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Reskilling and Upskilling For a Future-Proof Workforce

While talking to over 1,000+ HR Professionals, one of the top 3 reasons employees are saying they are leaving an organization is not having enough training or growth opportunities. This has been an issue even prior to the pandemic, which has led to one of the hottest topics amongst HR professionals, reskilling and upskilling staff. 

Reskilling is when an individual is learning a new set of skills often for a different role to transition into. For example an Office Admin may want to transition into being a Technical Support Representative, which requires a different skill set. 

Upskilling focuses more on providing training to employees to help them improve in their current roles. For instance, a manager may want additional leadership or management training to help them become better leaders.

Senior leaders who are looking to build a strong & future-proof workforce will want to invest in their employees and provide upskilling opportunities. With so much uncertainty, many leaders are saying “ is right now a good time to invest in employee  development ”. The short answer is “yes, 100%”. As an employer you want to make sure that your employees are multi-skilled and have the skill sets to help your business continue to grow and remain stable during economic uncertainty. This results in many benefits: improved retention, culture boost, and attracting new talent. 

Retention: Talent no longer wants to work for a company that doesn’t invest in their development. By providing opportunities for Upskilling and Reskilling it shows employees that you care about their careers and advancement. It allows them to understand their role in your business and how they can add value to the growth. People want to feel like they are adding value and when they don’t see an opportunity to do that they will look for the next best place.

Culture Boost: The effects on your company culture will be positive. Teams will become more motivated, satisfied, and productive. When employees are satisfied in their role they tend to be happier and have a brighter outlook on how they can grow within the company. It can give them a sense of purpose.

Attracting New Talent: Most people that are looking for a new role may not be seeing any growth opportunities with their current company and are not satisfied. They may be looking for a company they can grow with. Allowing your recruiters to show potential candidates upfront what you as a business are doing to help your talent grow and develop allows them to see a more long-term future. It can also help managers fill in skill gaps for talent that may have a lot of potential for a role but not all the skill sets we need upfront. 

Most businesses that are holding back from investing in programs may have not identified skill gaps, don’t have the time required for training, and may not have budgeted for learning & development yet. 

Here are a few tips:

Identifying Skill Gaps: Most senior leaders may not know all the skill gaps staff may have but your department managers are the best people to rely on. Having one on one meetings with department leaders and seeing what are the gaps their particular staff may have is essential to figuring out areas of improvement. Using the feedback to align with department and business goals is what is going to make an organization successful in implementing a solution.

Solution: Make a list of all the things an employee should ideally be able to do for their role. Have managers see who has those skill sets and who needs to improve. The people that are doing well, are there other areas we can provide to help them improve in their overall development for instance or what are their career aspirations? Surveys can be a great method to get feedback from staff on what they want to improve in.

Time Required for Employee Training: Training can take up a lot of time. The older traditional methods are classroom training. These are not feasible for most organizations due to the cost, having to pull production out of their role to do classroom training, and staff don’t have a way to go back and look at things if needed to review for a refresher. With the route that technology is heading, you don’t need to have such a labor intensive process. You can reduce the cost and time by over 60% or more by providing everything on an online training platform.

Solution: Consider implementing a Learning Management System to help you deliver all the training online or a hybrid approach. Staff can then easily access the training on their own time and look back at things as needed. This will also allow employees to take charge of their own development. For example if an employee is interested in doing leadership training, that is something they can do on their own time. It can also be a great opportunity for succession planning for an organization.

Budgeting: The best way to budget is to reach out to LMS providers and start seeing what are some options around employee training programs for your organization. Build a business case to present to your leadership team and start putting together what you may need. If you can demonstrate ROI or where it can add value to your business, most leaders are willing to invest. 

Solution: Pricing for training programs vary due to their offering as well as your employee volume. For instance if you are a 100 employee company $10-20K may be a reasonable range but if you are a 500 plus employee, you may see programs upwards of $30-40K. Finding a business that you can partner with that is cost effective and a great strategic partner is what will also help you see ROI.

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