upskilling-reskilling

Employee Training and Development: The Benefits Of Upskilling Or Reskilling Your Team

Introduction

With time, technology is improving. Every day the world wakes up to a new technical wonder. The immensely ambitious technological projects have opened up many windows for business expansions. Opportunities are everywhere. However, employee training and development has taken a step back due to the continuous uprise in the technical world. 

While there is no doubt that technology has brought many opportunities, no one can deny that technology and its continuous upgrade have created a dreadful skill gap among employees. Those who have become accustomed to the old technology need to upgrade themselves after each new launch. To prevent performance deterioration and employee demotivation, the responsibility falls upon organizations to arrange employee training and development that focuses on employee upskilling.     

What is Team Upskilling?

Before discussing the benefits of employee upskilling, let’s have a look at the definition of upskilling. What is it, and why should you place such importance on upskilling your employees through employee training and development? 

Upskilling is a corporate term that refers to progressive learning through detailed employee training and development. The objective of upskilling is simple. This training session gets organized to upgrade employee ability and reduce skill gaps. Usually, upskilling training sessions opt to upgrade the employees’ current skill sets rather than teach them new skills. When done right, such training sessions can help the employees find bigger opportunities and better job roles within the industry. It helps organizations erase the technological gaps to obtain the benefits of the business opportunities available in the current market.   

When Do You Need Team Upskilling?

Upskilling has gained immense fame in the past few years. Every organization with a growth mindset is opting for upskilling to reduce the technical skills gaps in the employees. However, before creating the upskilling employee training and development strategy, the training manager needs to pay attention to the key skills gaps that modern organizations endure. Most organizations face skills gaps due to aging and digitalization. Therefore, the onus falls upon the training manager to cover these two aspects when developing the training program. Any corporate training session should include enough information to help the employees overcome these two aspects.   

Different Methods of Upskilling

There are several ways of upskilling your employee skill sets. You should select a method depending on your organizational needs. However, as a training manager, you must keep an open mind. Often blending several methods in employee training and development works wonders in upskilling.

Learning & Development – This is the most famous and obvious way of upskilling a group of employees. However, to make the training session work – it should go through a detailed analytical process. The training manager needs to evaluate the training requirements of each employee. They must analyze the training objective and the training specifications. Lastly, the manager must design the training content after a thorough skill assessment. 

Designation Rotation – Some organizations use rotation as a method of upskilling. The objective is to place the employees in different areas of the workspace for skill elevation and knowledge exchange. Once the employees have worked in various areas of a workspace, they become better equipped to accept the employee training and development for upskilling.  

Peer Training – Peer training or coaching is a new concept involving a more informal employee training and development approach. In this process, a group of colleagues works together on a project. It helps them to expand or refine their skill sets while working on a project. Despite its informal approach, this upskilling method helps solve problems in the workspace and prepares the employees for formal training and development sessions. 

What Are The Benefits?

Upskilling comes with a varied range of benefits. It has something positive to offer to both employees and the organization. The two-way beneficial aspect makes upskilling an essential part of employee training and development. Here are the key benefits of upskilling.

Improved Productivity:

Organizations invest in employee training and development for productivity improvement. Upskilling does not only help employees work better, but it also increases employees’ ability to take care of challenges. Higher productivity always denotes better work results and higher profit. Therefore, through upskilling, employees gain personal and professional growth while the organization gains higher profits. 

Increases Confidence:

A confident team can face any challenges and come out unscathed. For this reason, organizations all over the world attempt to build confident teams. However, skill gaps can play havoc in the minds of the employees. Inability to tackle the latest technology due to undertraining makes employees feel inadequate. Upskilling reduces this sense of inadequacy. Through employee training and development, the trainers help employees upgrade their current skills and become accustomed to the latest technology. Therefore, a detailed upskilling session can offer long-term results within the organization.

Helps In Handling Changes

It is not easy to deal with changes within the workspace. Sudden changes like remote employment or division switches can disturb the peace within an organization. It is not possible to predict all the changes. However, it is possible to prepare the employees for future transformation. Through detailed employee training and development sessions, you can make the employees well-equipped to tackle such changes successfully. Organizational changes are one of the key reasons why employees need frequent upskilling.

It Helps Organizations to Leverage Technologies:

Employees should never be afraid of new technologies. Lack of skills can create employment insecurities. However, employees need not worry about their job if they are well prepared to deal with the introduction of new technologies. Detailed employee training and development upskilling can reduce this fear of employment. Well-trained employees will not suffer from employment insecurities. Rather each new technological introduction will make them feel more powerful. For this feeling of empowerment, it is essential to organize upskilling training sessions after each technological introduction. 

It Allows Employees to Improve Their Current Skills:

Current skill mastering is an essential part of employment improvement. Upskilling gives the chance to gain improvement on both personal and professional levels. It is one of the reasons for which companies should implement upskilling as their employee development program.

It Improves Soft Skill:

Soft skill is another essential aspect that helps both personal and professional growth among employees. However, not everyone possesses adequate soft skills. Organizations need to remember that being able to perform the task is not everything. Employees need something extra to elevate the organization towards success. If a great fashion designer does not know how to communicate with the clients, the organization will not be able to obtain growth from this particular employee. From aggression taming to communication sharpening, upskilling employees help in overall organizational wellness. You must include communication in employee training and development for better results.

It Builds the Future Leaders:

Every organization needs to create future leaders to take over work responsibilities. Upskilling has a proven effect on employees. It helps in motivating employees to take up more responsibilities. Mainly upskilling reduces the skills gaps and builds confidence. It is one of the key benefits of including upskilling in employee training and development. Organizations make the mistake of arranging upskilling training sessions for the new employees only. It is a wrong approach because the existing employees, especially the managers, also need the training to reskill their work process. Keeping this in mind, the organizations must include employee training for the existing employees as well. However, the training program needs to be designed to create efficient leaders. Such training motivates employees to perform better through encouragement and skills development. 

Engages Team:

Upskilling is an amazing way of engaging employees. Everyone looks for ways to learn new skills. It is the responsibility of the organization to ensure that the employees get what they are looking for. Upskilling is the best way to ensure that the employees get proper learning opportunities. It is not only about reducing skills gaps. Upskilling ensures that the employees get proper motivation to work better. Through upskilling, the willingness to contribute more can be elevated. The training manager needs to design the employee training and development model in a way that ensures detailed learning opportunities. 

From technical skills to communication, a training program must include each aspect of professional development. Unless a training module offers an end-to-end growth solution, an employee will not gain proper benefit from attending the session. Therefore, each training module should gain approval after a thorough evaluation. Each aspect of a training module should offer employees an opportunity to learn more.

Increases Love For Learning:

Employee training and development should follow the objective of evoking employees’ desire to learn more. To grow the love for learning, the training sessions need to offer the perfect learning solution. Everyone looks for a way to discover their talent and sharpen their skill set. A well-researched employment program helps employees to sharpen their current skills and discover their talents. Once they realize the benefit of learning, they willingly attempt to learn new skills.         

Better Customer Satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction is essential for any organization. Keeping customers happy ensures better business. For this reason, organizations need employees who possess the right communication and behavioral skills to elevate customer satisfaction. Employee training and development programs can prepare employees to deal with customers with ease. From offering better insight to giving detailed suggestions, upskilling ensures that the employees can single-handedly deal with the customer requirements. Because happy and satisfied customers become the best brand promoters, organizations must train their employees to handle customers in a better way.      

What to Keep In Mind While Strategizing Upskilling?

Before you design an upskilling training session, you need to pay attention to some areas that might prove essential later on. Also, some key aspects need deliberate pondering because unless you cover these areas, your employee training, and development program will not yield the desired result. The objective should be overall organizational wellbeing. To ensure that the organization gains its power and succeeds in expanding business, you need to strategize the training program after thorough research and in-depth studies. 

Employee Evaluation:

Skillset evaluation should be the key element here. Each employee comes with a different technical and communication skill set. If you want everyone to benefit from a training session, assessing each employee’s skill set becomes essential. Someone with good communication skills will not be able to gain anything from a communication upskilling session. That employee may lack digital skills and suffer from technical knowledge gaps. Therefore, instead of enrolling employees randomly in any training session, it will be effective to shortlist those who lack the skill and need assistance to perform better. 

Progress Monitoring Process:

Before you make the employees sit for a training program, preparing a growth monitoring process is essential. While you may not be able to measure individual progress, collective progress can be measured and monitored easily through organizational goal monitoring. If the organization succeeds in achieving the desired business goals, you should consider your upskilling training program to be a success. 

Practical Training:

When designing a training program, the training managers often forget to include practical implementation plans. However, employees learn things by doing it and not just by studying alone. Therefore, if they get practice sessions or group sessions, they can gain better benefits from the employee training and development.  

Training Engagement

Engagement is the key to training success. While strategizing the upskilling training session, it is essential to pay attention to the employee engagement aspect. Only through group discussion and interactive sessions, this could be achieved. However, the training managers often end up creating one-sided training sessions that don’t offer much space for interaction. Due to this, employees don’t feel excited to be a part of the session. Since the objective of the upskilling session is to reduce skills gaps, the mentor or the trainer needs to draw the employees out and make them speak. Otherwise, the employees will not be able to express their shortcomings. In such a case, the training program will not be able to bring the required success. 

Job Specific Training Program:

The upskilling needs to be job-specific. If you don’t create a training program that offers proper credentials, employees may not be able to improve their current skills. 

Personal Development Plan:

While designing a training program you need to keep in mind the personal growth of the employees. Training managers need to design a personal development plan for each employee. The best way to ensure personal growth is to offer the employees the freedom to interact in the group discussion session. Also, organizations need to allow the employees to select their growth management program. Showcasing trust in employee ability ensures personal growth. The training manager needs to remember this. 

Elements Of Upskilling

To develop the right upskilling session, it is essential to identify the required skills improvement. Depending on this report the training manager can develop the skill improvement plans. In addition to this, workforce strategy identification is another essential part. The main objective of the workforce should be to build an environment that offers adequate learning opportunities along with growth freedom. Once the employees realize that they can grow professionally within an organization, they usually make an effort to stay back. Upskilling is essential for employee retention.  

Challenges of Upskilling

Challenges are the parts of any process. Upskilling is not immune to this either. While designing the employee training and development program, you are bound to face some challenges.  

The first challenge lies in developing old-fashioned training sessions. Since this is not a classroom, one-sided lectures don’t work here. The first objective should be to engage employees. The shortcoming occurs when employees find a lack of learning opportunities in the upskilling. A relevant training program development is difficult to design. An in-depth employee skill assessment is the only way to create such a program. However, 

Another challenge occurs when organizations arrange only one training session for the employees. To keep the momentum going and to keep employees motivated, it becomes important to offer ongoing training sessions. However, often companies lack understanding and employees end up feeling a sense of lacking. 

What Are The Difference Between Upskilling & Reskilling

Some take these two as the same. However, there are some differences between upskilling and reskilling. Upskilling helps in improving the current skills. But reskilling takes away the outdated skills and helps in learning new skills. Reskilling often requires an employee to enroll in some course to learn a new skill. However, upskilling does not have any such needs. Both are important in employee training and development.  

Conclusion 

If the organization wants the employees to gain benefits from a training session, they need to design it, keeping in mind the employees’ background. Also, it is important to hire a trainer who is skilled at engaging the employees. A trainer with adequate leadership skills will be able to draw employees out and make them participate in the training program. If you want to learn more about upskilling and training, visit auzmor.com for information and related products.

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