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What Is Upskilling?

Upskills means helping employees acquire additional knowledge and abilities to help them grow and take on new responsibilities. Learn more.

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Visier HR Glossary

Upskilling is the process of helping employees acquire additional knowledge and develop abilities that go beyond their current skill set. 

For instance, upskilling might involve an employee developing more advanced skills in data analysis and the use of analytics tools. 

Upskilling plays an important role today in helping employees adapt and remain employable in the face of automation and new AI-driven technologies. The focus is on building upon employees’ existing skills and extending their capabilities into new areas and knowledge sets.

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Why is upskilling important?

Upskilling is important for both employers and employees. 

For employers, upskilling can boost talent retention, increase productivity, and build a pipeline of capable employees who are prepared to take on high-level responsibilities or roles. 

For employees, upskilling can enhance their knowledge and expertise, making them more valuable to their current employer—or to future employers. 

There is an ongoing need for upskilling across all types and sizes of organizations due to various environmental impacts like new technology, evolving job market needs, economic shifts, and competitive and market factors. 

How do organizations upskill employees?

Organizations use various training and development methods to upskill employees, including: 

  • Formal training programs

  • Mentoring and coaching

  • Job rotation

  • Special projects

  • On-demand learning platforms 

The most commonly used method of upskilling is through learning and development programs offered in the workplace. Specific training can be provided based on individual employees’ unique skills, needs, and interests.

What role does technology play in upskilling?

Technology plays a significant role in upskilling. It helps to make training and development activities available to a larger number of employees, and helps employers track and understand the impact of their upskilling investments.

People analytics can play an important role in upskilling, helping organizations map and match people and skills, and turning skill data into actionable insights. 

Read more on upskilling:

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