Reskilling and upskilling – a modern approach to employee development
The development of new skills in employees is most often associated with the acquisition of hard competences. Many people, wrongly, believe that they are the most important for the development of the enterprise. It should be remembered that soft skills are equally important and the key to success is the balance between different types of competences. In this article, we will describe what reskilling and upskilling are.
What characterizes the contemporary approach of employers to the development of their employees?
The development of new skills in employees is most often associated with the acquisition of hard competences. Many people, wrongly, believe that they are the most important for the development of the enterprise. Nevertheless, soft skills are equally important – balance is the key to success. The world is changing at an alarmingly fast pace. The last two years are special proof of this. New technologies are developing faster than ever, and we humans must keep pace with them. Technological solutions can replace people in terms of selected hard competences, however, it is not possible to replace employees in terms of soft skills. It is for this reason that employees should develop both types of competencies.
Learning new skills in order to prepare an employee for a new position in the company is reskilling. Such a situation occurs when, for example, new technologies appear in the organization that facilitate the functioning of the entire enterprise, but the employees do not know how to use them. Another example would be the case where a company uses reskilling to train an employee who has returned after a long hiatus to changes that have occurred in the company during his absence. Keep in mind that many good and committed professionals leave their position or company solely because of a lack of development. In such situations, the company can support the reskilling process to provide such a person with new skills, so that he can take a different position in the company.
Upskilling is a situation in which the company and management staff focus on the skills and competences that the employee already has and on improving them. Such action will help in the constant specialization of the employee in specific areas and will help him or her advance to higher positions, e.g. from a junior to a senior position. Upskilling brings benefits both for the employee – he can be promoted, get a raise and improve his skills, and for the employer – the company gains a more specialized employee who will be able to bring many benefits to the company.
What is the role of HR departments?
It is the HR departments that play a huge role in both upskilling and reskilling. In both cases, many companies no longer ask themselves whether their employees should be trained, but rather how to do it effectively. Each employee is an individual whose needs and pace of learning may differ from other individuals. It is the responsibility of the HR department to analyze and provide each employee with a tailored development path and identify current needs. In addition, the HR department must also be prepared for changes in training strategies that appear on a regular basis. People working in this department should also improve and train, because frequent and dynamic changes also take place in this department.
The director of each company should remember that both reskilling and upskilling of employees are important processes in any company. However, it should be remembered that each company faces different challenges, so what form of development we choose depends on the type of business. By taking care of the development of employees, each company is able to build an advantage on the market.
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