Upskilling and Reskilling Programs: How to Prepare Your Workforce with Personalized Training
What are the perks of employee reskilling and upskilling programs, and how does eLearning factor into the equation? Let’s explore the top ways you can use online training to support your skill-building efforts.
No matter the industry you’re operating in, the unprecedented events of the last few years have definitely shaken things up. With technology significantly transforming products, services, procedures, etc., many opportunities, as well as challenges, have surfaced. As a result, positions with new skill requirements have opened, and many professionals are undergoing role or even career changes. This great shift in the way things operate has made employee reskilling and upskilling a hot topic of discussion in business circles. In this article, we discuss the benefits of reskilling and upskilling, as well as the role eLearning plays in making them more effective.
Before we get into the benefits of upskilling and reskilling programs for your employees, let’s take a look at the definition of these two very popular terms. Upskilling refers to an employee who adds new skills to their existing ones to optimize their performance in their current role. On the other hand, reskilling (or professional recycling, as it’s also known) aims to train an employee so that they can adapt to a new role within the company. Although both processes result in more capable and well-rounded employees, their difference lies in the ultimate objective of the training process.
Now let’s look at some of the benefits that make so many businesses utilize upskilling and reskilling for the development of their workforce.
It’s a common scenario for a job description to change and include more and different responsibilities as market trends change. What if a position in your company becomes more reliant on technology? Are you going to train your current employee to rise to the new requirements or initiate a long and expensive hiring and onboarding process to replace them? The answer is obvious. By investing in the development of your existing workforce, you spend a fraction of the money you would be by looking for new employees and training them from scratch.
Enriching your employees’ skillsets helps them stay up to date with the needs of modern customers. As a result, they are better equipped to take on their responsibilities and become more productive. In addition, seeing your interest and actionable steps to help them develop professionally motivates staff to improve their performance and try their best. Naturally, this leads to satisfied employees who are fulfilled with their job and are not constantly looking for alternatives. This keeps turnover rates low and company morale high.
Another benefit of employee upskilling and reskilling that many don’t think about is the impact on your reputation. Word travels fast among employees, and that applies to positive as well as negative behaviors. A company with a proven record of investing in its workforce and maintaining high employee satisfaction and talent retention rates is a desirable employer. This is another way to keep hiring costs low, as your company culture of training and development will effortlessly attract new talent.
Digital learning tools are fantastic for organizing your employee development efforts and helping you achieve consistent results. Here are 5 ways you can use them to simplify training within your organization.
To be certain that your employee upskilling and/or reskilling program is successful, you must have a clear image of your company’s current situation. A digital learning program can equip you with the tools you need to identify which skills your employees already possess, which require improvement, and which you have to build from zero. This knowledge will help you plan out customized training paths that directly address each employee’s needs. In addition, this thorough investigation of your organization will reveal new positions that need to be created, as well as suitable candidates that can be reskilled to cover them.
Combating low morale and high turnover rates is often as simple as offering your employees training opportunities that align with their interests and goals for the future. An online learning solution can help you identify training needs and objectives and create purposeful training programs. Moreover, employees have access to diverse training materials that accommodate different learning preferences. This way, you can motivate employees to participate in training by allowing them to choose training programs that are based on gamification, microlearning, multimedia, storytelling, and much more. This drives engagement and invites staff to transition from passive learning to active participation.
Another step towards offering your employees customized learning experiences is giving them control over the learning process. To begin with, training courses must be available to employees from any place, at any time, and preferably on a variety of devices. As more employees work remotely, it’s important to give them the tools to train outside the confines of the office. In addition, being able to complete training modules in your own timeframe boosts attention and memory retention.
There is so much that employees can gain from learning in a collaborative environment. They can expand their knowledge base with the help of experienced colleagues, hone their critical thinking and collaboration skills through team activities, boost intra-organizational relations through mentorship programs, and much more. Truly effective eLearning offers employees an online learning community that streamlines communication through chats, forums, video conferencing, etc. Fostering communication among colleagues will not only promote knowledge sharing but also ensure that your company has the necessary skills to take on any unexpected changes or challenges.
Communication works on a horizontal as well as a vertical scale. When employees go through an upskilling or reskilling process, they want to see support from their supervisors in the form of check-ins or feedback. Thankfully, digital learning tools allow you to do just that with minimal effort on your part. You can use software to send automated messages when a training module is completed or allow employees to easily contact their supervisor. It can also remind you to check in regularly with your employees to give them feedback on their progress and possibly discuss their next steps. Finally, the right solution can help you announce new training opportunities or upcoming deadlines, keeping everyone up to date.
Employee upskilling and reskilling programs are necessary for any company that wants to remain competitive for years to come. Digital learning tools are an essential part of this process, as they can help you create personalized training programs that add value to the professional development of your employees. Hopefully, this article has helped you realize the importance of investing in your team and highlighted a few of the ways that you can make training easier and more effective for all parties involved.
Want to find out more about employee upskilling and reskilling programs in action? Read about how the International Association of Fire Chiefs responded to challenges with a collaborative skills training strategy.