Business globalization has grown rapidly after the impacted of the internet and digital communication suddenly became the preferred way to conduct business, send files, and keep office matters and trades up to date. This was enhanced when the first smartphones showed up and gave us the chance to have everything we had on a desktop or laptop computer fit within our pocket.
This has been an overwhelming trend over the years, technology has become a necessity instead of just a commodity. And taking your work with you is now the "new normal".
That being said, we can add a pandemic on top of all of that and observe a pretty familiar scenario which we explain more below.
Since 2000, at least 260,000 jobs have been lost due to US automation.
This represents roughly 2% of the country’s total manufacturing workforce, and the numbers increase exponentially yearly. Some experts estimate that automation is predicted to displace 20 million manufacturing jobs by 2030(1).
This reality shows that employees are aware that their current occupations can, and more than likely, be replaced by a machine that doesn’t get sick, nor need to rest, eat or procrastinate, which means output will eventually be even more productive.
To take this one step further, let’s say that after the pandemic hit, a lot of people realized that their jobs could be done remotely and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 32% of Americans lost their job, or had to learn how to do it remotely during the period 2020-2021(2).
Why ReSkilling and UpSkilling are so important today?
Truth be said, most companies can’t afford to hire new qualified prospects or even retain their existing talent, especially now during the salary adjustment due to inflation and market shortage. So, with all this in mind, wouldn’t it make sense to support employees to take Personal Development Programs in order to upskill their profiles and help train talent for open vacancies?
It’s possible to see this now as some industry giants have started their own proprietary upskilling programs even before the pandemic. Amazon, for instance, invested $700 million into reskilling and upskilling programs, and Mastercard has been running its own retraining program since 2016 to gain a competitive advantage over startups(3).
What is the Difference?
While both upskilling and reskilling are about learning new skills, the context for each is a bit different. Upskilling is focused on driving employees to become more knowledgeable and develop new competencies that relate to their current position, while reskilling is about equipping them to switch lanes and move into new roles within the organization(4).
How to start?
Upskilling is not just a way to keep the company afloat during these uncertain times. In the long run, upskilling and reskilling programs can improve employee engagement and retention, attract new talent, increase collaboration between departments, and speed up the adoption of new trends within the company.
With all these benefits in line, here are three simple steps to start:
- Identifying relevant skills gaps. It could be for blank spots on services that you should be offering or that clients ask for. An internal survey amongst your employees could help with this.
- Finding an appropriate time for employee training. It would help if you took some time off their current shifts to bring them to the Upskilling/Reskilling program. Remember that this is a win-win process and it shouldn’t be done after their shift ends, and it will be an additional perk.
- Budgeting enough money for learning and development programs. After setting up the areas for career path development, search for different platforms or programs, compare benefits and decide which one should be better to work on(5).
- Are robots, machines, and AI coming for your job?
- The effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the labor market
- Why Employee Upskilling And Reskilling Is So Important Right Now
- Upskilling, Reskilling, and Preparing for the Future
- 4 Successful Examples of Reskilling and Upskilling Programs
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