In recent years, industry giants like Amazon, AT&T, and Google have discovered the benefits of upskilling employees. Until the COVID-19 crisis, upskilling had been gaining traction as a workforce development strategy. However, it took the pandemic to make companies worldwide realize the benefits of upskilling employees quickly.

When organizations were forced to change the way they worked almost overnight, company leaders worldwide found that critical skills are in short supply but high demand. With technological innovations occurring daily, our world and our work are changing at an unprecedented speed. Technical skills are now becoming outdated in a matter of years, which presents new challenges for talent management professionals.

The increase in the number of companies that are expressing interest in programs for upskilling employees is driven by the digital revolution and an unpredictable post-pandemic world. Upskilling is now a crucial tool that more companies must consider as a way to adapt employees’ skills and roles to new business models. These are the top three benefits of upskilling your employees.

  1. Prepare for Future Disruptions

New ways of working and rapidly-changing technologies were disrupting jobs and the skills workers needed to perform them before the COVID-19 crisis. In a recent survey, 87% of executives reported that they had skill gaps in their organization, or expected to within the next few years. Although they realized why it was important to equip workers with new skills, less than half of the executives surveyed had a clear vision of how to proceed.

While the coronavirus pandemic has made the question more urgent, this dynamic is about more than remote working or the role of automation and artificial intelligence (AI). It is about how quickly leaders can ready their workforce to deliver new business models in a post-pandemic world. By using eSkill’s innovative employment assessment platform, companies can quickly identify skills employees are lacking and address their needs with targeted training.

Now is the time to upskill your employees. Upskilling initiatives cannot be a “one-and-done” deal because the workplace is evolving rapidly and the types of skillsets that are needed will continue to change. For organizations to realize the benefits of upskilling employees, they must build upskilling initiatives into their organization’s infrastructure. Developing this framework now will prepare them for future disruptions.

  1. Improve the Bottom Line

It is no surprise that employee turnover is costly. Research by Gallup estimates the cost of replacing an employee ranges between half to double the employee’s annual salary. Not only is the expense of losing an employee high, but the cost of losing the proprietary knowledge and experience tenured staff possess also affects the bottom line. While it is an investment, upskilling saves companies money in the long-run.

If you offer top performers learning and development opportunities aimed at upskilling, they will not feel the need to go outside of your organization to gain more knowledge and will be less likely to leave for another job. In fact, LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report revealed that 94% of employees surveyed would stay at a company longer if it provided upskilling opportunities.

Upskilling your employees for new tasks or roles improves retention and creates an organization that is much more agile and responsive to the ever-transforming modern workplace. Retaining staff through upskilling initiatives can also provide a competitive advantage when new positions are created. Rather than go through the expensive and arduous process of hiring, existing employees can learn the skills needed to assume emerging roles.

While upskilling is an expense, it is a necessary investment to improve employee retention and engagement, and ultimately saves organizations the cost of hiring and training new staff.

Amazon is just one example of a company that is capitalizing on an upskilling framework. With a plan to upskill one-third of its employees, Amazon is spending an estimated $700 million or roughly $1,000 per employee annually.

  1. Increase Productivity

Upskilling initiatives increase employee engagement, retain social capital, and improve productivity. Employees with the skills needed to complete tasks efficiently can spend more time developing ideas and strategies. They spend less time figuring things out, which yields faster turnaround and improved performance on projects. According to recent research by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, three-quarters of manufacturing companies reported that upskilling workers helped improve employee productivity.

Forward-thinking companies that implement well-designed upskilling initiatives will lay the groundwork for agile business models that can easily adapt to disruptions, and develop employees who are better at their jobs, increasingly engaged, and more likely to remain with the company long-term. eSkill’s user-friendly employment assessment tests enable companies to quickly identify skill deficits and create targeted training programs for staff.

Upskilling your employees is critical to the health and growth of your organization, and in today’s post-pandemic era of changing business priorities and increasing automation, it has taken on a new sense of urgency.

Interested in Employment Assessment Tests to Upskill Your Employees?

Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s employment assessment tests to evaluate your workforce’s skillsets quickly and implement a strategy to upskill your employees.

Request a demo today.

Adina Miron

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