Learning at Work: 10 Benefits of Upskilling Employees

August 30th, 2023 – SkillCycle

Carpenter work at workshop.

Over a billion jobs are liable to be radically transformed by technology over the next decade, according to The World Economic Forum. Companies that believe in the benefits of upskilling employees are more likely to take the right steps to successfully meet these changes.

Employees are paying close attention as well. Nearly half of those surveyed would switch to a new job if offered skills training, according to Gallup, with another 65% believing that upskilling provided by employers is very important when evaluating new job opportunities.

What does this mean for you? Upskilling is a valuable investment in your development and worthwhile for both you and your company to prioritize. 

In this article on the benefits of upskilling, we’ll explore:

  • What is upskilling and what does it mean for employees?
  • The difference between upskilling and reskilling
  • Ten benefits of upskilling employees
  • What to expect if your organization is upskilling employees


What is upskilling and what does it mean for employees? 

Upskilling is a critical component to help companies fill skills gaps. It can be something you pursue on your own, but is often provided by the company you work for. It can help you build skills and take on new challenges at work. It encourages continuous learning, from early in your career through each step as your career evolves. 

Upskilling also can put more money in your pocket. Workers who recently participated in an upskilling program saw an average salary increase of almost 9%, or $8,000 more than those who did not take part, according to Gallup

There’s a larger goal that companies are working toward when it comes to upskilling. They provide training programs and learning opportunities to help employees expand their skills, and to fill any gaps they identify across the organization. Upskilling their workforce can help companies prepare for the future while avoiding costly turnover.

The best part for those who can take advantage of employee upskilling? Adding new skills can make you a more valuable employee and help you progress in your career. It can also protect your employment as your company grows and evolves, ensuring you have the skills you need to move or shift within the organization. 


The difference between upskilling and reskilling

You may hear two terms when discussing bridging skills gaps: upskilling and reskilling. They both help companies increase the skills and expertise within a team, but they’re a bit different in how and when they’re likely to be used.

  • Upskilling is when an employee improves or learns skills that are relevant to their current role. These improvements are intended to help them be better at their jobs and aren’t likely to involve a change in career path. These skills can offer personal growth and new ways for employees to move up within the company.
  • Reskilling, on the other hand, is more about learning a new set of skills to move into a different role or career path. These new skills may not be relevant to an employee’s current job but could allow them to move to a new area in the organization. Reskilling can help companies keep talented people whose current jobs have been eliminated by enabling them to acquire skills in a new area.


10 benefits of upskilling employees

Employee upskilling benefits both people and workplaces, in different ways. Learning opportunities are a sign that your employer is investing in you, and your future. 

There may be direct benefits that you notice in your daily work (such as being able to do your job better, or more efficiently) or indirect benefits that help you in the long run (such as your company being viable for the long term because of increased profitability).

Here are ten ways upskilling can benefit you and the company you work for. 


1. Identifying and filling organizational skills gaps

Bridging these gaps across its workforce helps the company navigate future changes without faltering.


2. Boosting employee satisfaction and morale

Learning new skills can make your job more interesting, and help prepare you to take on more challenging roles and responsibilities throughout your career.


3. Increasing employee retention rates

You, and your favorite teammates, are more likely to be able to stay with the company and enjoy how your role changes over time.


4. Attracting new talent 

When your company does need to hire externally, they’ll be able to attract stellar candidates who are likely to bring fresh energy and talent to the organization.


5. Fostering a culture of learning

Once a company commits to providing upskilling and learning opportunities, it can open up new channels for creativity, innovation, and problem-solving, making work more rewarding. 


6. Reducing attrition and turnover costs

If your organization can reduce turnover costs, it can invest in you and other employees instead. 


7. Increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty

When employees gain skills and improve in their jobs, they can improve the customer experience, helping the company grow and protecting their own futures as well.


8. Adapting to trends in digitalization and automation

How you work will likely change throughout your career, and adding digital skills will help future-proof your career. 


9. Keeping a competitive edge

Your employer will always have to compete with other companies for market share. A well-skilled team can help, and will protect your future with the organization as well. 


10. Building a clear succession plan

Upskilling can help your company develop and promote people internally, which can encourage longevity for the organization and valuable opportunities for you to grow. 

While your company may focus on the benefits of upskilling employees on their productivity and profitability, you can be confident these efforts also help you. When evaluating job opportunities, look for organizations with robust learning and training programs and strategies to upskill and grow their workforce.


What can you expect if your organization is upskilling?

While many companies are already offering their employees opportunities to access training or development opportunities, upskilling across the organization might be a bit more strategic. 

For upskilling to be successful, your company must determine what skills it will need in the future and create a strategy to close those skills gaps. Then, they’ll need to foster a culture of continuous learning that enables employees to gain skills on an ongoing basis to bridge the gap. 

When you see programs in place or being developed in these areas in a company, it’s likely a good sign that leadership is taking proactive steps to safeguard the company’s success and grow it in positive ways.  

A company committed to your professional growth and learning is a good one. Want to encourage your organization to open up more learning opportunities? Share our brand with your HR teammates.


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