Upskilling employees has direct business and cultural impacts
According to PwC, 79 percent of CEOs state that a lack of key skills is threatening the potential growth of their organizations. The same study also showed that 46 percent of CEOs around the world say that upskilling is the most important method of closing the skills gaps. Let’s take a closer look at the business and cultural impacts of upskilling.
Business impacts of upskilling
In most cases, employers decide to upskill or retrain their employees purely to remain competitive in their industries. But there are also several other impacts:
- Maintaining a competent workforce. As technological advancement marches on, workers need to keep advancing their skills so they can work more effectively with new technologies, processes and procedures.
- Driving innovation. Innovation is critical to establishing and maintaining a competitive edge. Companies with workforces whose skills are up to date stand a better chance of being at the forefront of developing new products and services—and winning market share in that sector.
- Increasing retention. Business News Daily reports that giving employees the chance to expand their skill sets plays an important role in retention. Both Millennials and Gen X workers are more likely to leave a company within two years if they don’t have the ability to advance.
- Improving talent attraction. When your organization becomes known for upskilling its people, it’s more likely to become the employer of choice for top talent.
- Succession planning. Forbes points out that every company needs to prepare successors for key employees. That way, if an important employee leaves, their role can immediately be filled by a qualified replacement.
Cultural impacts of upskilling
The cultural impacts of upskilling might be less obvious, but they exist nonetheless. Workplaces where employees have the opportunity to grow are more likely to be creative and innovative. When workers possess more skills—whether technical or soft skills—they’re in a better position to put those skills to work to solve problems. And by knowing how to leverage technology to communicate, they can share their findings with others—which in turn builds community and promotes a culture of sharing.
For example, PwC recently invested $3 billion to upskill its entire global network, as well as develop and share technologies to support its clients. It has resulted in a people-led approach where employees are empowered to focus their efforts where they believe they’re most needed and develop innovative solutions that can benefit their teams, their employer and their clients. Because the company trusts its people to work independently, the organizational culture is one of empowerment and mutual trust.
Upskilling benefits both employees and employer
By determining which skills your company needs and offering your employees opportunities to not only acquire those skills but also to utilize them, you can help them and your business advance. At the same time, when employees are encouraged to be innovative and feel valued for their efforts, it sets the tone for an organizational culture that thrives on innovation, advancement and mutual respect.
At Kelly, we believe everyone should reach their full potential in work and in life. If you like this article and want related content on retaining, managing, recruiting, and hiring employees, visit our business resource centre.