Upskilling and Reskilling: Strategies for Success

<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Upskilling and Reskilling: Strategies for Success</span>

Upskilling and reskilling have never been more important. And with today's range of webinars and courses, there are certainly many opportunities to learn something new. However, workplace skills development can be much more than just training programs – it's also about creating conditions for everyday learning. Here are some practical tips on how to get started with upskilling and reskilling to develop your employees – every day.

The benefits of skills development are many – by investing in your employees, as an employer, you can increase productivity, improve the quality of products and services, and create an attractive workplace where employees can grow and thrive. However, due to digitalization and new innovations, the skills in demand are changing rapidly. Therefore, it's easy to focus on new recruitments, making significant efforts to find the right employees to fill any knowledge gaps within the organization.

Obviously, solely focusing on searching for new employees to fill these gaps is not sustainable in the long run. Instead, it may be more relevant to consider how your organization can work on developing existing employees to meet new skill requirements. Existing employees often possess invaluable experience and information about the company and your work processes – expertise that new hires usually take several years to learn. Therefore, to meet the increasing demand for new skills, it may be wise for employers to create a flexible and adaptable work environment that promotes skills development in everyday work life. As an added bonus, you’ll hopefully have more motivated and engaged employees!

With ongoing rapid changes in the job market, it can be difficult to predict what kind of skills will be relevant in a few years. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, as much as half of all employees are predicted to require some form of reskilling and skills development by 2025. So, how can we address these rapid changes?

Upskilling and Reskilling – the Foundation of Skills Development

Upskilling and reskilling have become increasingly crucial for retaining valuable employees, increasing productivity, and driving innovation forward. They are simply essential for keeping employees updated in terms of knowledge and meeting new skill requirements.

So, what does it mean? Well, upskilling involves updating and developing employees' skills within existing work areas. On the other hand, reskilling means that employees acquire new knowledge and take on new tasks or roles.

Getting Started

It’s not always clear where you should begin – challenges such as limited resources, time, and planning can make it difficult to implement training and skills development for employees. However, it's important to remember that upskilling and reskilling are not solely about formal training programs. On the contrary, there are many other ways to fill knowledge gaps, such as through workshops, mentorship, peer learning, or simply giving employees the opportunity to try new tasks.

Assess the skills
An excellent way to start is by looking at the current situation. What skills are you lacking? What skills might you need in the future? Which employees need to update their knowledge in a specific area, and are there employees who could take on new tasks or responsibilities? By mapping and analyzing the company's collective skills and competency needs, you will not only gain insights into the company's vulnerabilities but also make more accurate decisions, ranging from new recruitments to internal training efforts.

Once you have conducted an assessment, it's time to plan when, how, and where skills development will occur. It's essential to engage with employees and find out how they want to develop their skills – what works best for them? Skills development should not only align with the company's goals but also, to some extent, match employees' individual aspirations and career visions. Also, determine who is responsible for course planning, and assess the resources needed to implement the courses.

Don't forget the managers
Are the managers on board? When companies embark on their skills development journey, it's not uncommon for all the focus to be on the employees and their development, which is understandable. However, many companies fail to recognize that managers must also be part of the journey to guide employees along the way. Therefore, a good way to start skills development is by initially educating the managers, giving them better insight and understanding of the employees' journey.

Five Methods for More Enjoyable and Effective Learning

Dare to think outside the course box, and it will likely boost employee engagement. Here are some tips on learning methods that can be used for both upskilling and reskilling in your company.

  1. Learning Culture
    Do you believe there’s room for improvement in how employees share their knowledge and learn from each other? Then it is important to create an environment that encourages knowledge sharing and learning, where employees feel comfortable sharing their knowledge and asking for help when needed – a learning culture, simply put. With a learning culture in place, employees can continuously learn new things through knowledge sharing among colleagues and roles. Let employees share knowledge through project work, have them switch tasks, or encourage them to share new knowledge with each other – all to deepen their understanding of new areas of expertise.

  2. Mentorship
    Mentorship is an excellent way to leverage the expertise already present in the workplace. With a mentorship program, employees have the opportunity to both update and develop their skills while transferring knowledge between different roles within the company. Typically, an experienced colleague takes on the mentor role for a new hire or a colleague transitioning to a new position.

  3. Microlearning and Nanolearning
    Are you concerned that a content-heavy IT security course held at work might overwhelm your employees? In that case, microlearning or nanolearning can be a smart solution. Microlearning involves breaking down teaching material into appropriately short, standalone lessons. Nanolearning is essentially the same as microlearning, but the classes are even shorter – two-minute lessons are not uncommon. Both microlearning and nanolearning have become popular in many companies as these mini-lessons can easily fit into employees' workflow when they have a few minutes to spare.

  4. Flipped Classroom
    As the name suggests, a flipped classroom involves reversing how the material is taught. Instead of teaching a concept and having students work individually on an assignment after the lesson, a somewhat inverted learning process is applied. The teacher allows students to review the material before the actual class, leading to greater understanding during class time. The effects are that the class can be used to work more practically on a complex task, with the teacher always available to provide assistance.

  5. Gamification
    Tired of traditional methods of imparting knowledge? By incorporating gamification, learning can become both more entertaining and effective for employees. Just think of all the apps we use in our daily lives that encourage us to achieve new goals – fitness apps (only 300 steps away from reaching today's level!), language apps (Si, claro), or loyalty programs at stores (time to use that bonus, perhaps?). The concept of gamification means "gamifying" learning, where employees acquire new knowledge through gameplay. The effect is that information that might otherwise feel boring or complicated can become easier to grasp, as it can increase motivation and help employees achieve their set goals, for example, through rewards like points, badges (digital medals), or performance trackers.

Do you and your colleagues want complete control over courses and competencies? We can help!

A smart way to achieve the overview, structure, and efficiency required for effective skills management is to invest in digital system support. With Flex HRM Employee, you automate and streamline your company's course management while keeping track of everything related to employees and the company's competencies – all in one place. Feel free to contact us if you want to learn more!

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