Reskilling and Upskilling: what are they and how do they differ?

Reskilling and Upskilling are two tools for managing your company’s human capital that can help you detect and promote your...
11 October 2022

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Reskilling and Upskilling: what are they and how do they differ?

Reskilling and Upskilling are two tools for managing your company’s human capital that can help you detect and promote your employees’ talent potential to face significant challenges in the immediate future.

The integration of new technologies and automation through robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions, as well as the uncertainty of the markets, require a transformation that calls for the reinvention of training and education processes to develop new skills and new knowledge in your teams.

In this process, Reskilling and Upskilling are crucial to achieving the company’s strategic objectives, and for this reason, we will discuss what they are of and how they differ.

What is Reskilling?

Reskilling is the technique for acquiring new skills in a completely different job position within the same company. The employee must be trained to take on new responsibilities, which is why it is often considered a clear example of professional retraining.

Implementing a Reskilling policy helps you to leverage your organization’s internal talent by boosting employees’ career plans and equipping existing talent with new skills through a two-pronged knowledge management approach:

  1. Creating valuable training to generate a competitive advantage.
  2. Knowing how to share this training through a culture of collective intelligence in which information is shared in all areas.

The technological variable is one of the drivers of this training. Machines, robots, and AI are taking over from humans in those tasks that require low qualifications.

For this reason, your organization must be able to capitalize and make the most of the relationship between humans and new technologies. In this sense, Reskilling can be a powerful innovation tool.

An example of Reskilling can be found in Customer Service professionals who become experts in gathering and treasuring the knowledge acquired from users using chatbot channels. This information is used in R&D departments to develop new products.

Reskilling and Upskilling

What is Upskilling?

Upskilling is the technique that seeks to increase knowledge, skills, and competencies in the same job position so that the worker can better adapt to new requirements.

This type of retraining can evolve towards positions of greater responsibility, but it does not necessarily have to be this way. For example, moving from face-to-face work to telecommuting requires developing new interpersonal skills and technical competencies, without this meaning a change of position.

Thanks to Upskilling, employees improve their performance and acquire strategic importance in the company, which values and boosts their talent.

What is the difference between Reskilling and Upskilling?

The main difference, as we have just seen, is that Reskilling involves training to assume a change of position. Upskilling is a way of updating the employee within the same position.

In other words, Reskilling focuses on training more versatile workers, and Upskilling on training more specialized workers.

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To know which of these two policies you should implement in your company, you should carry out a follow-up and study of the people to understand the existing talent and the necessary one, following these steps:

  1. Analyze the demand for new positions and the new skills you need.
  2. Create a talent map of your employees to detect the skills they already have and which ones they need to acquire. This will help you determine which workers need to be more versatile and which need to specialize more.
  3. Design specific and individualized training programs. Mentoring and reverse mentoring are beneficial to get the most out of knowledge.
  4. Monitor results and carry out continuous evaluations to analyze the level of progress of the procedure.

The objective is to ensure that all professionals are up to date and can innovate daily in the face of new markets, competitors, and new technologies. To achieve this, you must provide them with the necessary means so that they never stop learning.

Benefits of Reskilling and Upskilling

Benefits of Reskilling and Upskilling

To face the business challenges of the coming years, companies must invest in HR policies of Reskilling and Upskilling that allow them to have versatile, specialized, and motivated human capital.

Likewise, professionals must be able to open their minds to work objectives in which the continuous improvement of their positions is a habitual and natural practice.

Benefits of Reskilling and Upskilling for the company

This type of employee will be a real added value for your organization and will bring you advantages in terms of:

  • The professional development of your employees.
  • The retention of talent as they feel more valued.
  • Strengthening your company culture by creating a sense of belonging and improving your employer branding.
  • Reducing selection processes by saving costs in the talent search.
  • Reducing the digital divide by betting on the development of non-analog skills.

Benefits of Reskilling and Upskilling for the employee

In addition to the company, the employee’s professional profile is also strengthened by this type of technique in terms of:

  • More significant commitment to the company that is also betting on increasing their employability.
  • The employee enjoys continuous and polyvalent training even if they leave the company.
  • Optimization of professional profiles in situations of crisis or lower workloads.
  • Greater HR processes’ transparency results in greater brand credibility for the company.
  • Protection and exploitation of the talent of senior profiles that may see their fit in the company compromised due to an ageism problem.

Both in the process of monitoring talent and in the development of training plans and training, having an environment that protects employees’ privacy increases the credibility of HR strategies and increases workers’ confidence.

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