As reported by the BBC, upskilling is one of the most urgent challenges the workforce faces.
With an aging workforce, an increase in the gig economy, and a highly competitive labor market, companies are focused on developing and advancing internal talent to fill talent gaps.
According to the World Economic Forum, “upskilling is crucial to post-Covid economic recovery; it could boost global GDP by over $6 trillion and create 5.3 million new jobs by 2030.”
For employees who are seeking advancement or are concerned that new technology could eliminate positions, upskilling is a great way to develop skills to remain relevant and needed in the workforce.
Linda Cai, vice president of talent development at LinkedIn, shares that the reason upskilling is getting so much attention is that “the skills required in the workforce are changing fast. Jobs are changing on you, even if you’re not changing jobs. Recent LinkedIn data shows skillsets for jobs have changed by around 25% since 2015. By 2027, this number is expected to double.”
There are several ways companies can help employees upskill:
- Virtual training
- Peer-to-peer learning
- Certification programs
One of the most effective ways to support an employee on their upskilling journey is to pair them with a mentor. Learning new skills can be supported by real-life experience and insights from colleagues with the skills the employee is working to acquire. According to Robert Half, a professional job placement firm, there are several benefits for companies with mentor programs:
- Increasing knowledge transfer between employees
- Motivating employees to pursue more professional development
- Increasing teamwork across the organization
- Improving employee retention
- Furthering succession planning efforts
Mentoring requires intentionality and preparation to be effective such as establishing goals, planning for sessions to ensure progress, and holding both the mentor and mentee accountable for improvement over time.
Partnering employees with a mentor – the right mentor – with clear guidelines and expectations, not only can help the employee on their upskilling journey, but can also create a more collaborative culture and drive engagement.
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