Upskilling has become the new buzz word in the corporate world!! Considering the present situation, this is the best time to consider upgrading your skills. Upskilling is the process of teaching employees’ new skills that would help them in their work career. Lockdown has created an opportunity for lot of people who are students, employees, businessman, teachers to enhance their skills for the changing business dynamics. The uncertain nature of pandemic covid-19 has brought disruption in the existing method of doing business and every industry is forced to adopt new skills/methods for their function. Hence it has become a need for business to change with agility. There was a recent news which disclosed that amazon has planned to invest $US 700 million on upskilling its workforce. The automation would replace certain jobs and there would be a need to upgrade the skills of existing employees.
When compared with the hiring cost, employee upskilling is a better option as the cost involved in hiring a skilled employee is much higher.

Need for Business to Upskill its workforce
Technology is evolving and there is a sense of urgency to continuously provide employees with new skills before they become obsolete. Upskilling helps to bridge this gap by providing ongoing training. Hence upskilling is important because:
I.There has been a change in job roles
II.Reduces employee turnover
III.Helps you to find the talent within the organization instead of hiring a new employee which leads to cost
IV.Boosts employee morale leading to better work performance
V.Helps business to stay competitive through its People strategy

Strategies for Upskilling employees
Before making strategies for upskilling, conduct a need analysis to see what skills would you need as per the changing business dynamics. Your goal should be to become proactive and stay ahead in your industry to get that competitive edge.
I.Identify the knowledge gaps.
II.Make training programs that would be the best fit for your organization.
III.Understand employee goal and align with the organization goal, needed be, make tailor made programs.
IV.Offer incentives to encourage employees to learn new skills.
V.Think both long term and short term.

I.Identify the knowledge gaps:
Every organisation has their own set of knowledge strengths and weaknesses. The first step for successful upskilling is to identify your organizational skill shortcomings. Ensure your upskilling efforts align with your workforce needs and with the need of the hour.

II.Make training programs that would be the best fit for your organization: There is no specific way to approach this as the requirements would vary from organisation to organisation. The key is to have upskilling programs that best fit your organisation.

III.Understand employee goal and align with the organization goal, needed be, make tailor made programs:
Upskilling is about addressing specific skills gaps. There is no one-size- fits-all solution. An employee’s upskilling needs will depend on their current skills, role within the organization, how the role is changing and technology requirements to do the job successfully.

IV.Offer incentives to encourage employees to learn new skills:
Offering financial incentives in the form of reimbursement of course fees, hike in salary, incentives will motivate the employee to upskills themselves.

V.Think both long term and short term:
While it is easy to pick up a new technological change in the market and plan an upskilling programme for the employees, what is more important is to have a programme that focuses on technology as well as the core skills that will be required since they will have long term value. It is important that you find the right balance based on the priorities of the organisation.

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