Want to level up what you do? Get a better job, earn more or perhaps just boost your man skills points? You might need to look at how to upskill or reskill.
But what is the difference between reskilling and upskilling?
Upskilling and reskilling focuses on improving your skill sets through training or study. It’s often used in corporate structure for employees so they can advance in their jobs and find different roles and opportunities within the company.
However you don’t need to be the corporate loop to start upskilling.
In fact, if you’re wondering how to get out of your job, start something new or improve what you already do, lets look closer at upskilling.
What is upskilling vs. reskilling?
Upskilling is the process of taking your skills and knowledge in a certain area to a new level.
The term reskilling involves learning new skills so you can do a different job, or improving your value in the job market. Upskilling primarily focuses on helping employees become more skilled and relevant at their current position within an organization.
Upskilling is a much smaller investment both in terms of time and money, as you’re improving an existing skill. However when you reskill you’re adding a whole new skill set to your tool kit, effectively changing what you do.
Why is upskilling important?
Technology continues to rapidly change the way most organizations operate. In response, companies and their employees must consistently add to their technical knowledge and skill sets. As job requirements change and new skills are required, companies are forced to either find new talent or fill the gap through upskilling.
If you have taken matters into your own hands and have learned a new skill, or improved an existing one, you might just have the advantage over your recruitment rival.
Overall, upskilling is important because:
- job roles and their requirements are changing faster than ever;
- employees expect more opportunities for growth within their companies;
- it helps an organization stay more competitive by closing skill gaps;
- it decreases the need to recruit outside the company to fill skill gaps;
- it increases employee satisfaction, boosting motivation, performance and morale; and
- It increases employee retention.
Companies that choose to upskill rather than fill skills gaps with outside talent save money and time by reducing the need for hiring, onboarding and training processes.
If you’re already working with a company, they might pay for you to upskill or reskill, effectively filling their own skills gap in house.
For example, if you are a web developer, you could learn a new coding language by letting your employer know you want to upskill. And they’d likely be happy to invest in this if you can present it as an advantage to them. Or as an office clerk, you might get to learn additional skills such as IT or customer service.
All of these can make a difference to your value in the workplace, and improve your chances of better employment.
How to upskill in business
The following upskilling examples offer some methods for continued Learning and Development (L&D) in the workplace.
The most effective upskilling strategies incorporate several techniques that make the most of existing internal skills and external resources. Each business must align its methods with its business objectives and requirements. Also, remember to consider different learning styles and balance these against individual employees’ needs.
- Continuous training
The most efficient way of upskilling in the workplace is simply by the level of accountability or broadening the workload to a member of staff. This is best achieved by asking senior employees to act as mentors, or by bringing separate departments together to operate collaboratively (peer-to-peer mentoring and training).
If you’re looking to upskill employees in the workplace, online e-learning platform-tools offer a manageable and cost-effective upskilling strategy. There are online e-learning platforms for just about every business sector and industry, offering cutting-edge resources that offer verified qualifications. Employees’ can study at their own pace from their desk, eliminating travel costs, and time spent away from the office making it a flexible option to consider.
Allowing employees time away from the office to attend relevant seminars or participate in a webinar is another successful upskilling strategy. As well as gaining exposure to industry trends and learning from sector heads, they will also have the chance to network with their industry peers.
Why is upskilling more crucial than ever?
Upskilling the workforce will not only mean you stand out from industry competition by having agile, diverse, and creative employees that are continuously learning, adapting, and acquiring new skills but can avoid financial pitfalls through recruiting new employees.
Upskilling current staff members is an indispensable practice to retain staff and save external hiring costs.
Differences between reskilling and upskilling
Upskilling refers to providing current employees with additional skills. On the other hand, reskilling refers to replacing an employee’s outdated skills with new skills that meet the needs of the changing market. Reskilling often requires an employee to be sent back to college or a trade school to earn a degree or certification in a different field.
An example of upskilling could be a software development company training its developers in a new language that will be used to develop new products.
An example of reskilling could be a construction worker who goes back to school to become a software developer.
Upskilling is the future
According to the Decoding Global Talent 2018 Survey by Boston Consulting Group, employees value learning opportunities and career development options more than their job security, financial compensation, and the interest they find in their day-to-day job. This is the perfect way to ensure that your workforce is constantly aspiring to be better as well as attract better candidates in a market that’s organizations are struggling to set themselves apart from their competitors in terms of what they have to offer for employees.