Upskilling and reskilling are two terms that have been getting a lot of attention lately.
The former refers to the ongoing process of teaching existing employees new skills to add to their professional repertoire. The latter is similar but focuses on teaching entirely new skills to enable a worker to take on fresh responsibilities within your company.
In either case, the need to develop and train professionals in perpetuity has become a critical part of sustainable success for 21st century businesses. Here are a few ways that upskilling your team’s abilities can benefit you over time.
The most obvious benefit that comes with upskilling is the ability to avoid skill gaps. As technology continues to develop at breakneck speeds, it’s easy for employees at every level of a business to fall behind. Ongoing training can keep their tech skills sharp.
But the benefits go beyond avoiding a lag in capabilities. In-depth upskilling that focuses on technology skills can also aid in digital transformation. The term refers to the process of using cutting-edge technology to reimagine existing business processes.
Unlike filling skills gaps, digital transformation is forward-thinking and innovative. As your workforce’s collective skills improve, your team can begin to look for ways to not just keep up but accelerate your business.
Upskilling benefits employees and employers alike. For the former, the ability to improve their skills helps them remain relevant in a rapidly changing work environment. This doesn’t just benefit individual workers, though.
The side effects can also trickle back up to their employers in the form of better employee retention. For instance, when employers invest in the skill sets of their employees, it can:
Along with experiencing these benefits within your existing workforce, upskilling can also attract new talent. A satisfied staff is a beacon to many high-quality candidates. It sends the message that they will personally benefit by bringing their skills and talents to your company.
Upskilling doesn’t just affect your internal staff. It can also ripple outward, too.
Customers have high expectations in the modern era. The information age has given them a clearer understanding of what to expect from the businesses they patronize. Technology has made communication fast and personalization commonplace.
By upskilling your workforce, you make it easier to understand your customers and meet their needs. As your team’s skills develop, it can enable them to serve your customers faster and with more accuracy than others within your industry. This gives you a natural edge over the competition.
Competitors aside, the ability to utilize something like the latest technology can also positively and directly affect your customers. For example, if your team learns to use a powerful, cloud-based CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) platform, it can instantly enhance the quality of your customer service.
Finally, there’s the simple fact that an upskilled workforce is going to be more productive and efficient as they go about their daily tasks. In fact, in many cases, this won’t just be a minor improvement. A skilled workforce can significantly outperform one with dated training.
Take a remote work team as a good example. If you have a group that is geographically scattered and collaborating through a remote software stack, they must have certain capabilities to do their jobs well.
A boss won’t need to micromanage an upskilled and well-trained team — which is good, because micromanaging is a big no-no for remote work. In addition, a skilled remote workforce will be more likely to feel empowered, adapt to changing conditions, and take ownership of their work.
Upskilling is critical for modern businesses — so much so that it’s a task you should never pass off to an underqualified or overly busy individual on your team. Instead, it’s important to hire a qualified professional, like a CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer) or CPO (Chief People Officer), who can oversee your upskilling and reskilling initiatives. This ensures that your upskilling needs are always properly prioritized.
“It’s important to hire a qualified individual, like a CHRO / CPO, who can oversee your upskilling and reskilling initiatives.”
A good CHRO / CPO will make sure that your company has the right development and learning platforms in place to train your employees. They can address current skill gaps and also research future training that is worth investing in.
The Stanton Chase Los Angeles team is very familiar with finding and placing the best CHROs / CPOs for our clients. If you’re aware of the need to upskill or reskill your workforce, we can help you hire the right person to address the issue, both now and in the future.
Peter Deragon is the Managing Director of Stanton Chase Los Angeles, and as Global Practice Leader of the Supply Chain, Logistics, and Transportation Practice Group, Peter is also active in the CFO Practice Group and financial services, where he started his career.