Upskilling Employees: Strengthen Your Workforce With Training & Development

Today, there seems to be a seismic shift in the business landscape, more specifically within the workforce that keeps these businesses afloat. Employers are scratching their heads as to how to train their employees to be equipped with the necessary skills to compete with other businesses. The advancement of technology has pushed the boundaries of what is required of an employee and many employers look to give birth to more high performing employees through training programs, which now look to be more essential than ever. As such, businesses are now known to provide training to their employees through upskilling. Thus, this post aims to explain what upskilling is, how it benefits a business and where employers can seek out upskilling for their employees.


In layman terms, upskilling is the process of teaching new skills to employees that will help them gain essential skills and bring an added value to more businesses. The need for upskilling has been much due to the rapid advancement of technology as mentioned earlier. Thus, these additional skills help companies stay current as their employees are trained to be more aware of industry trends, ensuring these companies are not left in the past.


What upskilling can do for a business is fill in the skill gaps in the business, which means that more employees are more well-rounded in tackling the issues that the business may face due to the changing times. Overall, more businesses are looking to upskilling as a means to boost morale with the retention of tenured employees that have long stayed loyal to the company itself.  These loyal employees are hard to come by and in the long run, upskilling would contribute to a significant reduction in cost that comes with the hiring of new employees. As simple as it is, upskilling provides new skills to employees, and proves to be greatly beneficial to these businesses who seek to stay competitive.


There are various ways upskilling can be seen to immensely benefit businesses. One of the main benefits of employee upskilling can be shown through customer satisfaction. It is a simple equation: Happy employees’ equal happy customers. When employees are motivated and are better skilled, they perform better overall for the company. This is clearly reflected to clients that are interested in going into business with these companies. When clients deal with a highly knowledgeable team that are the product of upskilling, these clients are undoubtedly more willing to spend extra amounts of time and money to continue this business relationship. Next, upskilling can also be great in encouraging employee interaction.


While many young employees are in-tuned with the pace of technological advancement in this digital age, they severely lack soft skills. While on the other hand, the older employees may come under-fire for being out of place in the digital age. Upskilling here benefits both sides as it promotes interaction between the two. Through this collaboration, both sides can greatly learn from each other. There is a bridge between the two groups, and it allows for all employees to be greatly relevant. Moving on, another benefit of employee upskilling is that it allows to cut down on unnecessary costs. As it stands, more businesses are already running on small and tight budgets. What upskilling does is it invests in current employees.  The more attractive option would be to hire new employees to fill in skill gaps, but what many employers are unaware of is how this can be detrimental in causing a loss in funds. Here, upskilling is a long-term plan that allows its employees to be retained over time, hence, saving time and overall cost.


Lastly, many businesses are still in the dark on where to go for employee upskilling and as such, here a few ways are listed. Firstly, in Malaysia, many employers should be looking at the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) as a means to upskill their employees. The HRDF is aimed at helping to provide more skilled employees to different sectors of the economy. Here, fellow employees are put through a standardized training program as given by their training providers. Their mission is aligned with what many businesses want, in that they strive to provide the upgrading of skills to employees to remain development in this current shifting business landscape.


Secondly, more employers can urge their employees to attend seminars and events as a means of upskilling. This entails providing employees with time away from the office so they can attend various educational sessions headed by many experts in different sectors. From this, they can gain valuable insight and exposure, as provided by these experts. This could prove to be an effective way to promote networking as well as interaction between employees.


Thirdly, upskilling can also be done through the many online learning tools and courses available on the Internet. This here provides a more flexible option who seek upskilling, that is hassle-free and less time-consuming. Many certified online learning providers are at the employers’ disposal. They are trusted providers that offer programs that are targeted in sharing new skills with the masses. Most of these resources are free from any charge, and easily accessible to employees. Employees can take control of how they wish to learn at their own pace, free from the pressure that may come with the other forms of upskilling.

Employee upskilling is no longer a bonus to business now, becoming more crucial with every passing year. It is massively important in building long-running and well-performing businesses, as the economy seems to demand. Employers should look to invest more into the upskilling of their employees if they intend to stay relevant and in business. Thus, the gravity of how important this process is should be embedded into the minds of employers as we head further into the future, to preserve their businesses and the economy.