We are witnessing a significant technological change, where digitalization creates a demand for new skills and rapidly makes others obsolete. Looking ahead to 2025, the World Economic Forum estimates that 50% of employees will need upskilling & reskilling.
Continuous training will be the key to preparing your employees to face future challenges. This article will tell you everything about these strategies, their differences, and a success story. Keep reading and learn to prepare your team for the future!
What is reskilling & upskilling?
As we approach these changes, it is becoming increasingly necessary for companies to ensure that they equip their employees with the skills they need for success. To this end, there are two talent management strategies known as reskilling and upskilling.
- Reskilling: This strategy aims to train employees in the skills and competencies they will need to broaden their expertise to adapt their professional profile to a new position within the company. Reskilling is also known as retraining.
- Upskilling: This refers to empowering employees with new skills and competencies to optimize their performance within the company.
Reskilling & upskilling the workforce provides numerous benefits at all levels of the organization, from the highest professional levels to the bottom of the organizational pyramid:
- Improves employee loyalty
- Helps retain talent
- Reduces costs spent on training plans for new employees
- Fosters understanding of the corporate culture
- Promotes adaptability to change
Reskilling & upskilling: Differences
The main difference between these two strategies lies in the purpose of the training, in which reskilling opens up opportunities to change jobs and job functions or even to pursue new career paths. On the other hand, upskilling adds value to the employee’s job profile within the company in this constantly changing and evolving environment.
So we could say that upskilling results in more specialized workers and reskilling leads to more versatile or multi-skilled workers.
Another significant difference lies in the choice of skills. In an interview for BBVA, Elisabet Bierge, partner and business director of Adqualis Executive Search, stated that reskilling prepares or retrains the professional to take on a task for which they already possess soft skills but not hard skills or technical competencies.
Therefore, reskilling focuses on the professional learning of technical skills to use in their new role. In contrast, upskilling strengthens soft skills so that the employee can take on more responsibility and also improve or add new perspectives to the work they are already doing.
Why is upskilling important?
Prioritizing upskilling is vital if we want to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Through this strategy, we can respond to the need for leadership tools and ensure the longevity of specific careers.
In a McKinsey survey, 53% of leaders indicated that skills development was the best way to close skills gaps. Moreover, upskilling fosters a culture of learning in companies and helps them stand out from the competition by transforming their workforce into agile, diverse, creative professionals who constantly hone and acquire new skills.
Upskilling: 10 skills you need to develop for the jobs of tomorrow
The Future of Jobs Report 2020, published by the World Economic Forum, highlights the skills and skill groups most in demand by 2025. They place particular emphasis on self-management skills such as learning, resilience, and tolerance to stress, among others, deeming them necessary for the jobs of tomorrow.
#1 Analytical thinking and capacity for innovation
It is not surprising that this is the first skill on the list, especially after going through a recent pandemic and the changes in the labor sector that came with it. By analytical thinking and innovation, we mean knowing how to understand the context around us. It involves learning to break down problems and improve ways of thinking that enable problem-solving and decision-making.
#2 Active learning and learning strategies
Active learning focuses on the learner’s participation in learning to develop skills such as analysis, synthesis of information, and problem-solving. This skill is valuable in a company as it improves work dynamics and productivity.
#3 Ability to solve complex problems
According to the survey Soft skills 4 talent conducted by Manpower Group, problem-solving is the most valued skill for 69% of HR managers.
Employees with this skill are valuable to any company because they are quick to act when faced with any situation. This capacity allows them to identify the problem, search for all possible solutions and assess the positive and negative consequences to choose the solution that best suits the company. They always focus on resolving the problem rather than on the problem itself.
#4 Critical thinking and analysis
Critical thinking enables you to make judgments or give opinions based on analyzing different evidence, points of view, and sources of information. A professional with essential thinking skills grow to be a good leader or a trustworthy person because they identify potential problems, analyze different scenarios, and recommend actions that keep the focus on achieving goals.
#5 Creativity, originality, and initiative
An employee with initiative and creativity does not simply follow instructions but creates opportunities. Companies are increasingly looking for professionals with creative skills, originality, and ambition who can adapt quickly to a changing environment and help them understand their customers’ needs. This talent relates to critical thinking.
#6 Leadership and social influence
Although one person can influence another without holding a leadership position, a leader cannot manage or lead a team without the ability to influence others. Influential leadership is essential for working with people’s ideas and helping align them with the company’s strategies. A professional with these skills can get their team to adopt business values, mission, and culture.
#7 Use of technology
Technical skills are just as necessary as soft skills; among these, technology is vital today. Companies are constantly seeking candidates prepared to tackle technology’s new challenges. In this sense, the future of employment requires professionals with the ability to handle such challenges.
#8 Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is one of the communication skills that a good leader should master to build high-performance teams and work environments. The world of today requires professionals who, in addition to possessing technical knowledge, must have empathy and adaptability and be able to understand their team.
This skill includes self-control, a goal-oriented emotional approach, assertive communication, and active listening. And it is not surprising that this is a skill in high demand by most companies. According to a Capgemini study, organizations that have employees with high emotional intelligence skills achieve 20% higher profits.
#9 Resilience, tolerance to stress, and flexibility
Another skill set has been deemed a necessity in business following the pandemic. These skills lead to job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and a sense of self-control.
#10 Logic skills
Finally, this essential skill is related to intelligence and learning potential for most jobs. A professional with logic skills can solve problems in less time, even when the issues become increasingly difficult.
Find out how isEazy helped Telefónica with the biggest reskilling strategy in Spain
An excellent success story is that of Telefónica, Spain’s leading telecommunications infrastructure company. Through Spain’s most extensive reskilling plan, this company has ensured that 93% of its employees have participated in some training activity, including more than 1,185 courses on various subjects. Do you want to know other success stories? Check our cases!
How can you boost the skills of your workforce in the coming years?
Today, companies must implement agile and innovative methodologies adapting to employees’ lifestyles. The key is to make it easy for a workforce seeking a work-life balance. Therefore, in addition to having a talent development plan, employees should be able to choose when and where to carry out their training.
If you want to develop a reskilling & upskilling plan, at isEazy Skills, we’ll provide your team with all the skills courses they need to boost their talent. Request a free trial and discover the most extensive soft skills training platform on the market!