How to Upskill Your Team for the Future

Upskilling is a ‘buzzword’ that’s been gaining popularity during the Corona shut-down.  Hunkering down and taking online courses has been a great way to use this time wisely, and a productive ‘coping’ mechanism to feel better about a situation during which none of us has direct control.


Upskilling is defined as the process of learning new skills & teaching them to an existing workforce whose existing job has been impacted by changing technologies.

Re-skilling is defined as the process of teaching an employee new skills to perform a different job within the organization with more specific and different skill-sets.

Organizations with ongoing hiring activities know that there’s been a growing gap in matching our available workforce to our existing ‘blue-collar’ and entry-level ‘white-collar’ job demands.   There are many reasons for the imbalance however, the question is …… what is the best ‘workaround’ as you embark on building your teams for the future?

Staying one step ahead of your Competitors with knowledgeable, ‘game-on’ engaged Employees who ‘get it’ and deliver a service level that belies your corporate vision – is the reason we show up every day! Today’s effective Managers can narrow their Employee skills ‘gaps’ by applying a prudent strategy of: ‘control what you can control and don’t try to control what you can’t control’, invest in what you have and make it better.

 Consider these 3 simple steps to get started on your organization’s learning and development plan:

1. Promote and stand behind a company culture that inspires and rewards learning and development, fostering an enthusiasm of ‘stretching’ for continuous personal and professional growth!

2. Challenge Managers and their teams to collaboratively set goals and establish an upskilling process:

  • Assess current job duties & identify knowledge gaps
  • Research & commit to viable online training courses (soft skills are a great starting point offering ways to help Employees with skills such as time management, customer service, critical thinking)
  • Set out & secure Employee ‘buy-in’ of a training schedule for daily or weekly participation
  • Encourage Employees to develop their own development training plan, moving forward
  • Create an Employee & Manager feedback mechanism reporting back on the resulting benefit or action needed to obtain the desired training

3. Reward Employees for their efforts and demonstrated improvements & engagement in the process offering ‘Diploma’ recognition in a team meeting or a Team special event to celebrate success

Why implement an UPSKILL plan?

Employee morale and corporate culture benefits immeasurably, leading to an empowered team that love coming to do their job every day knowing they’re a valued and respected member of the team. Most Employees genuinely want to stay long term with their Employer, having the stability and certainty of future promotion leading to career growth and ultimately their peace of mind.

In summary, the benefits of upskilling present a compelling case for a management Team’s decision:

  • Increased Employee Satisfaction & Retention – with ongoing training, tenured employees have much higher productivity and empowerment to meet mission-critical objectives
  • Reduced termination costs and counter-productive, time-consuming performance reviews (PIP)
  • Reduced absenteeism and benefits driving up company coverage costs
  • Increased productivity is measurable within 90 days of implementation 
  • The cost of Employee turnover to an organization is equivalent to 1 year of their salary; recruitment costs, onboarding and replacement training along with team disruption lost productivity and higher overall turnover causing reduced morale 

In the ‘future of work’ and our post-COVID 19 world, we should value our remaining Employee skill-sets, talent and safeguard the most important asset in our business: our Human Capital investments!