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How To Use Upskilling to Improve Employee Retention

Retaining employees is becoming increasingly difficult amidst the Great Resignation. Because of this, organizations are looking for creative ways to incentivize current employees to stay.

That’s where upskilling comes in. Upskilling is when an organization focuses on the future potential of an employee and promotes career growth through training initiatives. Moreover, it can ultimately effectively improve your retention rates long-term.


Upskilling involves teaching an employee new or additional skills. This can be done through:

  • Continuing education
  • Additional training in-house
  • Earning certifications

Offering employees new sets of skills can boost productivity, improve employee satisfaction, and increase employee retention.

Upskilling also helps your organization fill needs that are not currently being met. As is, many employees often lack certain skills necessary for their position regardless of their past experiences.

It is important to note that upskilling focuses on teaching skills to level up a certain position as opposed to teaching employees new skills for a different role or job function.

Changing with the times

Over the years we have seen many changes across the professional landscape. However, it was extremely accelerated with the start of the pandemic. When the lockdowns began across the country, industries of all kinds found themselves having to adapt at a moment’s notice. This highlighted the need for flexibility and growth in the workplace.

When an employee is hired for a set of skills, it is certain that the list of skills needed to remain competitive will grow over time. Therefore, there is great value in continuously investing in your employees to take their positions to the next level.

Additionally, this opens up the candidate pool for a position that may not have all the correct experiences but are great at learning and adapting.

How to create an upskilling program

Creating any training within your organization requires some reflection. It is key to assess your organization’s needs and the skillsets available from your current employees. Similarly, it is important to assess your employees’ current skill gaps to help get a full picture of what it is that you need. upskilling

Once you’ve reviewed what skills are and aren’t present within your organization you can identify what skills sets will boost overall performance. Some employees may benefit from learning how to use the latest technology to assist with their daily tasks. While others may do better learning new interpersonal skills for their position.

Additionally, it is equally important to offer your employees training methods that work best for them. Each employee is different and subsequently, learns differently. Some may benefit from off-site training schedules while others would understand best with hands-on training on-site. Letting the employees choose how they learn increases the chances of the training being a success.

Overall, these learning opportunities also set a positive precedent for your company’s culture. A strong culture offers the best foundation for retention.

Regardless of how you manage your organization, a little help will always go a long way. Learning about the tools, services, and resources available to you can be highly valuable and possibly save you from continuing any common mistakes.

Looking for a payroll service provider you can rely on? Payroll Systems offers payroll solutions that are easy to scale. You also get your own payroll specialist to ensure we meet your specific payroll needs. Talk to us to learn more.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.