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Organizations Increased Upskilling/Reskilling Efforts During COVID-19

July 4, 2020

By Heather Nezich courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

A new study conducted by TalentLMS and Workable, in collaboration with Training Journal, revealed that almost half of the surveyed companies have stepped up their upskilling and reskilling efforts during the COVID-19 outbreak. At the same time, 42% of employees pursued additional training on their own.

“In this collective time, companies across industries, no matter their size or needs, moved their training online to keep going,” says Eleftheria Papatheodorou, customer support and training director at TalentLMS. She added, “We’re entering a period where online training is not another solution but the only way to go.”

The study uncovered disparities and alignments between employees’ and employers’ point of view. While they agree that some of the top skills missing at the workplace are communication and collaboration, there is a divide on whether soft or hard skills training is more useful. 

Key findings include:

  • Upskilling or reskilling training has been beneficial to companies’ productivity (91%), goals (84%), reputation (74%), and employee retention (69%).
  • Only 35% of employers have an official upskilling/reskilling program in place.
  • Lack of time (55%) and lack of training resources (46%) are the two main upskilling and reskilling barriers for companies.
  • Communication (57%), leadership (54%), and proactive thinking (50%) are the most important soft skills the employees are lacking, according to employers.
  • During the lockdown, 43% of employers provided more training.
  • 74% of those who haven’t received upskilling/reskilling prefer to work for a company that offers them.
  • 66% of employees think hard skills training would help them advance more, compared to only 34% for soft skills training.
  • 74% of employees believe their managers need upskilling or reskilling.
  • The joy of learning new things and developing new skills was the top upskilling motivator for 66% of the respondents. 33% do it with the purpose to be promoted and 29% to get a raise.

When asked what the most important soft skills employees/co-workers are lacking, communication/collaboration was number one for both employers and employees.

Upskilling/reskilling training has become an essential stage in the employee training cycle.  While employers are looking to address missing skills to increase performance, employees are trying to use upskilling and reskilling training to grow within their company and achieve greater compensation.  Both employers and employees benefit from an effective training program.

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