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Upskilling and Reskilling: The Future of Employee Learning

We uncover emerging trends as we continue to adapt to the post-pandemic workplace. The world we once knew has shifted dramatically to the one we now live and work in. Technology has advanced at an unprecedented rate, and so has the need for enhanced employee skills. 

Reskilling and upskilling have become necessary for businesses to help their employees adapt to this new era of digital workplaces. Throughout the pandemic, employees have been trying to reskill and upskill themselves, but they cannot keep up with the constantly changing needs of their work. 

The Difference Between Upskilling and Reskilling

Upskilling focuses on learning and enhancing current skills to expand their expertise. On the other hand, Reskilling focuses on learning new skills similar to their current skill set, preparing them for different roles.

These types of learning are essential for companies to invest in to avoid skill shortages and enhance their team’s performance. This isn’t new to many businesses, with over two-thirds of organisations in 2018 agreeing that learning and development programs will address the skill gaps in their teams. So why should companies invest in their employee’s development?

The Demand For Soft Skills

Soft skills are becoming increasingly important and sought after as most can’t easily be taught. Resilience and digital literacy have emerged as the most important skills over the past two years, enabling employees to navigate the digital world and continue to learn and adapt. Aside from this, communication, emotional intelligence, and cross-functional (in-person and digital) collaboration are the other most sought skills. 

Technology Advancements and Skill Gaps

No matter the job, the skills required are constantly changing to keep up with technological advances. And this is happening fast, according to a Gartner report – where 33 per cent of necessary skills for job listings in 2017 are no longer necessary for those same jobs in 2021. 

This same report showed that job postings now require nearly 10 per cent more skills than would be found on the same posting five years ago. Statistics like this are only going to increase, so companies need to realise the value that upskilling and reskilling their employees has on their quality of work. 

Many employees are ready and willing to learn new skills to help them perform better and already have as they adjusted to the pandemic and remote working. A majority of employees who had never worked remotely before had to learn skills as they went – digital meetings, task software etc. 

The Benefits of Employee Learning

The great resignation has given employees more power over their professional advancements. But the more employees have control over their learning and feel needed in a business, the less likely they are to leave. A study done by IBM showed that 42 per cent of employees were more likely to stay with a company that provided them with the tools to learn new skills and enhance their current skill set. 

There will always be gaps in your team’s skill set, but engaging your employees in a collaborative learning space will allow them to take on all tasks with little difficulty. With upskilling programs, your business can pinpoint areas of improvement and create an adaptable team ready for anything. 

The acceleration of digital approaches to work has created new methods of learning, working and communicating. Upskilling and reskilling have become a workforce priority in the post-pandemic world to ensure businesses continue to grow and push forward. 

This workplace transformation has made it possible for learning efforts to take place digitally and become more cost-effective for companies to introduce. At A1 Office, we believe workplace trends and shifts help to shape how we continue to work as the world around us changes. To learn more about the current workplace trends, sign up for our newsletter here. 

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