Learning new skills or “reskilling” has become even more important after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. The job market is becoming more and more competitive by the day. If employees don’t learn new skills, they can potentially be left behind in the workforce.
The lack of new skills among employees also puts their employers at a disadvantage. For example, if employees don’t acquire new skills that come with technological development in recent years, employers won’t be able to keep up with their competitors.
In this regard, employers need to provide reskilling opportunities to their employees. Doing this will come at a cost for the employers. But understanding the benefits of reskilling will help them see why implementing reskilling programs in the workplace is a worthy investment.
Benefits of Reskilling
Improve Employees’ Work Performance
Many employees desire to learn new skills. But this often comes at a price. So if employers provide free learning opportunities for their employees, they will be very appreciative. Employees will express their gratitude by working harder and applying their new skills for the growth of the company.
Also, these new skills may help employees work more efficiently. Say a group of employees took a project management course where they learned how to use online workspaces, such as Notion. With this knowledge, the employees will save time by using a database where all deliverables, deadlines, and milestones can be tracked. This saved time can be used for other urgent tasks, so the employees will get more things done in a day.
Millennials comprise the majority of the workforce. And according to a 2016 Gallup report, 59 percent of Millennials said that they look for opportunities to learn and grow when they apply for a job.
Employers will be able to keep their trained and reskilled employees if they offer opportunities to reskill. The employees will see that their employers value them enough to invest in their learning. And they are likely to express their gratitude for these opportunities by staying.
In the long run, employee retention will save employers a lot of money since they won’t need to keep rehiring and re-training employees.
Reskilling can reduce conflicts between members of a team. For example, teamwork will improve by making each member become an efficient worker. Also, when each member has new skills to offer, the members will fill each other’s gaps. This will result in a collaborative team that can work harmoniously.
Attract New Talent
When employers provide learning opportunities to their employees, these employers will gain a good reputation among job-seeking individuals. As mentioned earlier, people value learning and growth when looking for a job. So these applicants will be more attracted to applying for employers with reskilling programs.
As a result, these employers will find it easier and faster to fill open positions, thus saving time and money in the long term.
Ways to Reskill Employees
Mentorship or coaching is a cost-effective way for employers to help their employees acquire skills. This strategy is also a great method to prepare certain employees for their new roles, whether for promotion or transfer.
The mentor will be a subject matter expert within the company. And they can coach one or two employees through face-to-face meetings or Zoom calls. The mentor might also consider job shadowing. If a mentor has a voice conference call with clients, the mentee can “observe” by also being in the call. In this case, the employer must contact their PBX service vendor to ensure that the company’s telephony system is set up properly.
Employers can also allow employees to take certification programs from third-party vendors. This reskill strategy will be more costly than mentorship. But it does have advantages. For instance, learning programs that come with certification are taught by industry experts, so employees will learn from the best in the field.
There are many online learning platforms that employees can use to acquire new skills. Some examples are Skillshare, Udemy, Coursera, and many others. Online learning is convenient since employees can take courses at their own pace, anytime, and anywhere. If an employee desires, they can try finishing a course within a day.
Acquiring new skills is important to stay competitive in the workforce. But learning something new isn’t solely the responsibility of an employee. Employers need to do their part as well. In the end, while the employers are those that spend money for learning opportunities, they’re the ones who reap the benefits by having competitive and efficient employees.