The pandemic was a hard-hitting time. Even top professionals of various industries strived to cope up with the challenging remote working scenario. Be it installing software or struggling with online meeting, we all had to learn it the hard way. While that’s just one of the challenges we faced, covid also re-enforced the need of continuous learning in every job sector.
We were introduced to upskilling with a drumroll and its definitely here to stay. But what exactly is it? And is it really necessary?
Understanding Upskilling and Reskilling: Why Now?
Upskilling and reskilling have learning and skilling in common. But, the purpose of learning differs. To gauge the immediate difference, learn the overall difference between the two:
|Upskilling is the process of acquiring new and relevant competencies needed today and in the near future.
Common examples of upskilling include digital skills or analytics skills.
|Reskilling refers to the process of learning new skills needed to do an entirely different job.
Common examples of reskilling would be design learning for a writer, data entry for a medico etc.
But, is it really necessary? Truth be told – YES! Upskilling is an important factor to stay on top of your professional game. According to a study by Wheebox only 42% of graduates are job-ready.
This means that more than half of the graduate population lack skills required to excel in a field. Thus, giving upskilling precedence in not just acquiring a job but, also retaining it.
A study published in India Today shared interesting insights stating 79% of professionals are open to upskilling in 2022. Plus, 52% of professionals with 8+ years of experience too intended to upskill this year.
This is mainly because methods, processes and ways of working have evolved. New technology has changed or upgraded the rustic manner of work. Better systems and software’s have redefined work. To learn recent developments and update ourselves in our respective field – Upskilling!
How does Upskilling Help?
Upskilling yourself in your field will help you stay on top of your professional game. As professionals, your current skills and learnings won’t be enough in the long run. By polishing your skills, you will take a step forward in your own expertise. By upskilling you can:
- Get exposure to the trends of the industry
- Hone your profession and become a pro in your field
- Get a better understanding of the process and learn hacks to ease your work.
- Upskilling boosts your confidence at work and helps up stay focused and confident.
- Reduces dependency on others who might be well-versed in the field.
- You are eligible for a raise with upskilled knowledge.
- Upskilling strengthens your profile.
These are some of the benefits employees enjoy by upskilling. But, what in it for companies?
Upskilled Professionals are a Formula to Build a Strong Workforce
Several companies have witnessed an increase in truth factor from the employees when the companies invest and acknowledge upskilling. Employees feel valued and tend to become a reliable resource in the long run. But, apart from this, upskilled professionals are a formula to building a strong workforce.
Consider this, you are a manager and there is a two-year long project that the company plans to pass your way. For the project, you are expected to allocate resources. However, one of them requires one of the resources requires you to be micromanaging and guiding all the time. This is when, it is wiser to bring a driven person and upskill them for the duration to make sure he/she would be capable of handling things in your absence.
In this scenario, by upskilling that one resource, if the plan pans out to be successful, you would have aced up a project. Along with this, you facilitated upskilling one professional and you now have one eligible and capable member of a strong workforce.
But, then here’s a twist – HR professionals do pose a dilemma when it comes to upskilling senior members as they feel there is a limitation in promotion in the long run. So, what’s the future like?
The Future of Upskilling: How Long Would the Upskilling Culture last?
Due to the limitation of roles or budget reservations, at times, even upskilling might not hit the right spot. So, if you are a professional or an entrepreneur, it is important to understand that upskilling isn’t limited to developing skills.
By including an upskilling plan, your employees will believe that you are invested in growing together. Providing L&D opportunity reassures the candidate about working in a company. It fuels a drive among employees to give back to the company, as the company invested in him/her too. So, if you are wondering if Upskilling is a way of life in today’s day. You are absolutely right!
But, what to do when you can’t promote top professionals even after they upskill?
To maintain professional relationships and mutual trust, if you are required to offer courses to professionals who know-it-all, think about soft – skill training or professional hacks that would be useful for the employee to get better at the job.
For example: provide courses of Time Management, Ways to be a better mentor/leader etc.
Every job sector looks out for professionals with overall knowledge. But, the icing on the cake is if a professional showcases upskilled knowledge on the same subject matter.
In other words, imagine a Marketing agency who is looking for a Marketing Manager. The job role requires a manager with an impeccable nose for Marketing. But, wouldn’t it be even better if the applicant is a Marketing Manager but also has interest in digital marketing. This means that the professional seeks qualities that are not limited to his/her work. Hence, qualifying for an interview with an added benefit.
The above factors clearly display that upskilling is the need of the hour and hiring skilled professionals open to learning bring a strong workforce together in action.