How To Evolve Reskilling And Upskilling To Meet Modern Needs

How To Evolve Reskilling And Upskilling To Meet Modern Needs
Maslowski Marcin/
Summary: Reskilling and upskilling are hallmarks of learning development. But they look a little different these days. It’s gone beyond simply training your employees to learn new skills; it’s now also a matter of broadening learning to help solve mission-critical problems.

Evolving Reskilling And Upskilling To Overcome Today's Challenges

In a survey conducted by McKinsey, 87% of executives say they either are experiencing skill gaps now or expect to within the next few years. This poses a severe competency shortage, and the strain for both managers and employees to meet expectations looms large. Leaders face challenges like managing remote teams, making sure those teams are agile, and identifying new skills needed for operations. Meanwhile, employees must constantly develop and improve their expertise to meet demands on top of their workplace duties.

Reskilling in 2021 goes deeper, tackling initiatives like automation, social justice, retaining talent, and employee displacement. Here’s how learning with a learning management system (LMS) can be the solution to this and other skills gap trends.

eBook Release:  Lifelong L&D: How To Develop A Learning Culture To Support Modern Work Environments
eBook Release
Lifelong L&D: How To Develop A Learning Culture To Support Modern Work Environments
Discover how to cultivate a supportive and collaborative learning culture for your remote workforce!

Automation And Job Reskilling And Upskilling Efforts

Even prior to the pandemic, automation and AI were two big challenges affecting the labor market and displacing workers whose jobs were being taken over by machines. In fact, a report by the World Economic Fund, stated that about 30% of all tasks are currently done by machines. By 2025, that number increases to 50%. With this shift comes opportunities for new jobs that will require reskilling the upcoming and current workforce.

An LMS is a natural solution to the need for reskilling. It can help identify current employees that have at least some of the training and skills needed to learn a job. You may also find a group of current employees that could transition to a new department. For example, your customer service representatives likely have expert knowledge on your products and services so reskilling a portion of your customer service team to take on sales or account management might take very little additional training.

With an LMS, clearly defined learning paths that build the necessary skills and knowledge needed for a new job are an important piece of these initiatives. Providing employees with the opportunity to learn from experienced peers through discussion forums could be worth pursuing if you have experts on staff. A simple solution would be to take advantage of content providers that have vast libraries of courses that can easily be uploaded to an LMS. Depending on your learning platform, there are a number of ways to implement reskilling and upskilling initiatives.

Upskilling For Your Workforce Around Social Inclusion, Diversity And Sensitivity

While diverse work environments have been a priority for many years, their importance is even more striking today. With social justice movements sweeping the globe, it’s critical that your organization offers a workplace of equity and respect.

Diversity training has ethical, social and financial benefits that positively impact your organization. Another McKinsey study shows that companies who train on ethnic diversity see financial returns 35% better than the national average. Those with a focus on gender diversity show financial returns 15% higher than the national average.

Further, a company that provides diversity and inclusion training will likely attract more top talent, particularly Millennial and Gen Z candidates, who make up a large portion of the global workforce. Diversity training also improves company culture and collaboration while helping reduce unconscious bias in the workplace.

To achieve this type of work environment, consider upskilling your workforce through company-wide diversity and inclusion education. There are many off-the-shelf options available, or you could create your own. In addition to delivering the actual training, an LMS can be used to foster a positive and collaborative learning environment. Participants can interact, work together, learn from each other and solve problems to actively understand new concepts.

Tap an LMS with robust analytics to measure the effectiveness of these reskilling and upskilling efforts. View course completion rates to gain insight into which courses learners found most useful and set up automatic reminders for learners who haven’t completed the required trainings.

Retaining Talent Through Reskilling & Upskilling

Reskilling and upskilling benefits go beyond ensuring optimal employee performance. Its importance to businesses has grown and the advantages have become apparent. According to Workable, talent retention and productivity are some additional positive results:

  • 75% of companies said reskilling and upskilling positively impacted productivity.
  • 63% of companies said reskilling and upskilling positively impacted company reputation.
  • 58% of companies said reskilling and upskilling positively impacted employee retention.

Most employees want to grow their professional skills. If they feel stagnant in their development, they may eventually leave—and churn can get pricey. The cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee's annual salary.

The failure to reskill or upskill your employees also contributes to employee churn in the form of displacement, where employees are laid off due to the elimination of their position. Reskilling can prevent this unfortunate situation by training your workforce to do another job, so they don’t need to be laid off and you can save on new hiring costs.

Whether you’re managing remote teams or you’re on-site, you can leverage your LMS tools to help your learners stay ahead of the curve and correct skill gap trends.


Though it might not seem like it, reskilling and upskilling do play a crucial role in your overall learning culture. While reskilling initiatives are typically a more formalized process, encouraging self-driven skills development through your culture may attribute to future opportunities for reskilling and upskilling.

If you’re aiming to build out or improve your learning culture, download the eBook ‘Lifelong L&D: How To Develop A Continuous Learning Culture To Support Modern Work Environments’ for strategic tips, evolving L&D trends and best practices to support your modern learners through a learning management system.


eBook Release: Absorb LMS
Absorb LMS
A flexible learning platform that makes it easy to build and manage training programs for internal and external stakeholders.