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Why You Must Start Reskilling and Upskilling Your Staff Now

It’s no secret that the workforce is changing, and new skills are needed to succeed. According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study, one in three jobs is anticipated to be severely disrupted or eliminated in the following decade due to technological transformation. As a result, nearly half of all low-skilled jobs and a third of semi-skilled occupations may be lost.

But what does this mean for your company? In the face of such a rapidly changing workforce, businesses need to ensure that workers remain as relevant as possible. This will not only make them more productive and innovative but also help fortify their positions within an increasingly competitive job market. To do this, companies should be proactive about reskilling or upskilling their staff.

Reskilling VS Upskilling

Reskilling is the process of teaching your employees new skills to prepare them for another role within your company. It’s a way to help workers make the transition from older, less relevant roles to new ones that are necessary for your company’s future success. For example, if you have a customer service representative made redundant due to automation, you may reskill them in programming to automate the process themselves.

Upskilling, on the other hand, is allowing employees to learn new skills that go beyond their current job requirements. Upskilling refers to training workers with knowledge related directly to industry changes. This might include teaching them how to use new tools or equipment, working with different data types, or managing more complex projects. For example, if your employees work in the IT industry, up-skilling could involve teaching them about cloud computing or big data. 

Why You Need to Reskill and Upskill Your Staff 

The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that upskilling 1.37 million Americans in occupations at risk will cost $34 billion in the United States — or $24,800 per person. This may sound like a lot of money, but the benefits far outweigh these costs. Studies show that 93% of CEOs who introduce upskilling programs see increased productivity, improved talent acquisition and retention, and a more resilient workforce.

No employer can afford to sit on the sidelines and watch as their employees’ skills become obsolete. The time to act is now. Here are some reasons why you should reskill or upskill your staff:

– To keep up with industry changes: As industries change, the skills required for jobs within them also change. If you don’t update your workers’ skills, those workers will become irrelevant and eventually lose their jobs.

– To improve productivity: With the right skills, your workers can be more productive and innovative. This can help you stay competitive in a global market.

– To reduce staff turnover: Staff turnover is costly and disruptive to your business. Training new employees takes time and effort, and it can take a while for them to become as experienced as your existing workers.

– To improve morale: Investing in the skills of employees at risk is also an investment in retention. If you invest time and money into reskilling or upskilling, your staff will feel valued and appreciated, leading to better morale and a more positive work environment. 

When Is the Best Time to Reskill or Upskill Your Staff?

The best time to reskill or upskill your staff is when you see the need for it. However, there are certain times when it’s more important than others:

– When your company is expanding into new markets: If you’re expanding into new markets, you need to have a workforce that can meet your clients’ needs. You may also find it necessary to upskill employees in fields such as sales and marketing to communicate across cultures.

– When there is a talent shortage: If an industry has too few skilled workers or the supply of talent is drying up, you need to ensure that your employees have the skills they need.

– When jobs are being automated: Automation will replace many low and mid-skilled workers — which means existing staff may be at risk of redundancy. Your company should reskill or upskill to fill these roles with highly skilled individuals who can work with technology.

– When your company is restructuring: If your company is going through a period of change, such as a merger or acquisition, you may need to reskill employees so they can take on new roles.

The Bottom line is reskilling and upskilling are imperative for any business to stay ahead in the current global economy and futureproof their workforce. By investing in the skills of your employees, you are ensuring that your company has a competitive edge and a resilient workforce. The time to act is now. Start by assessing your workforce’s skills and identifying any gaps. Then, develop a training plan that will help your employees stay competitive in their field.

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