JOHN VIANNEY AHUMUZA
The term upskilling refers to the expansion of people’s capabilities and employability to fulfill the talent needs of a rapidly changing economy. Wikipedia, a free online dictionary, defines upskilling as an impressive workplace trend that focuses on continuous learning. This training occurs when organizations and companies invest in training programmes that help employees develop new abilities and minimize skill gaps.
Upskilling is not the same as re-skilling, a term associated with short-term efforts undertaken for specific groups. An upskilling effort, by contrast, is a comprehensive initiative to convert applicable knowledge into productive results — not just to have people meet desk requirements, but to excel at the overall organizational output. It involves identifying the skills that will be most valuable in the future, the organization’s business acumen that will require their skills inputs, and the training and technology-enabled learning that could help them achieve these goals.
This would help reduce employee flights and short-term commitment in workplaces. No matter how you choose to upskill your employees, what matters is that it becomes part of your deliberate business strategy to retain and keep relevant to the very best employees. Giving them an opportunity to learn and grow—both personally and professionally—is key to optimizing and retaining talent. A study published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2018 estimated that 46 percent of all jobs worldwide apparently have at least a 50 percent chance of being lost or greatly changed due to new industry trends. This calls for organisations to think outside the box in repositioning their employees whom they risk losing due to skill mismatch.
Whereas human to human has been the way since time immemorial to combat crimes in security agencies, new technology-enabled gadgets have been designed to detect crime. This would probably imply that for security personnel to be outdated with modern crimes, vigorous training regarding detections using technology is very key. Administrative roles, too, have changed beyond mere receiving notices and setting meetings to being hubs for training employees with modern management skills. The same applies to teach and research in the context of technology. The world is indeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
This requires organizations to deliberately and intentionally encourage employees to forge their own learning paths by removing barriers and building incentives, say by rewarding employees who upskill in their own time. Allow employees this flexibility for the greater good of the organization. By doing so, the employees will always stay relevant and committed to undertake any new tasks which will offer the organization more opportunities to promote from within and lessen the risk of losing talent to another company or private business ventures.