Why invest in upskilling for the future of work

In recent years, upskilling has become a common term in workplaces. It has become a crucial part of employee retention and business growth and development.

People most often confuse upskilling with reskilling. Reskilling is learning a new skill altogether to equip you to move to another job area or specialization. It is a good strategy to adopt when you do not want to lose a valued employee due to a loss of the present position. Whereas upskilling means building upon your existing skills and taking your knowledge levels about the same a notch higher.

Upskilling primarily focuses on helping employees become more skilled and relevant at their current position within the organization.

A recent report by Gallup says the cost of replacing an employee can be equivalent to one and a half to two times the employee’s annual salary. A big organization with 100 plus employees can sometimes end up spending approximately $660,000 to $2.6 million per year in employee replacement costs.


On the other hand, upskilling and reselling are a much more viable and cost-effective method of filling in the gaps needed in an organization. Upskilling can lead to a more well-rounded, trained workforce that can increase your team’s effectiveness.

How to upskill your workforce

Every organization should have a Learning and Development (L&D) program in the workplace.

The most effective upskilling strategies should involve making the most of existing internal skills with external resources. One should offer skill upgradation programs at every level—right from the factory floor to the management cabins. Remember to consider different learning styles and balance these against individual employees’ needs.

Senior members in the teams can act as mentors. Have an ongoing program of offering cross-operational training between different departments. 

Digital learning skills

Having a working knowledge of the digital tools that are regularly used in the workplace is essential. One can either outsource regular training sessions or assign the in-house tech teams to hold regular sessions. Otherwise, sponsor a certificate or learning program.

There are online e-learning platforms offering cutting-edge resources that offer verified qualifications. Employees’ can study at their own pace from their desk, making it a flexible option to consider.


Allowing employees to attend industry-related seminars or webinars is another successful upskilling strategy. This allows employees to get exposed to the latest trends and learning from leading business heads in the space; they will also have a chance to form associations with their peers and network. 

Competitively equipped

Upskilling is essential for any business or organization to stay relevant and competitive in its field. A company needs to assess the direction of its industry’s growth and prepare beforehand for the appropriate skill sets required in order to remain competitive. A good way is to offer in-house opportunities to the staff at hand.

Build company culture and loyalty

When companies offer opportunities for growth and development to its employees, it builds loyalty amongst employees and fosters a culture of progress. Staff become more vested and engaged with their work. A company can ensure employees continue to develop the skills needed for their personal goals, consequently increasing staff retention rates through job fulfillment.

Diana Coker
Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.

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