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Upskilling your workforce

Upskilling means examining existing skillsets and identifying where there can be improvements. These improvements need to fill current as well as future company needs. Upskilling does not only have one component. Reskilling is also a crucial component. Upskilling the workforce takes the current expertise to the next level. It provides the employees the opportunity to advance in their career paths. But it is not limited to skills that may improve your career trajectory. Upskilling can also include improving soft skills such as emotional intelligence.

The modern workplace has changed vastly over the last couple of years. It is vital that each workforce adapts and stays up to date with the industry trends. Career paths and roles have changed drastically. We see job roles integrated into one and more automation through artificial intelligence.

Upskilling Benefits the company and the individual. If companies do not spend money upskilling their workforce, they may fall behind their competition. It may even result in them falling apart in the long run. Using internal upskilled personnel is less expensive than having to source external talent. The cost of setting up internal learning is significantly lower than onboarding a new employee.

If a company has an outstanding learning and development programme, it improves productivity, engagement, and staff retention. When employees know they can evolve in a company, they may stay longer. It also enhances employee well-being which in turn promotes loyalty and retention.

To upskill the workforce effectively, you need a strategy. First, you need to start by assessing your current skill set. Systematically assess your current capabilities. During your analysis, you can discover the current gaps in your team, and you may also uncover a few other skills in your workforce.

Once you have identified all the skills, project the skills that you will require for the near future. For example, the world is becoming more automated and AI integrated. It means that more soft skills may be required. These skills include creativity or management. The projected skills need to align with the goals that drive business results.

There needs to be a system that continuously assesses and monitors the emerging gaps in the skill set. The sooner you address the skill gaps, the fewer disruptions in the company.

There are a variety of ways you could use to upskill your workforce. It is vital to remember upskilling needs to be a part of company culture. If not practiced, the business may lose its advantage over another company.

Cross-training your employees into other jobs is a great way of upskilling them. Cross-train employees into roles that require similar skills. It allows the current employees to refine their skills. Allowing employees to take on new learning opportunities creates an environment to plan their next career step.

Upskilling can be done through external resources too. There are a variety of online resources. Prove your employees with time and funds to upskill them in areas that may benefit them and the company. Formal education and formal learning may be a bit more expensive. But there are creative ways you could reduce the costs.

It may be worth creating a custom learning platform if you work in a niche industry. The system could create an on-demand learning management system. Having a company learning system has many benefits. You can ensure the courses have all the subjects covered- and up to company standards. Continuously update the learning management. Ensure the latest information and coursework are accessible to all employees.

Once the strategy is in place, delivering the skills is the hardest part. The timing and planning of the skills delivery are vital. For smaller organisations, conducting training is more accessible than for multinational organisations. The quality may differ depending on where the employees are situated.

Remember to measure the effectiveness of the upskilling. If you do not track it, you cannot measure it, and if you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it. There are assessment tools pre, post, or both the upskilling session that may determine the effectiveness. 

These assessments can either be written or performance-based, depending on the type of company.

Upskilling your workforce can make the two-point-five times more effective. Upskilling and employee training the workforce create a positive return on the investment of any company. It may initially cost money, but it is vital to remember it boosts performance, improves capabilities, and helps reduce the skills gaps in the organisation. 

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