Digital transformation has quickly become an essential part of any successful business strategy. Even as more business processes become automated, especially in an era of remote work, top professionals are expected to acquire the necessary skills to be able to solve problems, build corporate procedures, thrive in contemporary cultures, and meet customer expectations.
Thankfully, technology has offered organizations and workforces with options for surviving in the digital era by allowing them to pursue paths that were previously unreachable prior to the rise of automation. Pursuing these possibilities, on the other hand, might be difficult, particularly if current staff lack the essential technological skills.
So, how can businesses bridge the skills gap while retaining their current workforce? This is where upskilling comes in handy for employers and employees alike. But before we dissect what “upskilling” is and why it is so important right now, let us first understand “the skills gap”. Keep reading!
The skills gap
Companies are fully aware of the importance of skill development. According to a 2017 report by Capgemini and LinkedIn, “Over half of the firms surveyed (54%) claimed that a lack of digital talent is hindering their digital transformation efforts and that their company has lost competitive advantage as a result of the scarcity. Many employees are concerned that their abilities are either obsolete or will be in the near future. Furthermore, nearly a third (38%) of employees questioned believe their skill set is redundant now or will be in the next one to two years, while nearly a quarter (24%) say it will be redundant in the next 4 to 5 years “.
What’s more? A survey conducted by CareerBuilder last year, showed that, “Over two-thirds of employers (67%) are concerned about developing skills gaps. Extended employment openings have had a negative impact on almost half (55%) of those polled, resulting in productivity concerns, more voluntary turnover, and reduced income setback.” This demonstrates that encouraging employees to pursue new skill sets is the key to retaining employees, helping them improve, and, as a result, assuring a brighter future for the organization.
But, more crucially, at a time where everything in the business world is digital, organizations must incorporate the digital side while training staff. According to a joint study by the World Economic Forum and The Boston Consulting Group, “managing skills in the digital era requires organizations to harness technology that enables them to use a data-driven approach to lifelong learning and smart upskilling.”
What is upskilling?
Technology is now more crucial than it has ever been in global business. According to the World Economic Forum, about half of the global workforce will need to upgrade or replace their skills by 2022. As organizations increasingly transfer important tasks like sales, customer service, and communication online, HR departments are looking for employees who can thrive in the digital age. When firms are having difficulty obtaining the proper talent for their needs, or when their existing pool of talent fails to yield suitable candidates for respective roles, they turn to retraining or upskilling their current employees as a last resort.
The process of bridging a staff’s technological gap through training courses that not only aim to impart new technology, but also employ technology to do it (such as eLearning platforms) is known as digital upskilling.
Or simply put, upskilling is the process of enhancing your employees’ skill sets by providing them with new technical training. Rather than focusing on rules and learning processes, upskilling focuses on learning how new technologies might help workers accomplish their tasks in new and more effective ways.
Why is upskilling so important?
The advantages of employee upskilling begins with the employees themselves. Consider the difference between a worker who moves through their day with ease, undisturbed by a range of digitally-driven responsibilities, and one who is always pausing to ask questions or is unsure how to deal with a problem?Your guess is as good as ours! Here are a few of the benefits:
“Around 60% of businesses are unable to fill available positions due to a lack of competent individuals. Organizations should instead focus on upskilling and retraining current employees to close this gap and realize their maximum innovation capabilities.” Companies that invest in employee upskilling efforts are more likely to gain employee loyalty and keep them for a longer period of time.
Upskilling employees is also a great way to keep them engaged and motivated at work. According to IBM, businesses should maximize their human capital by giving “the right skills at the right time for the right people.” According to IBM’s report titled The Value of Training, 84% of employees in the best-performing companies get the training they need, while only 16% of employees in the worst-performing companies do.
Many corporate procedures have been automated thanks to the digital age, including accounting, which has gone from spreadsheets and bags of receipts to relying on digital platforms. Cost reductions become baked in when you have the correct digital tools and a workforce that knows how to use them.
Boosts employee confidence
Upskilling gives employees more confidence, which boosts morale and minimizes attrition. This saves your company money on new hiring while also providing long-term, experienced staff with the possibilities for advancement they deserve.
Because the needs of 21st-century economies will require worker flexibility and adaptability, upskilling is one of the most important ways for businesses to provide their employees with the new (digital) skill sets and competences they need to be future-proof. Even though learning new skills can be a tough and stressful task for many people, that does not necessarily mean that people are unwilling to learn and adapt. Keep in mind, however, that your approach to employee upskilling should always be tailored to your specific needs, both from an organizational and employee perspective.
With that in mind, we can assist with either complete or co-development options, whether you currently have content in place for upskilling (digital) or are starting from scratch.
Get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more!