What is Upskilling

Upskilling has become increasingly vital in today’s fast-paced and rapidly evolving professional landscape. It refers to the process of enhancing one’s existing skill set through ongoing education and training to keep pace with the changing demands of the job market and technological advancements. In the current business climate, upskilling your team for improved efficiency and performance is not just a personal choice but a strategic requirement.

Organizations that prioritize employee development and upskilling recognize the significance of this process in driving efficiency, performance, and competitiveness. By investing in the education and training of their employees, businesses can ensure that their teams are equipped with the latest skills and knowledge necessary to meet the evolving demands of the market.

Recent research highlights that the half-life of both professional and technical skills has significantly shortened, with the latter having a half-life of only 2.5 years. This means that skills and knowledge once considered cutting-edge are becoming obsolete at an unprecedented pace, making it imperative for businesses to adopt upskilling and reskilling programs.

Why you should consider upskilling your team

Upskilling refers to the development of both soft and technical skills in employees. Soft skills, such as communication, critical thinking, and leadership, can enhance team collaboration and emotional intelligence. Technical skills, including digital, data analysis, coding, and writing skills, are critical for companies to remain competitive with rapidly advancing technology. 

Upskilling your employees has numerous benefits both for the employees themselves and the overall success of your business. For individuals, upskilling provides an opportunity to advance their careers within their current organizations.

For example, software developers may develop their communicative abilities to enhance their networking and collaboration skills, thereby gaining a competitive edge in the job market. Similarly, content creators may opt to upskill in analytics, providing them with valuable insights into their target audience and elevating the impact of their work.

The Importance of upskilling your employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the need for upskilling and reskilling, with over 43% of companies adopting programs to do so. The importance of upskilling your employees in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape cannot be overstated. With the introduction of new technologies like AI and automation, it has become crucial for employers to invest in their employees’ professional growth and development. Here are some of the key benefits of upskilling your employees:

Helps in retaining employees

Upskilling is vital in retaining employees and improving a company’s overall performance. Providing employees with opportunities to develop new skills, expand their knowledge and advance their careers within the company can increase their satisfaction and motivation, leading to reduced turnover and a more engaged and productive workforce. As demonstrated by a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, companies that invest in employee development and training are more successful in retaining employees.

Cheaper than new hiring

In terms of cost, upskilling existing employees can be more cost-effective than external hiring. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that the cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to over 200% of the employee’s annual salary, depending on the position level and the industry. By contrast, upskilling eliminates the need to incur the costs associated with external hiring.

Helps in filling skills gaps

Upskilling can also help fill skills gaps, ensuring employees have the necessary skills to perform their jobs effectively and prepare for future roles and responsibilities. A report by McKinsey & Company found that upskilling can close skills gaps by providing employees with the skills they need to adapt to new technologies and work processes. This improves the overall productivity of the team. As demonstrated by a study conducted by Accenture, upskilling can increase productivity by up to 40%.

Makes the recruitment process easier

Upskilling can make the recruitment process easier. By investing in employees’ professional development, companies can address skills gaps, attract a more diverse range of employees, and reduce the time and resources required to fill job vacancies. A report by PwC found that upskilling can help companies build a more diverse and agile workforce, with up to 70% of surveyed companies reporting improved diversity due to upskilling initiatives.

How can you upskill

As a business owner, if you have often pondered how you can upskill your employees, there are some essential things to consider. To maximize the impact of your upskilling initiatives, it is crucial to have a robust program in place.

This may involve partnering with training organizations, offering financial incentives for employees who complete upskilling courses, or providing dedicated time for employees to focus on developing their skills.

According to a report by Deloitte, companies that invest in comprehensive upskilling programs see a 12% average increase in productivity and a 37% increase in employee satisfaction.

If you are interested in upskilling your employees for improved efficiency and performance, here is a step-by-step guide:

1. Assess your existing skills:

This is the first step in the upskilling process and involves evaluating your employees’ current skills and knowledge. This can be done through surveys, performance assessments, and skills assessments. This information will help you identify areas of strength and areas where improvement is needed.

2. Identify skills gaps:

Once you have assessed your employees’ existing skills, you can identify the skills and knowledge gaps. This information will help you prioritize your upskilling efforts and ensure that you focus on the areas that will have the most significant impact.

3. Determine your goals:

Before you begin upskilling, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve. This could be anything from improving the efficiency of your workforce to preparing employees for future roles and responsibilities. Setting specific goals will help you measure your upskilling efforts’ success.

4. Upskill and repeat:

The final step is to provide your employees with the training and development they need to fill the identified skills gaps. This can be done through various methods, such as online courses, on-the-job training, or attending workshops and conferences. It’s important to continuously assess and reassess your employees’ skills to identify any new skills gaps and to continue the upskilling process on an ongoing basis.

How we do it

At Genetech, we are dedicated to providing our employees with opportunities for continuous professional growth and development. Our commitment to upskilling employees for improved efficiency is demonstrated through several initiatives, including the following:

1. Onboarding Programs:

  • New employees are encouraged to engage in training and upskilling opportunities.
  • Access to online platforms for certified course completion.
  • Ensures employees are well-equipped with the latest knowledge and techniques.

2. Monthly Tech Talks:

  • Hosted for all employees to stay informed of the latest tech advancements.
  • Opportunities to hear from experts and learn about the latest developments.
  • It helps employees remain competitive in their respective roles.

3. Consulnet Training:

  • Regular training programs are offered through the subsidiary incubator Consulnet Corporation.
  • Opportunity to build existing skills and knowledge.
  • Improves employee performance and contributes to company success.

4. Soft Skills Training:

  • SKILLS (Seek Knowledge, Inculcate Leadership, Live Successfully) Training program for IT professionals.
  • Conducted by the School of Leadership (SOL) and is a three-month extended classroom structured experience-based program.
  • Designed to help employees develop soft skills, such as self-awareness, time management, and communication skills.
  • By investing in our employees’ growth, Genetech aims to build a more confident and capable workforce.

These programs aim to support our employees in realizing their professional aspirations while contributing to the organization’s overall success. We invite you to review our successful case studies to learn more about our impact.

Wrapping up

Empowerment, engagement, and careful planning are vital to upskilling. Listening to the needs and aspirations of employees, and taking action to support their professional growth, will position your organization for long-term success.

As the hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said, “Skate to where the puck is going to be”, it’s important to anticipate where the workforce is heading and equip your employees with the tools they need to succeed.

If you are interested in knowing more about us and our work, please feel free to contact us here.

Jannat is a Content and Marketing specialist with a strong interest in copywriting, data analysis, and lead generation. Currently, she is exploring Sales in IT to broaden her skill set and explore new opportunities for professional growth. With an interdisciplinary academic background, Jannat holds majors in history and literature alongside minor studies in computer science and programming. She loves challenges and welcomes opportunities to learn new things. Throughout her academic and professional journey, she has consistently demonstrated diligence and a commitment to excellence, earning her notable awards and recognitions. When she is not working, she can be found reading Robin Sharma, watching documentaries about the medieval era, healthy dieting (as best as she can), painting, and laughing at her own jokes.