In today’s business environment, it can be challenging to build out a diverse and inclusive workforce. Many employers make the mistake of looking in the same place for all of their candidates, leading to a lack of diversified candidates in their talent pools. However, as we’ve seen over the past year, the need for diversity and inclusion within businesses is increasing.

Companies today are facing two main problems: 

  1. They are facing a severe talent shortage. 
  2. There is a growing demand for a more diverse workforce. 

Many organizations are currently struggling with talent shortages, which is in part due to the ongoing global pandemic. But, other factors play into this shortage as well, such as changing skills needed within the workforce. One way organizations can combat this is through the practice of upskilling.

What is Upskilling?

Upskilling involves taking current employees and teaching them skills they do not currently possess. Often, this means teaching your team skills that will help them to operate within multiple given roles, enabling your organization to function more smoothly and efficiently in the case of a talent shortage. This can be highly beneficial for companies where their workforces are constantly changing and adapting to the market. If you invest in upskilling your current talent, your organization theoretically can function even if you have open roles in departments.

@CaliperCorp says that through #upskilling and #development programs, you can bridge the talent gap in your organization and create a more diverse workforce. See how: Click To Tweet

When companies invest in upskilling, they can work to diversify their workforce by creating highly skilled and adaptable employees.

Skilled Employees Are Diverse and Adaptable

Employees who are cross-trained in multiple departments are better equipped to handle disruptions and changes to your business functions. Many large corporations have also utilized upskilling as a way to help bridge the talent gap they currently face. Rather than look externally to hire from a highly competitive market, businesses can instead offer the chance for their current employees to expand their skills and open up opportunities to grow within the organization.

This gives your employees the chance to get a leg up in the professional world. With the majority of open positions being middle-skilled positions, classified as roles that require training but no formal degree, these initiatives by corporations are giving more opportunities to demographics that are often overlooked. The key lies in creating a program that not only supports and uplifts your current staff but also encourages them to capitalize on these chances to expand their professional skill set.

How Do You Tackle Upskilling?

The first step to embracing upskilling in your organization is to conduct an analysis of the skills gap your company is currently facing. This is helpful because what you think is a skills gap and what is actually a skills gap may be two different things. When you take the time to identify the areas that are lackluster in your current business functions, you can then prioritize the training that is necessary to support that role.

Developing skills can take time. @CaliperCorp discusses how you can grow the skill set of your current teams through the practice of #upskilling. Read more on their latest blog: Click To Tweet

Investing in training and certifications for current employees is the most cost-effective and least risky way to develop a more skilled team. However, quick training programs are simply a bandaid; they are not a permanent fix for your current needs. In order to truly mend the skills gaps in your organization, you need to invest adequate time and energy to develop your employees. Upskilling in your organization can directly tie to a more diverse and inclusive organization. When you provide employees the basis and opportunity to better develop their skills, you open the door to future career advancement opportunities as well.

When it comes to training your team, there are five steps you can take to sustain a more diverse workforce. They are:

  1. Upskilling and tracking the mobility of your employees, not just the representation. 
  2. Setting SMART goals for your teams. 
  3. Identifying those that possess the talent you’re looking for. 
  4. Bridging the talent gap by understanding where and why the shortages exist in your roles, functions, business units, and locations. 
  5. Using your talent pipelines as an asset for developing and attracting skilled workers.

Turning to your Team for Skills

Upskilling is the direction most businesses are going. With the current fight for talent, it’s most cost-effective to look at your current employees rather than recruit for new positions. When you recruit new employees, it can be a time-consuming process with the risk that they don’t fit well within your workplace culture. By investing in your current workforce, you know that they already possess the personality and skills that are needed to be successful. And, you can uncover hidden talents you never knew your team had.

For the best results in your upskilling program, focus on creating a visible support network. Your employees are more likely to be open to learning new skills and are more likely to be successful in doing so when you create a system that supports and encourages their growth. Employees need to feel comfortable trying new things and asking for help when necessary.

Developing the skills you need from your teams takes time. Talent is something that needs to be invested in continuously, and not just in your moments of need. By creating an upskilling program, you can help to build out the skills of your employees continuously, so that when you do face talent gaps, your team is prepared to step in and support your operations however necessary.

Want to learn more about developing and training your workforce? Our team of experts is ready to help! Reach out now to find out how you can utilize our science-backed assessments and development programs to create the diverse and skilled team you need in today’s modern world.