With a competitive job market that doesn’t seem to let up, recruiting has taken a serious hit and it may seem like traditional methods to bring people into your organization just simply aren’t working anymore. Many organizations are looking to the employees who are currently on their payroll and finding ways to actively develop those individual’s skills in order to fill open roles from within. Does upskilling work? And how can your organization take advantage of this to fill gaps in your organization? 

What is upskilling?

On the most basic level, upskilling is simply when individuals learn new skills. This could be as simple as a people learning a new computer program or taking a professional development course. Upskilling may involve formalized training to help individuals remain competitive or it could help individuals explore new opportunities for advancement along their career path.  

Upskilling on a much larger level—such as when an individual learns completely new skills and competencies required for a new career is referred to as reskilling. 

Why is upskilling important? 

According to Gallup, the cost of replacing an individual employee can be as much as one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary—and most organizations simply can’t afford to lose their most reliable and effective workers. And that same survey revealed that more than half of exiting employees said that their organization could have done something to retain them before they decided to leace their job.  

So instead of looking outside your organization to fill open roles, upskilling may help you provide new challenges to people who you already know and trust. Furthermore, training a current employee can be much less expensive than locating, hiring, and training a new employee. 

How can my organization focus on upskilling?

Although upskilling entails determining which individuals may be adaptable to learning new skills and training them on those skills, it also involves a cultural shift in your organization. Organizations will need to adopt a lifelong learning mindset and a willingness to accept new ways of doing things. It requires employees to be open to learning new skills—perhaps enrolling in training courses, seminars, or classes. 

Is upskilling effective? 

Many major companies have focused upskilling their workforce, including McDonald’s, Marriott, and Verizon. Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S., is investing nearly $1 billion in the next five years to provide higher education and skills training to its employees, giving them the opportunity to advance their education without educational debt. 

Do you need help filling open roles at your organization? InVista can help! 

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