Top 5 things to know about upskilling

Improving your employees' skill sets is a good investment for your company. Tom Merritt lists five things to know about upskilling.

Top 5 things to know about upskilling

Employers often face losing employees that don't have a clear promotional path, or losing employees because their jobs got automated. Despite the cartoon assumptions, most companies do not want to let go of good, talented workers if they can help it. That's where upskilling comes in. What is it? Here are five things to know about it.

  1. Upskilling is more than just training. As the name implies, it tries to improve the workers skill sets--not just add to them.
  2. It also involves retraining. Sometimes called "respelling," in this instance, it's a way to keep workers adaptable to new jobs that they didn't have the skills for when they first joined.
  3. It's good for retention. Employees want to feel valuable and like they have a path to keep improving. Upskilling can help with both of those.
  4. It takes a plan. You have to be willing to give employees time off--that doesn't come out of PTO--to focus on learning new skills. You also need to have multiple ways of learning available since not everybody learns the same way.
  5. It can be expensive, but some big companies think it's worth the investment. Amazon said it will spend $700 million to give current employees new skills by 2025. Accenture says it spends $1 billion a year on training for its employees. And PwC is investing $3 billion into job training for its 275,000 employees.

Upskilling is a good buzzword to know, since you'll hear a lot of folks tossing it around. But, it's also a good thing to invest in to keep your best employees happy and contributing more to the company.

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By Tom Merritt

Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, coverin...