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By Sinakho Dhlamini, HR Content Specialist, Top Employers Institute
By Sinakho Dhlamini, HR Content Specialist, Top Employers Institute

Reskilling & Upskilling Your Workforce for the Future World of Work in 2022



The last few years, with the help of the covid-19 pandemic The changing world of work seems to be moving faster than ever before, with skills that were once in demand may not be applicable to the demands of the current working landscape. Organisations that are looking to not only improve their current efficiency but their overall future as a business are aware of the necessity to reskill and upskill their workforce.

Almost all (92%) of certified Top Employers have a learning and development strategy in place in 2022, with 96% of them also continuing to have a learning and development framework. This commitment to creating an environment that is encouraging to employees reskilling and upskilling is supported by 94% of Top Employers having a defined learning and development culture.

In 2020 the World Economic Forum found that, by 2025, 85 million jobs globally will undergo a transition between human labour and machine automation across fifteen industries and 26 economies. While this change in the distribution of labour has been faster than previously expected there is still, according to the World Economic Forum, new era of work will create millions of new jobs that will require a new set of skills that will highlight the value of reskilling and, in the case of other employees, upskilling them. We will look more deeply at this trend in this article by defining and then examining what these terms mean in 2022 and beyond.

What is Reskilling and What is Upskilling?

Reskilling is simply the process of an employee learning a new set of skills and responsibilities to help them undertake a new role in their current organisation. The process of undergoing reskilling is usually lateral learning experience that allows people to make a smoother transition in their career journey.

In contrast, upskilling is the learning and development process for an employee to improve their skillset to improve their effectiveness at work. This involves giving an employee the opportunity to develop and advance a particular skill, or set of skills

Reskilling and Upskilling as Top Priorities in 2022 with an Eye for the Future

As the need for new capabilities and skills increases with the changes in the workplace continuing at a faster pace than ever, reskilling an upskilling can offer an organisation a way to develop the skills needed to ensure that they remain competitive without needing to hire for each new role. The ability for companies to retain their current workforce is not only good for their financial outlook but is also good to deal with employee’s new needs that have come as we enter the ‘new normal’ way of working.

Reskilling and upskilling are useful for employees to help employees transition within the organisation. Acknowledging that this is necessary for the future and starting to do the work to put it in place are two different actions.

The first thing an organisation should begin with is analysing where upskilling or reskilling an employee or a set of employees could help meet changing business needs. This analysis work is particular to each organisation, and as such is not something we will dive into in this article, it is work that will guide how to approach the next steps. It must be reiterated that upskilling or reskilling should be tethered to an organisation’s needs and goals.

The second step that an organisation should do is get to the organisation to structure and standardise their upskilling and reskilling efforts. This can be done by building a skills framework but if an organisation already has a learning framework it can be integrated into that structure. It can take many shapes but if an organisation wants to take reskilling and upskilling its employees seriously it needs to be understandable for the whole organisation in whatever form it takes.

Creating a culture around learning is the final step to making reskilling and upskilling a reality. It will need engagement and excitement around learning to fully benefit. Additionally, there will need to be leadership buy-in to create waves around reskilling and upskilling.

Reskilling and Upskilling Benefits

For the Organisation

  • Retain your best employees
  • Develop your employees’ skills
  • Reduced training and hiring costs
  • Increase workplace moral
  • Improve the reputation of the company

For the Employee:

  • Keep stable employment
  • Personal growth
  • Professional growth through lifelong learning
  • Upward mobility through role diversity

 Final Thoughts

Reskilling and upskilling are not only business prioities for now but also for the future. Organisations will need to adapt with their workforce for the changing landscape of work.