Invest In Your Employees With An Upskilling Program

Invest In Your Employees With An Upskilling Program
Edward Howell/
Summary: Your L&D team needs an upskilling program to future-proof your workforce. Here are 3 best practices to help you get started.

Your Employees Are Your Most Valuable Asset

In the wake of the Great Resignation, employee retention is a massive concern for L&D professionals.

According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as many as 46.8 million resignations happened in the U.S. alone in 2022. [1]

This level of turnover can lead to significant financial losses when you consider that the cost of replacing just one employee ranges from half to two times that employee's annual salary. [2]

That's why, in 2023, L&D teams are prioritizing retention by building upskilling opportunities into their L&D programs. A rock-solid upskilling program is the key to keeping top talent at your organization without negatively impacting your bottom line. Best of all, you probably have everything you need to launch an effective program right now.

We're breaking down why your L&D team needs an upskilling program to future-proof your workforce, along with 3 best practices to help you get started.

Why Invest In An Upskilling Program?

There's a definite correlation between proper training and employee engagement: if you offer employees skill-advancing opportunities, they are more likely to feel valued and stay at your organization.

We saw this reflected in our 2022 Great Resignation Study, where we surveyed 1,058 American workers to gain an understanding of the deeper reasons behind why so many people are leaving to pursue new roles. [3]

So, why are so many people quitting? Turns out, a majority of resignations come down to a lack of (or a perceived lack of) internal mobility.

For example, we found that 45.9% of respondents asked their manager for an internal opportunity but weren't presented with any options. An additional 26.5% of respondents didn't bother asking for internal opportunities because they didn't believe they would be given options.

Even more, half of all respondents felt a promotion was their only option to upskill.

Clearly, Learning and Development teams are in a prime position to invest in their employees' skill-building needs—yet only 15% of L&D teams currently have an upskilling program in place. [4]

Launching an upskilling program now will help your organization gain a competitive edge over other workplaces and give current employees a stronger incentive to stay.

For example, aerospace manufacturer Safran recently faced challenges all too familiar to many B2B companies. [5] The company understood it would have to face the economic crisis threatening to shake up the industry—and new technologies signaled rapidly changing skillsets for jobs. On top of these challenges, they also faced generational turnover, with a large slice of its workforce planning to retire in the near future.

To get ahead of looming staff changes, Safran made a choice to become a learning organization. [6] The company adopted 360Learning as a tool to upskill employees, publishing 5,000 courses authored collaboratively by 300 Subject Matter Experts. Plus, Safran's upskilling program gained over 40,000 active users, who completed 136,000 hours of training. And they used many of our best practices to achieve these results.

3 Best Practices To Launch Your Upskilling Training Program

At its core, upskilling is a type of training that empowers employees to learn new skills and competencies in order to do their jobs more effectively.

It differs from reskilling, in which an employee needs to develop new skills to adapt to the changing landscape of their job or career field.

Upskilling is more nuanced (but don't let that scare you). With upskilling, the goal is to encourage a continuous learning culture so employees are always leveling up their skillsets. It's all about making your employees feel valued, while also helping your organization meet its business goals.

Best of all, an upskilling program can easily be low-maintenance and budget-friendly.

1. Give Employees A Voice In Your Upskilling Program Development

Your employees know what skills they need regarding their career development—they just need a roadmap to get there.

From our survey, we found that most respondents want access to online courses, mentorship opportunities, and career shadowing with colleagues whose jobs interest them. [3]

Before you launch your upskilling program, take time to talk with your employees about their goals and potential skills gaps to better understand their learning preferences.

To make room for these conversations, create a workplace survey or ask managers to schedule 1:1s with their teams. During this time, ask what opportunities are the most meaningful and use the responses to build your program framework.

2. Develop Collaborative Content That Fits Into The Flow Of Work

Most learners want to gain new skills on their own time, at their own pace.

Consider building a program that flows in line with your employees' day-to-day responsibilities. This way, no worker has to choose between doing their job or advancing their skillset. Instead, they can learn in the flow of work.

Prioritize learning platforms which have automation tools to suggest relevant coursework, integrations, and app-embedded tabs to encourage employee development. This helps learners gain valuable learning experiences and expand their current skillset—all without disrupting their workday.

One way you can approach this is to build your program with a collaborative mindset, like working with SMEs at your company to author content around technical and soft skills that matter the most to your workers.

Or, build interactive features into your program—like discussion forums and reaction buttons—in order to keep learner collaboration high and content relevant.

3. Encourage Knowledge Sharing Among Learners

Turns out, a lot of workplaces lack a proper tool or program for storing internal knowledge. It's shared only through person-to-person interactions, despite the fact that 42% of internal knowledge is unique to individual employees. [7]

That can leave your team scrambling to rebuild valuable company information if a highly experienced team member leaves.

The best way to break down information silos is to build processes that encourage knowledge sharing—and then capture that knowledge in a centralized space. We suggest you create:

  • An internal wiki (on your website or in your LMS) that all levels of staff can access and contribute to.
  • A dedicated Slack channel to connect employees with SMEs across the team.
  • Discussion forums designed to encourage peer-to-peer (P2P) learning online.

Each of these options will create an archive of internal knowledge that employees can access at the exact moment they need it, from wherever.

A Learning Platform Is Key To A Successful Upskilling Program

Between authoring course content, managing learner expectations, and ensuring training completion rates stay high, an upskilling program can be a hefty initiative to take on manually.

That's where a collaborative learning platform like 360Learning comes in—designed to help organizations identify learning needs, manage personalized learning pathways, and measure learner progress effortlessly—all with powerful automation.

Our comprehensive platform has LMS, LXP, and Academies capabilities, enabling expert-led L&D with AI-powered content creation, gamification, and content integrations. L&D teams can drive maximum business impact while keeping learners engaged and motivated through every step of their learning path.

Find out what other ways 360Learning can be the ideal tool for upskilling your workforce with a personalized demo.


[1] Job Openings and Labor Turnover Archived News Releases

[2] This Fixable Problem Costs U.S. Businesses $1 Trillion

[3] US Great Resignation Study (2022)

[4] 2022 Workplace Learning Report

[5] How Safran Achieved 136,000 Hours of Online Training in Only One Year with 360Learning

[6] A "learning organization": Safran steps up to the challenge

[7] Workplace knowledge and productivity report

Read More:

eBook Release: 360Learning
360Learning is the learning platform powered by collaborative learning. Upskill from within to accelerate internal mobility and deliver relevant training at scale with our easy-to-use, award-winning authoring tool.

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