One of the most valuable employee benefits, according to employees themselves, are career development opportunities. A 2016 Gallup poll found the number one factor, for millennials, when applying for a job, was opportunities to learn and grow.
Per this survey, 87 percent of Millennials prioritized professional or career growth and development opportunities in a job. But it’s not just Millennials who desire these growth opportunities. According to the same report, 69 percent of non-millennials said the same thing. Similarly, it’s not only employees who deem career development as essential.
In a recent McKinsey Global Institute survey of over 300 global executives, a majority said they’ll need to retrain or replace more than a quarter of their workforce by 2023. Similarly, per a 2019 PWC study, 79 percent of CEOs regularly worry about their workforce’s existing skills.
Evidently, career development opportunities are valuable to both employers and employees. So, in this article, we will define upskilling and reskilling. Then we’ll tell you how these programs can benefit not just your individual employees, but your organization as a whole.
What are Upskilling and Reskilling?
Upskilling is the act of developing additional skills to help an individual become even more valuable in their current role. Basically, upskilling is the process of teaching current employees’ new skills. Reskilling, on the other hand, is the act of developing significantly different skills to help employees fit into a new role. So, the most significant difference between upskilling and reskilling is whether the new skills you’re learning are applicable to your current job or a future one.
What Benefits Can Upskilling Bring for Employers?
There is a multitude of benefits an upskilling program can provide employers. Read about these benefits below.
1. Employee Retention
One of the first benefits of upskilling for employers is employee retention. As previously mentioned, your employees desire career development opportunities. So, when you invest in these opportunities, you meet the wants of your employees, which goes a long way towards keeping these employees around. According to a 2019 report from LinkedIn, 94 percent of employees said they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in helping them learn.
2. Talent Attraction
Another benefit of upskilling, for employers, is improved talent attraction or recruiting. Career development opportunities are especially vital for younger employees. As previously stated, per Gallup, 87 percent of millennials prioritized professional/career growth and development opportunities in a job. But these opportunities are still essential for older generations. Per the same poll, 69 percent of non-millennials prioritized career development opportunities.
3. Helps Organization Stay Competitive
In 2017, only 27 percent of those polled by LinkedIn said their talent development budgets were increasing. But, in 2019, this figure was close to 43 percent. So, if you want to keep up with other businesses and remain competitive in the job market, you must invest in career development opportunities for your staff.
4. Reduce Employee Turnover
Upskilling your staff is essential to reducing employee turnover. According to a 2018 report by Global Talent Monitor, 40 percent of departing employees cited a lack of future career development as a dissatisfying factor in their job. So, if you want to keep employees satisfied with their job, and your company, make sure you invest in their career development opportunities.
5. Less Need to Recruit Outside
If you invest in an upskilling program, it should help both retain talented employees and improve the quality of their skills. The more you boost the skills of your staff, the more likely they are to stay. Similarly, when you have skilled employees stick around longer, it improves the chances to promote these individuals internally. This internal promotion reduces the need to spend time and money recruiting outside candidates to fill specific roles.
6. Adjusts for Rapidly Shifting Job Roles
The McKinsey Global Institute has predicted that, by 2030, approximately 14 percent of the workforce will have to change careers because of automation and artificial intelligence. In the same McKinsey report, a survey of global executives found a majority said they’ll need to retrain or replace more than a quarter of their workforce by 2023.
Upskilling can help your employees adjust to these rapid changes in the work environment. If you proactively train your staff, you can help these individuals account for future changes in the workforce.
7. Improves Bottom Line
The final and arguably most vital benefit of providing employee upskilling is a boost to the bottom line. Increasing individual productivity and, subsequently, organizational productivity is possible through building a dedicated learning culture.
According to Deloitte, high performing learning organizations are 92 percent more likely to innovate and 46 percent more likely to be the first to market. Similarly, per Deloitte, companies who prioritize learning experience 37 percent higher productivity. So, build a culture of continuous learning to improve productivity.
Career development opportunities work to improve the skills and abilities of your workforce, on an individual basis. But now, you should know all the benefits upskilling can deliver to your organization as a whole. Your business can use an upskilling program to simultaneously boost the performance of both your individual employees and your entire organization.