With the continuous evolution of technology, learning a set of skills in our twenties and thinking it will be enough for a great and long-life career is not possible anymore. Thus, while our parents could work in the same job position for 40 years, this option is often out of the picture for new generations. The digital age is forcing us to constantly adapt and learn more if we want to stay on track. Either we are learning new skills within our field to self-improve or we are taking a totally different career path and training for completely different competencies. As this ongoing development process represents a means to career-proof employees, it is also a key to success for employers. At deskbird, we love learning about the trends of the future of work, therefore, we wanted to dig into this topic. Let’s discover together what is upskilling, reskilling, how it is becoming a crucial element in corporate strategies and why it is so important for businesses.
What is the meaning of upskilling?
Upskilling gives your employees the chance to constantly increase their knowledge, stay up-to-date with the new ways of working and adapt to the most recent technological improvements. This process is essential as the digital transformation is quickly mutating the world of work. This doesn’t only require companies to adjust but also to train their teams to learn how to work differently and to embrace those changes. While technology is constantly improving, the skillset of your employees has to be enhanced too in order for them not to end up under-qualified.
Upskilling and reskilling
Upskilling and reskilling go hand in hand. They are both those two concepts aiming at supporting your workforce to acclimate to the requirements of modern work. The common characteristic of those two terms is that their goal is to learn new abilities, either technical competencies or soft skills. On the one hand, upskilling enables your employees to learn new skills to be more performant in their current job position. On the other hand, reskilling offers them the chance to qualify for a new job position. With the advancement of digitalisation, artificial intelligence and automation, some jobs may no longer be necessary for a company. Thus, reskilling your workforce is a great way to retain your employees while adapting your business to the future of work.
➡️ Have you heard about the Great Resignation? Read our article about Employee Exodus and how to face this issue.
Which are some upskilling examples?
Supporting your team members to gain new competencies can take place in various areas of your business structure. For example, your employees can improve their technical knowledge as well as their soft skills or even focus on digital upskilling.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is one of those skills that are in high demand when recruiting or training leaders. EI is key for managers to be able to support their team properly, especially when working based on a fully remote or a hybrid model. However, it is only one of many examples of upskilling in the leadership world.
Data is a core aspect of today’s companies and also one of the fastest-changing ones. Employees working in this field need to attend new courses, seminars or webinars constantly to stay up-to-date and perform a qualitative job. If they are not given the opportunity, not only will they be able to do their job properly, but they may also look elsewhere in order to maintain their skills.
The Human Resources department can be another example where learning new skills totally makes sense. Over the last few years, it has been crucial for HR to adapt to hybrid work models. First, because of the pandemic, second, as it is a core advantage for employee-centricity, productivity, performance and workforce retention. For instance, managing flexible teams wasn’t part of most HR duties a few years ago. Today, flexibility is part of all companies’ strategies to adapt to the future of work.
➡️ Do you need to get a deeper look at how your office is used by your team members? Request a demo of the deskbird app and learn more about how hybrid technology can help you embrace the future of work.
Why is learning new skills so important?
We have already given you a glimpse of what makes upskilling so crucial for your company but let’s dig a little deeper. Have you heard about the skills gap? The more jobs are evolving and the role of technology is taking a bigger part in our work life, the more the gap between the skills an employee possesses and the abilities a job requires widen. This is so-called the skills gap.
A survey from CareerBuilder, shows that 60 % of job openings remain unfilled for more than 12 weeks in the United States. Not only does this issue cost a lot of money to companies, but it also sadly shows that people are often not trained enough to answer the needs created by the digital era. Upskilling your employees gives you the chance to reduce this gap.
Second, upskilling your workforce is a great way to improve their retention. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, millennials and generation Z workers constantly learn new skills to keep up with the new technological advancement. Also, they are not always willing to fill up the same job position all their life. Upskilling as well as reskilling is helping you to match their needs by giving them the chance to grow their skill set and explore new fields of activity. Therefore, this is also helping you to better answer your employees’ needs. If you don’t know it yet, employee centricity is now a must to retain your best talents.
Last but not least, adapting to the trends of the future of work is all about staying agile and being flexible to whatever comes next. Learning new skills internally is allowing you and your workforce to be ready to tackle the next digital transformations without staying behind. The development of AI and automation does not mean everything will be done by technology in the future. However, soft skills will, for sure, play a more important part in our work abilities and are what you should mainly focus on.
We hope this article helps you understand better what is upskilling, how it can be used in your business and why it is so important if you want to stay in the game of the business world. Last but not least, and because we are talking about keeping learning, if you want to stay informed about what is happening in the world of work, you can subscribe to the deskbird’s newsletter! We are continuously working to provide you with the best hybrid working tool and features.