Why More Companies Are Upskilling Employees

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Until recently, the value of a company depended on its tangible assets, but in today’s knowledge-based economy we are seeing a paradigm shift. Human capital is increasingly considered a business’s most valuable asset, and top companies are upgrading their “capital” by upskilling employees.

Remain Competitive in the New Era of Work

Investing in upskilling employees helps organizations increase their value and enables them to prepare for and thrive in the new digital age. As technological advancements continue to accelerate, in-demand skillsets are continuing to transform, which requires employers to move beyond performance reviews to evaluate their current workforce’s skills. Many organizations now deploy innovative instruments to gain clarity around capability gaps and to determine where upskilling may be required to provide existing workers with the skills needed in the increasingly digitized workplace. Doing so enables companies to implement targeted upskilling initiatives rather than “one-size-fits-all” training programs.

Skills testing platforms like eSkill, provide businesses with the tools they need to identify employees’ strengths and weaknesses. The online platform enables employers to gather baseline skills data to use as a starting point for upskilling initiatives. eSkill’s innovative tools for ongoing talents and skills assessments serve two purposes–help employees determine their training and development priorities and provide business leaders with a company-wide talent inventory.

 Information gleaned from eSkill’s assessments helps employers determine the individuals best suited for upskill programs. Evaluating employees’ existing skills, rather than reviewing their job role, expands the pool of people who could be considered for upskilling opportunities. For example, someone with strong math skills, and digital literacy skills may be considered to learn coding through an intensive upskilling initiative.

 Top companies are approaching human capital management by upskilling and retaining employees, rather than hiring new talent. Last year, JPMorgan Chase announced a $350 million plan to upskill their workforce. The firm is working to pinpoint what emerging skillsets workers will need to be competitive in the future while training people for new jobs that will be in demand.

Harnessing Automation’s Productivity Potential

Today, top companies recognize the advantages that advancements in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) provide, and also understand most organizations are not prepared to capitalize on them. Upskilling employees to more effectively leverage the advantages these technologies offer is critical to harnessing automation and AI’s full potential.

 For organizations to take full advantage of the digital transformation, they need to focus on both their adoption of automation, as well as upskilling their workforce. According to research conducted by Boston University and MIT, a gap between new technology adoption and acquiring the skills required to use those technologies results in inefficiencies that lead to diminished productivity gain. Further research reveals that automation initiatives are more successful when full-scale upskilling is underway.

 Industry giants like Amazon have realized that a large portion of their workforce lacks the skills to adapt as machines take over routine and traditionally physical tasks. Therefore, Amazon has pledged $700 million to upskilling workers for jobs that will be in-demand in 2025 to get ahead of technological disruption and retain as much of its workforce as possible.

Providing Certainty in Uncertain Times

Since upskilling focuses on expanding upon existing skills or adding new skills, it is less overwhelming to employees than traditional training programs. Upskilling initiatives can also assuage workers’ fears of rapid technological change and the current economic downturn. Supporting and executing a sustainable strategy to upskill your employees builds up the skills your business needs while providing reassurance to your workforce that they will not be left behind.

Increasing Internal Mobility

Internal talent mobility is a priority for top companies to transfer skills across the organization, increase productivity, and future proof their workforces. Upskilling opportunities provide employees with the specific training they need to improve or learn skills needed for emerging roles or new tasks.

 Many organizations have created a skills-based internal talent marketplace that enables them to share talent across departments by matching and deploying workers based on skill needs. In a time of rapid digitalization, upskilling initiatives allow organizations to focus on the development of in-demand skills, instead of training for fixed roles.

 AT&T, a leading upskill enterprise, has been leveraging an internal talent marketplace since 2008. The industry giant has an online portal that allows workers to assess and monitor their skills, view available positions, and the skills required for each, and review future prospects for various career paths. The online portal also provides AT&T’s workforce with a tool that aligns upskilling opportunities with skills needed to fill positions. Simply put, an effective upskill enterprise like AT&T must provide its workforce with the resources to learn skills the company will need them to have in the future.

 Creating a program that is relevant and tailored to the needs of individual employees is essential to effectively upskilling workforces. eSkill has a long-standing history of partnering with companies to automate and transform talent development in the face of significant workplace digitalization. Make the most out of your workforce development initiatives and get started on the upskilling journey with eSkill.

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