Upskilling vs. Reskilling: Which Training Is Right for Me?

Should you be upskilling or reskilling? Knowing exactly what training your team needs is crucial. You don’t want to invest time and money in a training program only to realize you’ve chosen the wrong approach!

To avoid this unsavory situation, we’ve put together a worksheet that will give you an idea of which is a better fit for your team: upskilling or reskilling.

Start by Answering These Questions

Let’s get a general idea of why you’re considering training in the first place.

1. Who will you be training?

  • What team members are you looking to train?
  • What department do they serve?
  • How many employees need training and where are they located?
  • What are the general demographics and learning habits of the employees who need training?

2. What problem are you trying to solve?

  • Are there certain technologies you’re mandated to update?
  • Are you changing strategic direction that needs new forms of problem solving?

3. How do you hope training will affect job performance?

  • What is the goal for team members once training is complete?
  • What skill or behavior do you want team members to adopt?

4. How will you measure training effectiveness?

  • What do you plan to measure to ensure training meets goals?
  • What business results do you hope to see?

Depending on your answers to these questions, you’ll better understand if you need upskilling or reskilling. Let’s take a look at both options.

Upskilling enhances an employee’s abilities with the intention of keeping an employee within the same job profile. It’s implemented when employees need to enhance their value to the organization by improving their current skill set.

Reskilling teaches new skills so that an employee can do a different job. When someone is laid off or a role is made redundant, employees can be reskilled to take on a different role within the company.

Here are the benefits of each, and why you should choose one over the other:

  Upskilling Reskilling
Benefits Empower employees to stay up-to-date with emerging trends and technologies  Provide them with skills to build things (like software) by using new technologies  Help standardize actions (like coding & programming methodologies) & best practices company-wide Increase adaptation to technological change Create educational systems for future programs & team members Fuel bottom-line growth Find the talent/grow the talent you need in-house
Choose If You want to: Invest in current employees to enhance existing skills Promote from within instead of hiring someone completely new Make team members feel you’re invested in their growth You are ready to: Dig into the current skills of your staff Discover the key skills your business needs Define an ideal skill set Identify employee & team strengths, weaknesses & skill gaps

The Bottom Line

So, what is the best fit for you and your organization? Are you looking to enhance an existing skill set, or move team members into a different career path?

Whether reskilling or upskilling is the right choice, the benefits of investing in your existing workforce speak for themselves: Businesses enjoy an average 10% increase in productivity and $70,000 in annual savings when teams are appropriately trained