Reskilling of Employees

One of the main indicators that employees need reskilling is that their current roles will be eliminated. Most reskilling just take 6 months. Just do it now.
  • Author: Siva
  • Last updated: August 18, 2022
  • 5 Minutes
reskill or upskill employees in the workplace guide for SMEs explained by Papershift

Reskilling seems to be the buzzword of the day in the workplace, especially since the COVID 19 pandemic. But what exactly is reskilling and how do you go about doing it? 

This article will explain exactly what reskilling means and why you should consider doing it as an employee. Moreover, we’ll look at how you can successfully create a reskilling program as a business owner and improve the process for your organization.

Let’s begin

What is reskilling?

Reskilling is the process of learning new skills by employees to move onto a new role within their current company. 

Reskilling is a good alternative to an employee finding a new job and can allow employers to acquire the skills they need without replacing staff.

It can also be a good way to move a person who fits another role better, but for some reason ended up working in a totally different one.

Why is reskilling important in the modern workplace?

Why reskill employees?
Reskilling allows a business to keep the same loyal employees in their organization without having to replace them. It also allows staff to grow and gain skills they otherwise wouldn’t have. This can lead to increased engagement and less employee churn.

Reskilling can also help in the following areas:

  1. Less disruption from displacement due to automation or changes in work practices. The COVID 19 pandemic has changed the way many of us work. Office life is no longer the norm and distance working and automation are taking over. This change in working patterns has necessitated a change in employee skillset. 
  2. Economic pressures due to recent events. COVID and the general economic downturn has put pressure on many businesses and ensuring that staff have the right skills to be productive are essential. Reskilling allows employers to maintain their workforce, while also putting employers in more useful positions that benefit the company.
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What are the benefits of reskilling for a business?

There are many benefits to reskilling staff for a business. These include:

It can help reduce training and hiring costs

Hiring and training new employees’ cost money. It can cost even more when a business is looking for talent in specialized roles.

Training new employees entails training them in their specific role as well as training them in company processes, software, and protocol. This takes time, money and resources. Current employees are already well aware of all these things and don’t need to be retrained, which saves money right from the start. 

Training isn’t the only part of hiring new employees that costs money. The process also includes interviewing, background checks, and many more costly tasks.

Reskill vs Hire?
Evidence suggests that a new hire for a skilled role can cost up to 20% more than workers that reskill to do the same task.

Retention of company knowledge

Current employees already know how the company works, and what their roles entail. This is valuable information that can take months or years to obtain, and when an employee leaves, you lose that knowledge and experience.

Reskilling allows you to keep this knowledge within the company so it can be passed on to less experienced employees. 

Keep the best employees

Reskilling means a company doesn’t have to fire otherwise excellent employees to replace them with others with a different skillset.

Talented employees aren’t always easy to find, and it’s far better to keep them in your company than have their talents go to another organization.

Improve employee morale

Employees generally feel that their company values them when they’re given the chance to grow their skills and elevate their positions in the company.

When workers feel that their workplace cares about skills training, they’re more likely to stay within the company. This makes employees feel important and raises their morale. 

More versatile employees

As employees expand their skills through reskilling, they become more versatile in their roles and gain useful insight into other areas of a company.

These employees can become some of the best problem solvers as they know more about the different aspects of a business’s workflow.

What are the benefits of reskilling for employees?

As well as the benefits to employers, there are many benefits to employees too. These include:

Keep stable employment and benefits

The biggest benefit to reskilling is that employees can maintain a stable job with a company without fear of being replaced. This can allow them to maintain the same benefits of their jobs without interruption because they’ve changed employers.

Upward mobility and role diversity

Knowing there’s a chance for promotion within the company is a huge motivator for employees. With any promotion, there are certainly responsibilities expected within that role. With that comes new skills. Reskilling gives employees these skills and allows them to be upwardly mobile in their workplace.

Personal growth

This goes hand in hand with the previous point. Personal growth brings a sense of satisfaction to employees. It’s the reason people try to conquer new skills, do DIY projects, and have hobbies.

That sense of accomplishment also extends to the workplace. Whether reskilling involves learning a vastly different role, or one with only a few differences, an employee will get a good feeling knowing that they’re improving.

As employees gain new skills, they increase their value within the company. This grows their job security and may keep them happier for longer (although it can also create opportunities to find jobs in another company should they choose to).

What is the difference between reskilling and upskilling?

Reskilling is when workers are retrained to take on a new role in their workplace. Upskilling is similar to reskilling, although upskilling involves teaching employees’ skills without the stipulation of them taking on a different job role.

How do I know if an employee needs reskilling?

One of the main indicators that employees need reskilling is that their current roles will be eliminated. When the company wants to retain valuable employees, but cannot maintain them in the same roles, it’s time to reskill those employees for new tasks.

How long does reskilling take?

That’s a difficult question to answer. The majority of reskilling takes less than six months, but it will depend on the role and skill in question. 

In general, less than 10% of reskilling takes longer than six months but less than a year. It’s estimated that around 10% of reskilling may take a year or longer, although that is likely for more skilled or elevated roles within the company.

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In conclusion

Reskilling is important in the modern workplace and is something that no business can ignore.

We hope you have enjoyed this guide. Check out the rest of our website for more workplace information.

Written by Siva

I write & describe the value & benefits delivered by Paperhift's rota planning, staff time tracking, and employee payroll management software. Especially useful for Shift Planners, Rota Managers, Team Admins, and HR Teams :-)