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    The Key Benefits of Upskilling

    As an employer, you have many responsibilities. Aside from building a successful business, you also have a number of obligations to your employees. In a job market with unprecedentedly low unemployment rates, employees have the upper hand when it comes to their job prospects. Given this fact, in order to attract and retain top talent, businesses must not only strive to offer their employees competitive employee health benefits packages, but they must also provide them with career growth and development opportunities, such as upskilling. Upskilling is providing employees the opportunity to learn new skills to improve their current work performance while preparing them for projected future needs of the company.

    Particularly, in a technologically evolving world where automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are becoming more prominent aspects of business operations, upskilling is quickly becoming a business priority. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey, 66% of companies placed upskilling as a top 10 business priority due to the potential imminent skills gap that will eventually accompany advances in automation and digitization.

    Related Reading: Recruit, Retain, Retire: The Employee Lifecycle

    Why is upskilling a priority?

    In a tight labor market such as the one we’re currently in, many companies are finding it more challenging to recruit outside talent, so they have shifted their focus to retraining and upskilling their current workforce. This gives organizations the ability to close the skills gap in their workforce while retaining their existing talent. Upskilling not only benefits your employees, but it can impact your business in positive ways, too. Here are the key benefits of upskilling for you and your employees:

    Growth and development opportunities

    When you implement upskill opportunities, you equip your employees with the resources and knowledge they need to achieve personal growth and development goals.

    Improved employability and longevity

    With the consistent evolution and development of advanced technology, there has been a steady increase over the last several decades of jobs being automated or replaced by AI. Upskilling can help your employees become more adaptable in the workforce and more likely to be successful at your organization.

    Retention

    There is a hard-dollar and opportunity cost to employee turnover. Job vacancies that remain open for long periods of time can cost an organization thousands of dollars in recruiting, onboarding, and training resources. Likewise, when employees are given the opportunity to improve their skills and see that their organization is invested in their career development, they are more likely to remain loyal to your company given that they see there is opportunity for growth.

    Competitive advantages

    Upskilling your employees gives them the tools and resources they need to be better at their jobs, thus making your business more competitive in the marketplace. For example, by upskilling customer service representatives with cross-selling skills, you could potentially increase profits during routine customer interactions.

    Investing in your employees’ skills and career growth is most certainly time well spent. Given the strategic advantages it can provide your business, upskilling is a tactic that all growing organizations should take a serious look at as we begin a new decade of advances in technology that promises to change the way consumers engage and business is conducted. To learn more about the benefits of upskilling your employees, contact SWBC Employee Benefits Consulting Group today.

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    Related Categories

    Recruiting & Employee Retention

    Will Rauch

    Will Rauch is a Senior Employee Benefits Consultant who joined SWBC in 2019. He strategically consults and partners with employers of all industries, with a strong emphasis on mid-sized employers ranging anywhere from 50 employees to 1,000 employees. Will’s background includes 10 years of business to business managed professional services in both the U.S. and international markets. Will is a graduate of St. Mary’s University with a double major in Corporate Financial Management and International Business.

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