Times are changing rapidly and professionals who fail to evolve risk being left behind. While agile, nimble employees have always been in demand, the pandemic has shifted the goals of many organizations. Stakeholders want versatile employees with a wide range of both hard and soft skills. Reskilling has risen in popularity in response to these demands.
So what does it mean to reskill an employee? At its core, reskilling is about developing adjacent skills through lateral learning experiences. For example, a pastry chef might diversify their skill set by taking a pizza-making class. A retailer might reskill salespeople to handle the increasing number of remote customer service calls. A freelance photographer might train to shoot weddings after graduation season ends. The opportunities for advancement – and for personal development – are endless.
Benefits of Reskilling
The benefits of reskilling are endless, too. Businesses must create learning strategies that develop critical skills in employees if they hope to stay relevant in this ever-changing world. By identifying the capabilities of your existing team, you can take a targeted approach for developing important skills. In turn, this helps employees keep up with shifting demands.
Reskilling can also help to identify skills you didn’t know your employees had. The process requires individuals to take stock of their talents and interests, highlighting aspects of their skill sets that you didn’t know existed. This can be hugely revealing and hugely impactful for your organization.
Another key benefit of reskilling? You’ll foster a culture of mobility and development. Employees know when they’re being invested in, and that knowledge can help reduce turnover and boost motivation. The process of reskilling can create a sense of internal momentum, encouraging individuals to move up and out of their comfort zones and onto the next big thing.
Reskilling vs. Upskilling vs. Retraining
Reskilling the workforce is just one option for preparing your organization for what lies ahead. Upskilling is another great way to invest in your team. Closing talent gaps is the main goal – it’s the main difference between reskilling and upskilling. Team members pursue continuous education opportunities in the hopes of advancing further down their respective career paths. Upskilling is ideal for those individuals who have worked within the organization for many years but want to keep their skills relevant and fresh.
Retraining is another version of reskilling to consider implementing. When you retrain an employee, you teach them new skills or train them on a completely new topic. This is ideal for new hires who may have one set of skills but are eager to learn new ones. Retraining is a great way to educate individuals who are a good fit for your organization’s culture but may lack the specific skills necessary for new roles.
Reskilling, upskilling, and retraining all have their place in the modern workforce. By understanding the specific demands of your organization, you can develop the most appropriate training opportunities. It’s also important to understand the goals of your colleagues – you can lead a horse to professional development, but you can’t make them learn if they’re not interested!
Reskilling Strategies and Techniques
If your goal is to reskill your team, start by performing a skills gap analysis. This can help to identify the distance between the skills needed for growth and success and the existing skills currently offered by your workforce. The analysis can start on an organizational level, with an eye toward the team’s overall ability to meet future business demands. Shifting to the individual level, however, can provide a more in-depth perspective of the talents and potential of each employee.
Next, identify the candidates who might benefit most from reskilling. Employees who manage their time well – true self-starters – are often ideal candidates. By offering reskilling to these individuals, you can harness their motivation and invest in their future.
When it comes time for the actual training, learning, and development of reskilling, consider industry courses and qualifications. These straightforward methods of developing talent can help employees gain new knowledge of their industry while obtaining qualifications that feel both substantial and worthwhile.
Mentoring or coaching is another good option for reskilling employees. A workplace mentorship program is a great way to build relationships, provide on-the-job training, and develop a specific set of skills. Whether the mentorship relationship exists in-person, online, or in some sort of hybrid combination, a mentor’s expertise can do wonders to boost an employee’s self-esteem and combat imposter syndrome.
Find A Better Way to Learn with World Manager
The opportunities for reskilling are numerous. To ensure the best possible outcome for your team, you may want to partner with a Learning Management System. World Manager, for instance, can help develop learning tracks and pathways for gaining the skills necessary for each role. The process is automated, saving administrators serious time and energy on the back end. To learn more about World Manager’s offerings or to request a demo, contact our team today!