The Importance of Employee Upskilling

For many organizations, employee training is seen as an obligation that ends at onboarding. According to a 2021 survey by PriceWaterhouse Cooper, however, a whopping 77% of employees are eager to learn new skills and feel their employers should provide opportunities for professional growth and development. Skills acquisition, or upskilling, is vital to keep your workforce efficient, current, and engaged. 

What’s the best way to launch an effective upskilling program? In-person instruction might be your first instinct, but conducting training that way can be prohibitively expensive. You’ll need to pay an instructor for all of the classes you offer, compensate employees for their time, and deal with reduced productivity as all of your team members are training. Instead, your business should invest in a digital upskilling program. Sharing information online allows employees to access training materials whenever and wherever they like while streamlining program management. 

The first step is implementing skills development tools such as an e-learning platform, whether it’s a learning management system (LMS), learning experience platform (LXP), or talent development platform (TDP), to deliver content to workers. If you’re new to the e-learning universe, welcome! It can feel overwhelming when you’re faced with the many different choices available to you. At, you can find a system that best aligns with you, your employees, and your company’s goals. When you sign up for a free account, you get access to detailed reviews, a handy comparison tool, and the expertise of renowned industry expert Craig Weiss to help you choose the right system for your organization. Check out to learn more. Or, continue reading to learn more about upskilling and the benefits it could offer your organization. 

What is upskilling?

The most basic definition of upskilling touches on new job skills, professional development, and application. A 2021 LinkedIn study found that upskilling is the top priority of L&D (Learning and Development), and employees are ready — almost three-quarters of employees see training as an important responsibility. 

Upskilling applies to both hard, technical skills such as software development and soft skills such as how to compose a business email. Many organizations mistakenly assume that upskilling must refer to one or the other, creating a gap in the training they offer their employees. 

One common point of confusion is the difference between upskilling and reskilling. Upskilling represents an effort to build on the skills an employee already possesses. For example, helping a manager refine their interpersonal communication skills or adding a new programming language to a coder’s repertoire would both qualify as upskilling. Reskilling describes training employees in new skills that could help them pursue opportunities outside of their current job or department. For instance, training a manager on how to write Python or a cashier in management skills would both be reskilling. 

Both upskilling and reskilling should be essential components of your employee development program so your team doesn’t feel like they need to leave your company to pursue growth. 

Why is upskilling employees such an important part of employee training?

The benefits of skills development involve more than just skills tied to job roles. In a recent TalentLMS survey, some important takeaways prove that investing in your employees pays off. A whopping 91% of organizations and 81% of employees believe that upskilling improves productivity. Furthermore, 66% of employees cite “the joy of learning new skills” as one of their primary motivations for upskilling, while 80% of employees reported improved self-confidence. 

Every organization wants to boost productivity, but improved employee satisfaction may be even more important. Satisfied employees are less likely to leave your company, saving you the time and money that might otherwise be required to find a replacement. Likewise, experienced employees can share their knowledge with colleagues so helpful information becomes prevalent throughout your organization. 

However, inequity is present in the upskilling and professional development opportunities offered by employers. The 2021 PWC survey reports that younger employees receive more chances to upskill, and workers in cities have more frequent training opportunities than those in rural areas. Using an online learning platform is a great way to improve access to training and build skills for the future, and many include unique features that target the diverse needs of different types of organizations and employees.

What software features will I need for upskilling my employees?

Upskilling should feel like a perk your organization offers its employees, not a chore that must be completed. That means designing your employee upskilling program with the value of their time in mind. A mobile app with on/off synch allows your team to access training materials whenever they like, facilitating just-in-time learning and bridging the gap between skills and applications. Similarly, microlearning is a great way to share information with employees in bite-sized chunks they can easily digest. 

Your employees should also have a say in their training. If Mike in accounting is interested in pursuing management, he should be able to self-enroll in appropriate training courses. Some platforms even leverage AI (or artificial intelligence) to recommend learning content to your team. 

When you’re searching for upskilling software, you want to look for an option that works on the back end too. Features like manager skills assessments, skills metrics, AI, skills ratings, and the ability to tie skills to a job role or job level are important to L&D. You should also look to save your admins valuable time with features such as automatic enrollments, SMS notifications when new training courses are available, and an intuitive UI (user interface). 

The most important back-end feature might be analytics. Every upskilling platform offers data to some degree, but you want a system that uses data to tell a story. With the right information, you can easily identify who has the skills necessary for internal promotion, which employees are taking training seriously, and how much each employee is learning. Organizational stakeholders will also appreciate hard data on the ROI they’re getting from upskilling. 

Your employees will be learning new skills in no time with 

It’s a fact: upskilling training helps to form more confident teams that are ready to leverage new technologies. It’s well worth it to implement a skills acquisition program for your company today to help your team level up their skills and become stronger, smarter, and more flexible employees. can facilitate the entire process, from the start of your search to contacting your final “candidates”. harnesses the knowledge of Craig Weiss and his team to help you refine your search for an upskilling platform. In addition to searching for a learning platform, also points you to Craig’s blog where you can read a valuable post about the top 10 learning systems in the world for 2023 that could ultimately help you find the right e-learning option for your company and your employees. Weiss offers a variety of insights into other online training topics on his blog as well. Create a free account at right now and help your employees let their talent shine.

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