Upskilling Examples

eBook: Redefining Reskilling & Upskilling

New research from Brandon Hall Group dives into everything you need to know to better manage and develop your employees skills through reskilling and upskilling. See examples, better understand the challenges companies may face and more in our eBook, Redefining Reskilling and Upskilling.

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Learn more about upskilling & reskilling


Additional information

Companies can have a hard time retaining or positioning their employees for future career success within the organization if they don’t have an adequate upskilling training program. In fact, there are some companies that don’t fully understand the upskilling training meaning.

What is an upskilling program?
Upskill training and development is when companies invest in their employees through training that helps enhance or equip them with knowledge, skills, and competencies to advance their careers. This occurs through upskilling training that could look different depending on the structure of the program. A few upskilling examples include mentoring, shadowing, and taking upskilling courses from external or internal sources.

A few upskilling program examples also include tuition reimbursement for employees pursuing a degree or specific classes, blended learning, and agile online training. As it currently stands, nearly 60% of leadership and development pros have upskilling and reskilling as their top priority. Additionally, an MIT Sloan School of Management study discovered that a 12-month workforce training program that focused on soft skills had a return on their investment of 250% within 8 months.

With estimates that employers are going to offer upskilling and reskilling to more than 70% of their employees by 2025, it demonstrates that the nature of work is changing, and upskilling is a business investment to get employees where you need them to be. In-demand soft skills are sorely lacking, requiring companies to step in and groom their employees for their current and possible future roles within the organization.

When employees have the tools and skills needed, they are more agile, and the company saves time and money. It’s a two-way street. Upskilling is critical for employers, but it is just as key for employees. With automation being such an integral part of how business is done, many employees fear their roles will become redundant sooner rather than later.

What Is Upskilling and Reskilling?

While they are similar in nature, they have distinct differences. When considering what is upskilling and reskilling, it’s important to think about where the employees are in terms of their hard and soft skill sets. Upskilling is learning new skills to enhance an existing skill set, while reskilling is the process of learning new skills to do a job, find a new job, or pursue a different career. It’s very easy to confuse the upskilling meaning with the reskilling meaning. They can both be used within an organization but have two different purposes.

Why is upskilling and reskilling important?
Think about it – why go looking for talent when you can focus on upskilling and reskilling the workforce you already have? These employees already know the culture and expectations of the organization. That means they will probably be better suited to moving the company forward. You see a lot of upskilling and reskilling of teachers, especially since there was a period when everything was online. Today’s teachers must be tech-savvy and understand different learning modalities to be successful in their environments. Without upskilling and reskilling, employees and candidates lack the skills needed to be successful. This way, they can continuously learn and grow, positioning themselves for internal or external career moves.

Upskilling and Reskilling Examples

What are some examples of upskilling?
When reskilling and upskilling for a future-ready workforce, it’s important to really think about how digital transformation is integrated into a career path. Interestingly enough, upskilling and reskilling of teachers is vital at the primary and secondary levels to ensure students and employees are prepared for the future.

Let’s look at upskilling and reskilling examples:
Preparing employees through mentorship and cross-training is a good example of upskilling because it’s teaching the employees new skills that enhance what they already know. This means they have probably been pinpointed by management for a move. Another example would be providing a course to expand a skillset because the job’s responsibilities are changing based on new expectations.

Reskilling examples include when a new program is introduced to the team and an entirely new set of skills is needed to merge with the old. Although the core skills are needed, additional steps may need training on how the program will work. Another example is management realizing that the expertise of the employee would be better suited in another capacity. This helps them shift their focus to professional development and into a new role. Upskilling and reskilling examples vary based on where the employees are and the needs of the organization.

Upskilling Employees

When upskilling employees, companies must consider the time needed to effectively make a change. Upskilling at work makes a huge difference in how an employee upskilling program is received. Taking the initiative to implement upskilling programs is good business that reaps multiple rewards.

What is upskilling in the workplace?
Using upskilling companies helps organizations adapt to an environment where professional development is crafted into work hours to not only mitigate fatigue but respect the work/life balance. Upskilling employees benefits to include tuition reimbursement, sending them to courses during the workday, or providing in-house trainings are all productive upskilling examples that provide many benefits for investing in this type of initiative.

Companies that do not take the time to upskill their employees tend to have retention issues because they aren’t placing a high enough priority on seeing their employees move up the career ladder. In these instances, it may be perceived as the company not having the willingness to invest in creating spaces where loyalty will be rewarded. This is a huge problem many companies have. Working with HR and a company that can help alleviate these perceptions reduces the likelihood of employees seeking employment elsewhere and feeling disconnected from the organization.

Digital Upskilling Examples

Why is digital upskilling important?
We live in an era where digital transformation is changing how companies work by leaps and bounds. Companies must take a hard look at the technology they use and what is needed to compete on a global scale. A digital upskilling strategy, coupled with a digital upskilling program not only makes sense, but is vital to the survival of the organization.

Gone are the days when companies were able to get by with the bare minimum. Today’s employees must be digitally savvy with their roles fortified with digital upskilling courses. The digital upskilling definition continues to evolve as technology gets wiser. That means digital transformation upskilling is no longer a choice, but a necessity.

Learning different computer programs, learning how to use new computers more efficiently and effectively, understanding how to navigate social media, learning programming and digital marketing are all digital upskilling examples that exist within today’s businesses. Digital skills are a must for employees as AI steadily becomes the norm rather than the exception. It’s no secret that technology isn’t perfect, but knowing how to navigate when the technology is off, or how to adapt and make it work for you helps future-proof careers.

Upskilling Strategy

While most upskilling strategy initiatives deal with the employees, upskilling companies also focus on upskilling in HR. This helps in building a strong upskilling framework that aligns with the goals of the company to position every employee in the right role. Upskilling and reskilling strategies are key to building a positive future. Once everyone is on board with upskilling and reskilling strategies, HR departments are better able to work with management to keep their departments running smoothly with talent that makes a difference.

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