In the era of digitization and rapid development of new technologies, the way people work is evolving and forcing them to acquire new competencies and skills. Employers, in order to keep a competitive advantage in the market, are forced to flexibly manage their staff when it comes to their continuous training and development. Tools supporting this process are popular forms of retraining, improving the competence and transferring skills such as reskilling, upskilling and cross-skilling.
The benefits of reskilling, upskilling and cross-skilling – table of contents:
Reskilling happens when an employee is to take on a new position or change the nature of work. It is the process of acquiring new competencies and practical skills, different from those already possessed, in order to take on a new professional role and change the sector of operation. It is a response to dynamic changes in the labor market and changing environment.
Reskilling is an element of reboarding within an organization which is to ensure acquiring such skills that will enable the performance of new tasks.The effectiveness of reskilling is determined by the way the process is implemented, which should be developed in a thoughtful way. The most effective forms of teaching in this case are:
- Online training courses – courses, workshops, seminars available at any time and place, the content of which is organized into modules. They can contain videos, images, texts and hyperlinks. You can share them via a link or email invitation.
- Coaching sessions – one-to-one meetings during which current problems and potential difficulties are discussed, diagnosis of the environment, analysis of possible situations and scenarios is made and, above all, learning needs and goals are identified.
- Tests – they check the level of acquired knowledge.
- Practical training courses – they concentrate on the individual needs of employees, and aim at acquiring new practical skills.
- Tutorials – they convey knowledge “step by step” in an accessible way and teach through examples.
- Microsoft Whiteboard – a digital platform where you can post ideas, notes, solutions in any form. This allows you to collaborate with your team and brainstorm ideas.
Upskilling is the process of upgrading or developing your existing qualifications and skills within your current role or vertical promotion, in order to adapt to new requirements and the situation on the labor market. It is the response to the development of new technologies. The most popular tools used in upskilling are:
- 360-degree feedback – a process in which employees get feedback from their coworkers, clients and business partners.
- In-house learning – short training sessions conducted in the organization. Employees share their knowledge using the cloud, where they put their notes and practical solutions. This kind of knowledge base is available to all employees of the company.
- Digital online library – a digital educational resource available online to all employees that works in a cloud.
- E-learning and digital learning – short online lessons focused on one topic.
Cross-skilling (also referred to as cross-training) is similar to reskilling as it is about acquiring new skills. However, in this case, the new competencies are used for job enrichment, not for retraining for a new position. For example, a green architect learns new ordering software that will enable efficient and comprehensive customer service.
It is important that the employees participating in this process not only get expertise, but also be able to see the results of their work and draw conclusions for the future. Acquiring new competencies makes it possible to implement job rotation programs, i.e. moving employees between jobs in an organization.
Benefits of reskilling, upskilling and cross-skilling
Benefits for the organization:
- reducing recruitment and turnover costs
- enhancing employee loyalty
- increasing commitment to work and support creativity
- using and working with modern tools
- higher efficiency of work
Benefits for employees
- clear career path and work security
- increased knowledge and skills
- varied tasks reduce the monotony of work
- building strong work relationships, better working atmosphere
- reducing the risk of job loss
With increasing globalization, the evolution of industries, markets and business practices, the competencies and knowledge of employees continue to be the basis of innovation for companies and are the starting point for a strengthened and stable position in the market.
This is why skills upgrading is so important and should be part of the development of any organization. By valuing employees, offering them the opportunity to train themselves, get promoted or change positions within the organization, companies gain loyal employees and thus reduce the cost of hiring and acquiring new talents.
Read also: 2 talent management models.