It’s hard to ignore how important it is for workers to keep learning and developing new skills. It provides them with the competency they need to meet the demand that comes with different economic pressures and social upheavals. Upskilling has become almost mandatory for all professionals in non-profits, businesses, government, education, and medical sectors. 

Any organization that doesn’t take upskilling seriously is bound to make losses while workers who don’t are in danger of losing their jobs. After all, the most valuable employees are those who grow and develop new skills to meet the changing needs of the organization.

Upskilling strategies at the workplace

More and more organizations are nowadays, transforming their workforce to drive growth, productivity, and innovation. The speed of acquiring the new skills depends on several factors such as the employee’s learning style, prior experience, and the delivery format. 

If you’re in the HR or L&D department, here are five strategies that will offer success in the present while readying you for the future:

  1. Focus on skills

Skills are the language of business. Focus more on recognizing and enabling professional and lifelong skills. This approach is inclusive and demonstrates a commitment to the employees. The result is an ongoing process that produces positive outcomes that surpass business profit and loss statements.

Review and update your previous employee learning skills to ensure that they address all current and future skill needs

  1. Encourage knowledge sharing and apprenticeship

Employees are more likely to stay in an organization that helps them grow as opposed to one that doesn’t. The learning process is customized to each employee and made available through a variety of venues because the user experience is a high priority.

While today’s apprenticeship programs have been reinvented, the end goal remains the same – to give workers skill-based competency. This process is helpful with recruiting, building, and retaining a highly skilled workforce.

  1. Automation with software solutions

Thanks to technological advancements, different software solutions are now used to collect employee data, store it, and draw conclusions from it. Any skill gaps are identified and addressed.

  1. Invest in a regular feedback loop

This helps employers and employees stay on track because there constant feedback on the process. Employees have access to their progress at all points in the journey and employers who the top performer is and who still needs to put in more effort.

  1. Perform skill assessments 

Skill assessment enables all parties involved to understand the state of things in the organization. Employers can regularly validate skills that employees acquire within the upskilling program. This way, they can always keep the future-forward image and the organization’s goals and focus.

Common upskilling challenges in organizations

For upskilling efforts to steer in the right direction, organizations need to put key measures in place. Without doing this, they’re bound to face numerous challenges. The most common ones revolve around time, money, and lack of employer investment. Here’s a list:

  1. There’s resistance to change
  2. It’s difficult for employers to fully identify their employees’ existing skillset and quantify training effectiveness
  3. Some employers provide learning material but fail to provide emotional support to the employees.
  4. It’s hard to deliver consistent training for geographically dispersed companies
  5. Tech-related challenges include lack of digital services, power fluctuation, poor internet connectivity, and low bandwidth.


The need to upskill is no longer just a recommendation but a necessary step to economic growth. Overall, upskilling is an essential building block for very important attributes such as employee engagement, a successful employer brand, and lifelong organizational learning culture. The process entails anticipating the right skills for the future, laying a culture foundation, and implementing upskilling programs.