVPs out from the crowd and nurture their skills to maximize their gaps and strengths. Upskilling and reskilling can help you spot the star employees and nurture them.
Things are changing fast in the workplace and the market. The market keeps demanding new skills and creates a skills gap as the shelf life of skills also gets shorter. For organizations to keep up and stay competitive, there’s a need to invest in employees and help them improve their skills or develop new ones. Reskilling and upskilling is a strategic response to the changing skills demand.