May 22, 2023

Upskilling & Reskilling: Driving Your Employee ROI

Why Upskill or Reskill?
In today’s rapidly evolving business world, it’s critical for companies to invest in their employees’ knowledge to stay competitive. Although most leaders recognize that upskilling, reskilling, or a combination of the two can present the answer to their organization’s most pressing workforce challenges, many companies do not have visibility into their employees’ real-time capabilities or are unsure of where to even begin.

A 2021 Linkedin survey found that employees overwhelmingly rated L&D opportunities as the number one marker of an exceptional workplace. Of those who rated their organizational culture as exceptional, the likelihood that they would go on to recommend their employer to job-seekers also increased by an additional 31%, developing the organization’s talent pipeline and reducing time-to-hire costs. With career progression ranking higher and higher on an employee's list of needs, leaders must have a clear picture of what skills their employees want to learn and align it with the organization’s strategic plan, in turn curating personalized growth and learning opportunities that are efficient, effective, and increase employee ROI. 

Upskilling vs. Reskilling: What’s the Difference?
To understand the benefits that both reskilling and upskilling can bring to an organization, understanding the difference between the two is key: 

  • Upskilling is when an employee expands their skillset to improve their performance in their role, often with the intention of advancing their career.

  • Reskilling is when an employee learns new or adjacent skills outside of their current role, often with the intention of adapting to new technologies, to fill skill gaps, or pivot to another job or industry

Although interchangeable at the surface-level, the main distinction is their result: despite similar processes that entail employee learning, both upskilling and reskilling differ in (1) the nature of the skills acquired and (2) their end goal. 

Most organizations pivot towards upskilling their workforce with the intention of deriving additional value and productivity from their people. For employees, this translates into the prospect of linear mobility and clearly seeing a tangible future at the firm. 

However, equally, if not more important, is reskilling the workforce for the future. Aside from the benefits of reduced hiring costs and future-proofing your workforce, reskilling enables organizations to retain their top performers who may otherwise be seeking greater career development opportunities within their role via expanding their skill sets. Reskilling can enhance the value of your people by giving them a platform to learn and further contribute to the success of the company. 

Hidden Skills, Hidden Value
However, sustained upskilling and reskilling cannot be achieved without precise, real-time data—that’s where Claira comes in, leveraging a powerful analytics engine that surfaces the competencies your team currently possesses and matches them with your business’s needs. Using advanced competency science and machine learning to generate a digital representation of your employee’s abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations, Claira makes integrating learning opportunities into the flow of work easy.

As work becomes more lateral and cross-functional, organizations need to view each role as a collection of skills, rather than a job title or segmented into a functional silo. By identifying where employees are being under-utilized and how well employees are fulfilling their organization’s needs, Claira can help leaders foster a culture of continuous improvement that is centered around upskilling and reskilling. 

The Future is Agile
Upskilling and reskilling goes beyond filling skill gaps. Uncovering your workforce’s true potential means leveraging data to align employee’s personal goals with overarching corporate strategy. When companies invest in their people, the result is a stronger, more resilient, and happier workforce that can turn current and future disruptors into opportunities.

Kyra Au
Digital Marketing Associate

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