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Member Benefit

Successfully Upskilling Employees

Published Mon Oct 16 2023


The increasing skills gap in the workforce has made upskilling programs even more important. According to Wiley’s Closing the Skills Gap report, 69 percent of HR professionals surveyed stated that their organizations have a skills gap, up from 55 percent in 2021. This skills gap is driven by shifts in work dynamics, including remote work and the use of AI. Effective upskilling programs can have several benefits, including increased employee productivity, improved engagement and retention, enhanced organizational agility, and a better employer image that attracts top talent. There are a few steps to take to build an effective upskilling program. Start by identifying and mapping skill gaps. Organizations should consult with stakeholders to define the program’s purpose, goals, and scope; conduct a skills inventory; and prioritize needed skills through gap analysis. Listen to employees during this process. Companies should adopt a listening mindset to understand what skills employees want to learn, as employees are more likely to embrace change when it aligns with their interests. Make sure you include soft skills, too. While technical skills are valuable, soft skills are transferable and contribute to personal and professional growth. It can also be helpful to involve management. Managers play a crucial role in identifying skills gaps and personalizing programs to individuals, enhancing employee loyalty. Ensure accessibility and flexibility when designing your curriculum. Training modules should allow employees to learn at their own pace, and organizations can leverage existing online and third-party training resources. Finally, measure and evaluate. Organizations should assess the impact of upskilling programs by gathering employee feedback and evaluating the correlation between new skills and company growth.

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