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Upskilling and Reskilling: Must-Have L&D Trends for 2022 and Beyond

Most of today’s jobs didn’t exist in 1940, and 85 percent of jobs that will exist 10 years from now don’t exist yet. Automation changes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated this shift. An estimated 85 million jobs will be displaced and 97 million new jobs will be created by 2025. Organizations are already seeing the effects of this, with 9 in 10 executives and managers reporting that their organizations either face a skills gap or expect one to develop within the next five years.

Upskilling and reskilling your workforce can help your employees prepare for the future and help your organization overcome a skills gap so you can meet your business goals.

What are upskilling and reskilling?

Upskilling is teaching employees new skills to help them perform their job better. For example, helping a digital marketing professional hone their advertising skills.

Reskilling focuses on teaching employees new skills to transition into a new occupation. For example, training employees from non-technical functions to be production-grade engineers.

Upskilling and reskilling employees to prepare for the jobs of the future

The top job roles with decreasing demand across industries include Data Entry Clerks, Administrative and Executive Assistants, and Accounting, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Clerks. Job roles with increasing demand include Data Analysts and Scientists, AI and Machine Learning Specialists, and Big Data Specialists. 

A growing number of people are making a career choice to pursue entirely new occupations. For example, 50 percent of career shifts into data and artificial intelligence are from different fields, as are 75 percent of shifts into sales roles.

Nearly half of those workers set to remain in their roles in the next five years will need professional development around their core skills. This underscores the importance of employee training for everyone on your team.

It’s no surprise that upskilling and reskilling are top priorities for learning and development (L&D) professionals globally. In fact, 58 percent of companies say that closing their skills gap has become a priority since the pandemic began, and 69 percent are engaging in more skill-building than before the crisis.

How to get the most from upskilling and reskilling

Your learning and development program should help team members perform better in their current roles, train for hard-to-fill roles, and prepare for jobs of the future. Here are some best practices to help you make the biggest impact.

1. Create employee career paths

Learn about your employees’ professional goals, skills, and strengths and consider how opportunities at your organization align with their plans. Then, create a career path outlining the steps they can take to reach their objectives. Include the specific skills they should obtain and professional milestones they should reach in order to move to the next stage of their careers. 

2. Incorporate upskilling and reskilling into your performance review process

Performance reviews are a time to reflect on your employees’ contributions to your team and discuss next steps for career development and advancement. Take this time to revisit career maps to ensure they still align with both your organization’s and employees’ needs. Then review a specific development plan and learning content to upskill and reskill where needed.

3. Discuss progress during regular one-on-ones

Employee performance feedback shouldn’t just be an annual event—it should be something team members receive regularly. Managers should schedule regular one-on-ones with each team member and set aside time to discuss progress toward goals. They should also stay in tune with their team member’s career goals and the company’s talent needs and make any necessary adjustments to the team member’s development plan.

4. Offer a variety of development opportunities

Everyone learns differently and may benefit from various development opportunities to fine-tune their skill sets and gain new skills. These include online learning, leadership coaching, boot camps, and job shadowing. Managers should try to understand their team members’ learning preferences to recommend specific content or steps that will help them advance their careers. 

5. Recognize employee achievements

Recognizing team members for their L&D achievements demonstrates the value your company places on upskilling and reskilling, encouraging team members to participate. Make time during all-hands meetings to highlight individuals and departments learning or improving their skill sets. You might also recognize achievements in a dedicated Slack channel, email announcement, or one-on-one with the team member.

Final thoughts on upskilling and reskilling

Ninety-four percent of business leaders report that they expect employees to pick up new skills on the job—and for good reason. Most say their skill transformations have had a positive impact on four key company outcomes: the ability to realize company strategy, employee performance, employee satisfaction, and employer reputation. 

As the world of work continues to evolve, upskilling and reskilling will be must-have learning and development trends in 2022 and beyond. An effective training program will help you fill existing skill gaps and prepare for the future by training the talent you’ll need to be successful. 

Want to learn more about WorkRamp can help you upskill and reskill your team members? Contact us to schedule a free demo.

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Jen Dewar

WorkRamp Contributor

Jen Dewar is a marketing consultant in HR technology, focusing on developing educational content for HR professionals and recruiters. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, lifelong learning and development, and treating people like people throughout candidate and employee experiences. Outside of work, you can find Jen snowboarding in Tahoe, enjoying a glass of wine in Sonoma, or hanging out at home with her family.

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