7 reasons to upskill your employees

Upskilling & Reskilling
Skills Gap
Skill Development
Reading time: 6 min.
Written by Charlotte Eba
Published on

Upskilling is a pillar of a good HR strategy. On paper, upskilling is simply a mandatory process for organizations: It’s the very reason why strategic workforce planning is necessary and even legally required in some countries, like France. But it’s also incredibly valuable for HR leaders looking to change how their people feel about their progress at work — it is a means to foster your employees’ motivation and encourage them to grow their careers and chart their own professional course. 

Here, we dive into 7 reasons why every HR team should be upskilling their employees — and how to pitch it to leadership, too.

7 reasons to convince leadership upskilling matters

Most HR know upskilling is necessary for the success of any business. But when it comes to explaining why to management and getting buy-in from your people, you have to be persuasive about the benefits for the whole company. It's like any new HR process: It all starts with assessing the expectations of leadership and your employees, which is an essential step to explaining the advantages of your solution. 

Without further ado,  here are 7 arguments about upskilling to share internally.

💡 Definition: Upskilling

Upskilling is the process of training your employees to incorporate new know-how and soft skills into a professional context, in order to bridge skill gaps. For HR professionals, motivation and performance are at stake when it comes to skills.

1. Upskilling offers a framework for setting clear goals (and a strategy to meet them)

Successful upskilling begins with a deep assessment of skills, which is in and of itself a good reason to do it. It provides the opportunity for a discussion with your employees to clarify their expectations and career goals. In this way, upskilling provides all the information you need to be able to set attainable goals and chart new and personalized courses for your people at work.

⇾ For HR, this first stage of upskilling provides an overview of the workforce capabilities.

⇾ For your employees, it is an opportunity to share their needs and improve their employability.

2. Upskilling finds hidden gems

Another good reason to opt for upskilling: It helps you identify the best talents within your company. The skills-focused methodology makes several resources available to you: resumes, CVs, skills assessments… While helping your employees learns to make the most of their skills, you will uncover hidden gems. 

For HR, a real opportunity to act on the skills of today and tomorrow.

⇾ For your employees, the opportunity to be active in their career development.

3. Upskilling creates better synergy

From a structural point of view, upskilling leads down the path to better synergy between HR, managers and employees. Indeed, with external recruitment, even if the new hire has all the skills you’re looking for, you still have to onboard them when they join the company. Alternatively, investing in an upskill plan is very efficient in terms of time and resources management.

⇾ For HR, upskilling strengthens the working relationship with managers and employees for a better collaboration.

⇾ For your managers, the advantage of knowing who your employees are on a daily basis. Involving them in your upskilling plan helps build a solid and lasting relationship.

⇾ For your employees, career development with a familiar company culture, which is a considerable advantage for you and them. Upskilling also multiplies your chances of retaining the best talent.

An employee tends to be more motivated when learning new skills. For them, it’s an opportunity for progress and a confidence boost. 

4. Upskilling improves employee engagement

Upskilling is a great way to develop opportunities and improve talent management on a daily basis. It can:

  • Keep your employees motivated and focused
  • Significantly reduce turnover 
  • Foster employee engagement

The reason is simple: An employee tends to be more motivated when learning new skills. For them, it’s an opportunity for progress and a confidence boost. 

Opportunity perspective + confidence =  Happy motivated employees!

⇾ For HR, upskilling fosters optimization and employee commitment.

⇾ For your employees, you create a positive environment and improve their career prospects.

5. Upskilling supports your managers

The manager has many roles, including those of adviser and guide for team members.  Sometimes, we tend to forget that they are the best partner when it comes to communicating HR processes to employees. As part of the upskill plan, you can count on them to help you collect the right information, but it also shows that you are committed to supporting their team’s needs as well. Together, you work hand in hand to meet your employees’ expectations.

⇾ For you, it is the guarantee of developing HR solutions that take into account all the external issues impacting your organization.

⇾ For your managers, upskilling is an effective way to be more involved in HR decisions.

6. Upskilling fosters professional development

While upskilling focuses on improving existing skills, re-skilling is the process of learning new skills, and the two processes are closely related. According to a recent study, 44% of employees have changed occupations at least once, within the same company.

How 365Talents integrates with your LMS to boost upskilling and L&D initiatives

A learning management system (LMS) helps your people uncover and act on upskilling and professional development opportunities. Integrating with a talent experience solution like 365Talents supercharges your LMS with skills data and puts your people at the center of your development strategies. 

When you integrate your 365Talents with your LMS, your skills framework is centralized, unified and shared between your solutions to upskill your people on the right expertises. 

For your employees, integration helps centralize their data on past trainings and new skills acquired, engaging them with smart suggestions for new learning opportunities based on their job and desired skills.

For managers, integration offers unique insights to better know their team’s expertise and identify what skills they are missing, to solve skill gaps before they appear.

Finally, for HR, integration can improve your employee skills and performance with cost-effective personalized training suggestions, ensuring resources are used by increasing the training completion rate.

365Talents integrates with EdFlex, 360Learning and RiseUp, among other popular LMS solutions. 

Learn more about 365Talents’ integration capabilities.

7. Upskilling ensures your company’s competitiveness on the market

A company that invests in skills development also invests in its long-term development. Upskilling and reskilling are excellent ways to solidify your HR strategy while boosting the productivity and competitiveness of your employees.

⇾ For HR, it is the guarantee of developing solutions that take into account issues external to the company.

⇾ For your employees, being part of a competitive company strengthens commitment and trust in the HR department.

Real World Example

A manager tells you that everybody in his team gets along with one another, there’s initiative and people help each other. According to him, these skills are very important in their daily work. Only, the manager noticed that certain technical skills are below market expectations.

Upskilling will allow you to update existing knowledge and enhance performance. Alternatively, reskilling would be a way to acquire new skills. Both are compatible, and together foster the professional development of each employee as well as a healthy work environment. Thus, these methods make it easier to retain gems and push them to take on more challenges.

🎯 Upskilling cheat sheet

Let's recap the challenges of upskilling, the differences with reskilling and the arguments to keep handy.

 7 reasons why upskilling matters

1. Offers a framework for setting clear goals 

2. Finds hidden gems

3. Creates better synergy

4. Improves employee engagement 

5. Supports your managers

6. Fosters professional development

7. Ensures competitiveness on the market

Upskilling definition

Upskilling is the process of training your employees to incorporate new know-how and soft skills into a professional context, in order to bridge skill gaps. For HR professionals, employee motivation and performance are at stake when it comes to skills.

What is the difference between upskilling and reskilling?

Upskilling: Improve existing skills

Reskilling: Acquire new skills

awesome talent

Ready to chart a new course for your people at work?

Learn about the tools 365Talents provides for strategic workforce planning

The New Wonders HR Newsletter

Join our mailing list for HR articles, insights and more on the uncovered gems of the world of work.

We promise: All wonders, no spam.
gem gem gem gem

Chart a new course for your people at work