What is ‘upskilling’ and why should my company do it?

"Upskilling": It's a big workplace trend in 2018 and reflects the focus on continuous learning that many companies have had in the last several years. 

Upskilling is when organizations invest in training programs that help employees develop new abilities and minimize troublesome skills gaps. 

Here are three reasons why your company should practice upskilling:

1. Minimize recruitment costs 

Training a new employee is costly; a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that the average cost-per-hire is $4,129. It's often far less expensive to train existing employees in certain skills rather than hire new workers who already possess these abilities. In addition, training current employees eliminates the time it takes to onboard people at your company. 

2. Maintain market competitiveness 

Upskilling helps a company agilely respond to changes in its market. According to research by the Brookings Institute, digitization has caused many companies in industries previously somewhat removed from technology to require their employees to develop digital skills. Tech adoption is on the rise, with a significant increase in digital upskilling in mid- and lower-skill job roles. Whether in technology or another area, training employees in new skills is an effective way for companies to pivot their offerings and remain competitive. 

3. Improve employee engagement 

Many employees, especially younger workers, want their companies to provide training opportunities. Gallup research found that 87 percent of millennials believe that professional development is important in a job. In addition, the National Skills Coalition "Foundational Skills in the Service Sector" report found that workers who are interested in minimizing their skills gaps often face barriers to doing so, with the most popular being "too busy at work" and "education or training was too expensive." Employers that step in and provide these programs are not only improving their bottom line but also showing that they're listening to their employees' desire for development opportunities, which can increase engagement. 

Using webinars to enhance upskilling 

You know the reasons for upskilling – now it's time to implement a program at your organization. Webinars are a highly effective platform for corporate upskilling initiatives because they reach many employees at once, even those located across offices or who are remote. They can be conducted live, giving employees the opportunity to ask questions, and then archived in a company's learning and development library. An engaging and interactive format make webinars perfect for creating upskilling programs that employees look forward to. 

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Justin McHeffey

Justin McHeffey

Justin is the product marketing manager for ReadyTalk’s Webinar and Webcast lines of business. He loves enabling marketing professionals with strategies to raise brand awareness and generate leads through cloud-based presentations. When he’s not talking vertical use cases, you’ll find him fly fishing, camping, skiing, or getting pulled into a wikihole about planets and stars.

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