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What is Upskilling & How Can It Improve Your Workforce?
If you want your business to stay relevant in your respective industry, upskilling is necessary. But what is upskilling? And can it really improve your workforce? Learn everything you need to know to get started, below!
HRDQ offers a fully customizable virtual soft skills training library, so you can provide specialized training content to your team no matter where they are. Explore the Reproducible Training Library.
Upskilling is pretty straightforward. It involves providing your employees with skills that are newly relevant or soon-to-be relevant in your industry. In this increasingly fast-paced day and age, industry standards are constantly shifting. It’s important to ask yourself what you’re doing to keep up with these changes and if you’re equipping your team with the tools they need for both personal success and the overall success of your business.
Why Upskilling Will Enhance Your Team
You might be wondering exactly how your team will benefit from upskilling. There are two primary modern problems that upskilling can help you combat:
The Age Gap
Today’s workforce consists of approximately five generations of employees. This can create issues for several reasons:
- Positions are becoming more difficult to fill. As older employees retire, they create open positions that are increasingly difficult to fill due to other applicants’ lack of experience.
- Don’t transfer knowledge. As older generations retire, they also take with them valuable knowledge, leaving a blatant skill gap.
- Older generations can’t keep up. On the flip side, as the workforce continues to become more digitally-focused, older generations may not be equipped with the skills they need to keep up.
The Digital Wave
As we’ve mentioned, the workplace is now more digitally-focused than ever. At this point in time, every employee needs to have a large number of digital skills just to meet minimum requirements. By upskilling, you can ensure your entire company is up to par with the latest necessary technological developments that are necessary for you to smoothly run your business.
How to Begin Upskilling
Are you ready to begin upskilling your team? Take the following steps to get started:
Conduct Industry Research
The first task you need to do is conduct industry research as to what skills are newly relevant or likely to become relevant in your industry. Use these questions to guide you in your research:
- What have been the most recent trends in your industry?
- What changes have your competitors recently made?
- Is your market growing or shrinking? Why?
- What does your company do well?
- What does your company struggle with?
The answers to these questions can help you pinpoint some important skills that you might be lacking. Or, even if you possess these key skills, you’ll likely still need to expand upon them to ensure each of your employees have them at the same level.
Perform a Skills Gap Analysis
Once you’ve developed a list of skills, it’s time to perform a skills gap analysis. A skills gap analysis simply identifies the discrepancy between the skills you want your employees to have versus the skills they actually have. Once you identify the skills gap in your team, you can begin to close it, hence starting the process of upskilling your employees.
View our blog, How to Perform a Skills Gap Analysis to learn how to assess your team!
Create a Training Program
When you have an understanding of your employees’ skills, you can then create a plan to provide or build upon the skills you’ve identified they need. The best way to teach your employees these skills is to create a training program that focuses on each required skill. Throughout this process, you may begin to identify strengths and weaknesses in individual employees, which can allow you to restructure their positions to capitalize on their top abilities, and hence improve your organization.
You might also consider starting your program with an introduction to the importance of understanding generational differences in the workplace and the growing digital landscape. This will give your team background as to why you’re providing them training and how it will benefit them.
View our blog, How To Design an Effective Virtual Training Program to start creating your training materials!
Start Virtual Training with HRDQ
We hope you now understand what upskilling is and how it can improve your workforce. If you’re ready to equip your team with the skills they need to succeed, get started with HRDQ today. Our live, instructor-led virtual training allows your employees to complete sessions and workshops no matter where they are. If you’re ready to experience the power of online training, view our virtual classes to get started!