There’s nothing more valuable to a CIO, IT manager, or MSP owner than a good employee. If you’ve got team members with a wealth of company knowledge and rock-solid IT skills who already fit effortlessly into the company culture, it only makes sense to do everything in your power to keep them around. That’s where reskilling comes in.
What is Reskilling?
Reskilling gives current employees new skills to perform different jobs within their company or department. There are several reasons you might do this:
1. Automation, artificial intelligence (AI), or other technological advancements are reducing the labor force needed in certain sectors. Reskilling is a proactive measure to identify future skill gaps and keep valuable employees who might otherwise lose their jobs.
2. A bored employee isn’t likely to stay with their current company long-term. If they’ve proven themselves valuable, the opportunity to reskill could help retain them and move them into a new job role.
3. Your company or department recognizes skill gaps in a specific department or sector. Reskilling is the natural response to meet your company’s needs and help your employees develop the wide range of skills needed to do their job effectively.
4. Your company most likely wants to develop its future workforce and promote career advancement. This may include helping entry-level workers gain management skills to set them on a career path that will help them do interesting, meaningful work, and earn a living wage. Another way smart CIOs, IT managers, and MSP owners invest in an IT team is by providing continuous learning opportunities.
Reskilling vs. Upskilling
Upskilling is another approach to addressing your company’s needs, but upskilling focuses on upgrading an employee’s current skills in their existing area of expertise. Reskilling, on the other hand, gives your employees new knowledge to develop broader, more versatile skill sets.
To help demonstrate the difference between reskilling and upskilling, consider the following example:
Suppose, as a CIO, you notice a pattern of negative customer feedback about the IT department. You’ll need to dive further into the data to determine the most appropriate course of action to improve service and performance, but ultimately you’ll have two choices:
Reskilling: Reskilling gives your IT professionals a new set of skills. It may involve learning customer service skills, listening skills, or other soft skills to help them communicate more effectively with internal and external customers. When they gain these additional skills to use in their interpersonal interactions, they’ll improve their ability to understand the customer’s needs and help them with their tech problem. The result is a happier, more satisfied customer.
Upskilling: This will increase your IT professionals’ expertise in their existing areas. If the data suggests that negative feedback is related to an inability to solve tech problems, upskilling is the solution. Perhaps your employees need in-depth technical training on existing systems. Maybe they haven’t received proper training on a new piece of software. Perhaps they’re lacking related skills to perform their duties effectively. Upskilling would give them the critical skills they need to do their jobs well and improve customer feedback.
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