Change is said to be the only constant, and this maxim certainly applies to the working world.

However, the degree to which this change occurs and how it comes about is still in your control. By investing in your staff and deciding to retrain and upskill rather than bring in new faces, the change can be an organic and highly beneficial one.

What Is Upskilling?

Upskilling is the process of teaching existing employees new skills. These tend to be in an area the person has no or limited understanding of (e.g. coding). The process of upskilling allows employees to work learn about different areas of the business and work more effectively as a result.

For example, a project manager who undertakes a short coding course will be better equipped to manage a development task as they will have a greater fundamental knowledge of the requirements, timeframes and limitations.

Importantly, upskilling is slightly different to retraining. The former places the emphasis on adding further skills to an employee’s repertoire, whereas retraining indicates that their existing skills are no longer needed and that they must learn to work in a completely different field.

Why Should I Upskill My Staff?

The modern world moves fast. Thanks to the speed of technological innovation, businesses are having to rapidly adapt and make sure their staff have the digital skills to cope with the demands of Industry 4.0.

Upskilling can help with this. It will enable you to cover the new areas your business may be branching out into without the need to hire new employees and, more important, without having to let any existing staff go.

Providing your team with an additional skill may also help increase productivity, enabling them to work across different sectors of your business. This, in turn, will also improve communication between teams.

Studies have found that hiring new talent isn’t always the correct solution to skills shortages. A recent report from ACAS stated that the average cost of replacing a single employee with another is £30,000. Most of this cost is used on the time taken to get the new member of staff up to speed with how their new employers work.

There’s also a less tangible cost. Consistent employee turnover will lead to poor staff morale, which in turn will have an adverse effect on productivity.

Inversely, showing that you want to invest in your employees by giving them the opportunity to upskill is likely to help improve morale by making them feel valued and rewarded for their hard work.

In turn, this will generate a sense of loyalty among your staff because reliable and trusted faces stay within your business and feel like they’re a part of it as it grows.

Some of the key dimensions concerning productivity as detailed by a study on the role of positive psychology in the workplace were effective people management, clarity of roles and supportive appraisal, all of which are met by actively upskilling your staff.

One of the areas with the most significant skill gaps in the UK is coding, but fortunately, you can help improve your staff with the Code Nation Develop Course.

Taking place over three weeks, the course gives your team the fundamental tools they’ll need to understand software development and thereby improve their scope within your business.

In Summary

Upskilling is an excellent way of bridging the digital skills gap and thriving in Industry 4.0, without having to take the time and money to hire new staff.

What’s more, it’s also a very positive thing to do for your team. The effects on morale and productivity mean that it is a far more effective route to take when looking to fill a role in your company.

By investing in your people, you’re investing in a long-term future built on loyalty, trust and adaptability.

If you’re interest in upskilling your staff, get in touch with us today!


Call: 0333 050 4570


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