Upskilling, also known as reskilling, is the act of investing in current or new employees so they can bridge the gap that automation has created. Automation has conquered large swaths of labor, often tedious labor that doesn’t require nuanced knowledge. Some employers try to cut corners by firing their staff and hire new people, but that is ultimately less cost-efficient and will rot the company morale from the inside.
Upskilling matters because automation has removed many lower-skilled jobs from the workforce. Younger adults aren’t interested in staying at a position that doesn’t show them a clear way for career growth. Giving them a chance to upskill shows that the company is invested in the people they already have, as opposed to hiring new people and laying off the original staff.
Here’s an Easy Way to Improve Productivity
While upskilling programs do cost money, they show a staggeringly high ROI. You probably already know this, but it is cheaper to train your existing employees than it is to hire new ones. As we mentioned in the article Why Companies Hire Staffing Agencies, finding new employees requires the current employees to have to first find, screen, interview, hire and train any new people. That’s time that they could have spent doing their job instead. Compared to the cost of hiring new employees, it is significantly cheaper to fill in the knowledge gaps of your current employees.
Improving the skills of current staff increases productivity, boosts the bottom line, and at a fraction of the cost of hiring new employees.
The Solution to Retain Existing Employees
The act of upskilling employees gives them more job satisfaction, which then fuels their motivation to do the job well. This creates a team atmosphere of improved productivity, making everyone more content at their positions. Training programs boost employee satisfaction and morale across the board. It is particularly beneficial when finishing the upskilling is connected to a higher pay or increased responsibilities.
Easy Way to Boost Morale
Filling the skills gap on your team will create a more united group and feel more connected to their work. Training them on what skills they lack will not only boost productivity but also increase their sense of belonging. A sense of belonging makes employees more loyal to the work itself and the mission overall and is reinforced by others having the same optimism.
Tying the upskilling courses to an incentive will also assist any staff that may feel stuck in their old habits. Just training for the sake of training doesn’t keep anyone for long. Connecting training to higher pay and responsibility will show that not only is the company willing to invest in the training itself, but also to keeping the staff motivated to push through and finish.
Encourages Sharing Knowledge
So once the team has adapted to this new knowledge, there will be another shift besides increased profits and morale. The decision to focus on improving current skills or learning new ones will make the team strive for more knowledge. We love this because the team will be open to learning new skills in the future and open to adapting.
As you already know, post-pandemic, the business world requires being able to adapt quickly. Adaptability is in itself a valuable skill and encouraging it in your team makes the company that much stronger as a whole.
Greater Talent Acquisition
With lower employee turnover and higher employee satisfaction comes a better reputation. Everyone wants to work where they feel heard, respected, and a sense of belonging. Improving the work culture for those existing employees also spreads the word that other talent would like to hear. The current staff is the best brand ambassadors because their friends and family trust them to be honest. Who they know could help you out in the future and give you a great referral.
Upskilling Doesn’t Need to be Time Consuming
Whether or not you decide on going through with an upskilling learning program, it has some definite upsides. There are several ways to manage upskilling in a time-efficient manner. It could be treating a group to lunch during training, a virtual session, a mentoring program, or even “microlearning” sessions of short videos. The benefits may easily outweigh the investment. It could be led by management or an outside source. There are free online courses for a multitude of topics and sometimes just taking the time to review old topics can help.
In conclusion, upskilling can improve company morale, increase productivity, encourages employees to exchange knowledge, helps retain existing employees, attracts new talent, and it doesn’t need to take much time or money to make a difference.
NESC Staffing hires throughout the United States and has won several awards, including being named Forbes’ Best Temporary Staffing Firm of 2021. If you’re interested in working with us, please feel free to reach out at any time Contact Us. Our nationwide recruiting team is located at our New Hampshire office.