Matt | 08 April 2020

Upskilling – What Is It?

Technology is continuously advancing and changing the way we work. While this provides many opportunities for businesses, it also creates skill gaps within workforces. As new technologies and trends grow in popularity, it is vital that you and your team can keep up. This is where upskilling comes in.

Upskilling is a fairly recent concept among workplaces, which brings a focus on continued learning through ongoing training and development. The idea is to expand your abilities and minimise any skill gaps as new technologies arise. If you are wondering what upskilling is, and how it could benefit you and your team, then read on for our ultimate guide.

What Is Upskilling?

Upskilling refers to the process of learning new skills. Many individuals choose to focus on upskilling themselves, and some organisations highlight the importance of continuous training to their teams. The process of upskilling happens when individuals or companies invest their time and effort into training programmes in order to minimise skill gaps and develop new abilities.

With technologies changing all the time, the need for upskilling is high, as there is almost always something new on the horizon. Upskilling helps to keep you relevant in an ever-changing digital world.

Why Is Upskilling Important?

As technology is constantly changing the way that companies operate and go about their daily business, there is a growing need for ongoing training. Workforces are required to consistently add to their skill sets and technical knowledge through upskilling.

Over time, job requirements and skills needed will change, and this leaves businesses either having to find new talent or upskill their existing workforce.

When companies prioritise upskilling within their teams, they can save money by building on the skills of existing employees. This reduces the budget and time needed to recruit new workers. Not only that, but employees often perceive ongoing training and development as an added bonus, on top of their usual salary and comfortable work environment.

It is becoming increasingly common for workers to anticipate job perks such as healthcare, holidays and professional training. By offering upskill training to employees, you can help your workers to feel valued and that they have a dedicated future in the business. There are many reasons that upskilling is important, including;

  • Business requirements and job roles are constantly changing with technologies.
  • Workers look for jobs that offer excellent opportunities for growth within the organisation.
  • Companies can create a competitive edge by closing the skill gap.
  • There is less need to recruit outside the company in order to fill skill gaps.
  • Employee satisfaction is increased, and in turn, motivation, morale and performance among teams are boosted.
  • Employee retention rates are improved as team members will stay with a company for longer.
  • Save time and money with reduced recruitment, with less need for onboarding and training process for new employees.

What Are The Benefits Of Upskilling?

Upskilling offers many benefits to both individuals and businesses. Not only will workforces learn new skills, but employee experience is improved, and the organisation can become more attractive to job applicants. While an upskilling strategy is an expense for any business, they offer a good return on investment. This is because ongoing workforce training is often far cheaper than a high turnover of staff and paying out to fill skill gaps with new workers. The main benefits of upskilling are;

  • Productivity: As you and your team improve your skills and better understand the technologies you are working with, your productivity levels will increase. Those who do not fully understand the technology they are working with will not excel in their position.
  • Engagement: Upskilling can help to satisfy the demands of your team. Most workers want some form of professional development and training opportunities from their role. If a company doesn’t provide this, they are likely to be less engaged and seek opportunities that do focus on upskilling.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Whatever industry you operate within, your customers will want to work with a team that is efficient, creative and innovative. Those who embrace upskilling are able to use their new skills to better solve customer problems and leave customers satisfied with their service.
  • Competitive Edge: Upskilling is essential for keeping up with the industry around you. When you and your team learn new skills on a regular basis, you will be able to remain competitive. Upskilling is a very effective way of ensuring that you stand out from the crowds.

How To Create Your Upskilling Strategy

The first step in developing an upskilling strategy is to identify the skill gaps within your organisation or workforce. This will help you to focus your upskilling efforts in the right place and align the needs of your team. You should then consider both the long term and short term effects of upskilling.

Focusing your time and effort on learning the latest technology on the market might be great in the short term, but in the long term, it might be ineffective. As well as upskilling in new technologies, you should aim to improve core skills in order to increase the long-term value.

Online training courses and webinars are great resources for upskilling, and they cover a vast range of topics and subjects. Here at TSG Training, we offer a broad range of classroom-based and e-learning courses which can be used as part of your upskilling strategy.

For those looking to enhance their business analysis skills, we recommend our Business Analysis Foundation E-Learning course.

Anyone looking to upskill by learning about Agile methodologies and processes, our Agile PM Foundation E-Learning course is a popular option. This training course is perfect for those who work in a project-focused environment but want to develop a more agile approach.

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is another area that many teams want to better understand. It is a technology that is becoming increasingly popular in all industries, and those who fail to keep up with it are at risk of being left behind. For more information about AI, join our free webinar.

Whether for personal development or business development, there has never been a better time to learn something new or enhance your existing skills. Get started today with one of our online courses, browse the range here.