Keeping up with the pace of technological advancement is a challenge for most of the corporates. While technology creates powerful business opportunities, it also creates skills gaps in industries, where the requirement for skilled workers are high. The challenge for employers is to address the skills gap while retaining their current workforce. The current digital transformation has phenomenally increased the need for new expertise. Soft skills are now crucial in the age of AI; very few employees have the soft skills necessary to be adequately prepared for the workforce. With the increase in digitalization, soft skills are likely to witness renewed focus as employees are pushed towards adopting new technology.
It is evident that the global business landscape is changing rapidly, and companies must provide substantial upskilling and reskilling options to retain their superior talent apart from employee benefit. With workers looking for a sharp growth curve and organisations facing continuous change triggered by the ongoing digital transformation, it is crucial to rethink learning and development in the workplace.
Digital innovations are affecting almost every company and personnel as automation has taken away many jobs by replacing them with newer roles which require modern skills. Finding and developing people with digital business skills is a priority across organisations. A company’s capacity for training and developing its workforces to expand their skillsets provides a competitive advantage in this technology-driven world.
Staff turnover is expensive, and upskilling a current employee is a more economical option than hiring and training a new employee. Upskilling of employees creates a more effective workforce and helps to improve retention as people want to work at a company that invests in its workers’ career development. Reskilling the workforce helps them to have a positive outlook on their future with the firm. Companies that are focusing on their employee experience are experiencing more significant results in terms of retention, revenue and profitability.
Another reason upskilling is becoming urgent for employers is that employee expectations are changing, and newer professionals are not going to be satisfied in their current jobs if they are not given serious opportunities to learn. Professionals are aware that they need to develop their skills to stay relevant in the workplace. In most cases, they do not have the resources to invest in upskilling outside work. The best candidates will be more interested in companies that offer upskilling and reskilling benefits to them. Training and development programmes help to attain employee satisfaction and result in succession planning. They feel more valued and grow more loyal to the organisation. When employees learn new skills, they put themselves in a position to take the next step of their career path with the company and this will help to build a highly skilled and improved talent pool, ready to take the organisation to different heights.
Upskilling and reskilling are essential for each and every generation of workforce and companies can align their learning and developmental programmes with a focus on continuous and multigenerational upskilling and reskilling. Companies can better approach upskilling initiatives for sustainable productivity and retention by addressing existing skills of employees and their ability to meet dynamic workplace needs.
Companies must take into consideration several elements when providing their staff with upskilling and reskilling opportunities which can include bite-sized learning, which can help in small scale continuous development. These customizable learning options can allow an employee to focus on their area of choice and boost learner engagement through gamified learning. Rewards make them feel acknowledged, and microlearning improves flexibility. Virtual learning through an online platform for training can benefit them as training softwares are more immersive and dynamic.
Though upskilling programmes can cost money, they also provide a strong return on investment as it is easier and cheaper to address skills gaps in the company by training current employees, rather than going out and hiring new ones. The training and development opportunities should be available to everyone in the company. Employees should be in charge of their personal development and have the freedom to decide what areas they wish to develop.
Creating upskilling opportunities in the company is not just an option anymore, it is critical for the growth of the organisation. Goal-oriented firms focus on what training and development methods are best for their goals and reap the benefits with employees who are better at their jobs, more motivated and more likely to remain with the company.