Millions of working people worldwide are in search of positions at companies in which they can grow, both personally and professionally. According to research from Gallup, a hefty 87% of Millennials — the largest working generation in the U.S. — say that professional development and career growth opportunities are significant to them.

As a corporate trainer, you play a key role in providing these growth opportunities, and investing in your company’s future, by offering upskilling and reskilling.

Although upskilling and reskilling may be similar concepts, they have several clear and important distinctions. Both can assist your business in growing consistently with time, as long as you are equally consistent in providing your workers with training resources.

Upskilling Versus Reskilling

Upskilling is a specific form of training that assists employees to perform better in their positions. It provides them with relevant education and training that sharpens and builds upon their current skill sets. An example of upskilling would be offering a website user experience (UX) designer the chance to attend a workshop on designing website UX to boost user security. This would positively assist them in expanding their knowledge base for improved performance.

On the other hand, reskilling is the process of training a member of staff for a completely new job. Let’s say a major retailer decides to move from their brick-and-mortar establishment to a new e-commerce store online. The retailer’s workers would need training to become e-commerce customer service agents, including learning how to interact with customers remotely instead of in person.

The Benefits of Upskilling and Reskilling Workers

Upskilling and reskilling can benefit your organization in many key ways, including:

  • Better employee retention rates: Employees who feel that the business they work for invests in their personal development and growth are less likely to search for positions at other companies. Having solid visions and goals for the professional development of your staff can improve their motivation, sense of purpose, and willingness to work toward shared company goals. Reducing employee turnover can, in turn, have advantageous effects on your company’s profit margins and culture.
  • An enhanced company culture and brand: Investing in professional development will build your company a reputation for being one that cares about the long-term success and satisfaction of its employees. This usually results in a stronger brand image, a more positive industry reputation, and a better company culture. You may also find it easier to attract and retain skilled, qualified employees who have heard that they could benefit from working for you.
  • A sustainable workforce: Reskilling and upskilling create sustainable workforces by improving employees’ job satisfaction and morale. Satisfied employees are significantly less likely to leave their organizations. Plus, they’re more likely to work toward your goals for years to come.

If you suspect that your employees’ skill sets could use some upgrading, start by conducting a skills gap analysis. This helps you identify any specific opportunities to upskill your entire workforce. Doing so will assist you in remaining competitive within your industry and optimizing your company’s workflows.

Once you have your analysis results and understand what your business needs to thrive, you can create a professional development strategy. This strategy will accurately meet the needs of your organization and your learners.

How to Upskill and Reskill Your Staff

Are you ready to provide your employees with more upskilling and reskilling opportunities? These strategies are the most commonly used by organizations that prioritize constant learning on the job.

  • Continuous Learning and Development: Workshops, seminars, online courses and lectures are all fantastic ways to keep your employees learning in their roles. They also help keep them abreast of the latest developments, trends and technologies in your industry sector. Offering ongoing L&D opportunities will assist your workers in building robust careers while also driving business growth.
  • Peer-to-peer coaching: Peer coaching assigns each employee a mentor who can teach them new skills and show them how to apply those skills to specific tasks. This form of coaching offers a more casual and informal educational style, in which employees can learn by actively watching their mentors at work.
  • Job expansion and rotation: Job expansion is the expansion of the responsibilities and roles of an employee’s current job. For example, giving a staff member the chance to manage their own projects previously managed by a supervisor could boost employee engagement and provide them with a more rewarding work experience. Remember that you may need to give them extra training and coaching before expanding their current roles. Job rotation allows employees to work in different positions. It gives them the chance to learn a broad and diverse range of skills and gain valuable insights into your organization. Job rotations are usually temporary, and employees will switch back to their original roles after they are complete. Regardless, the skills they learn while rotating job roles can qualify them for other positions in your business. This will make them more likely to move around in your company, rather than seeking out work with your competitors.

Facilitate Growth — From The Inside

More and more businesses are beginning to realize the crucial importance of offering their employees professional development and growth opportunities. Doing so will enable your own business to remain competitive in your industry and meet your staff’s expectations and needs. Additionally, you will build yourself a talented and knowledgeable workforce capable of fulfilling your long-term growth and expansion goals.

Moreover, providing professional development opportunities for your staff will assist you in retaining talent, attract dedicated and innovative new recruits, and will allow you to build a sustainable team that will be with you for years to come.