Upskilling trends every organization must follow in 2023
Table of contents
- Future-proofing the workforce: top upskilling trends to watch in 2023
- Staying ahead of upskilling trends: how HRForecast empowers organizations to succeed
Once upon a time, in the bustling world of manufacturing, there was a company called Toyota Motor Corporation. Toyota recognized the immense potential hidden within its low-skilled factory workers and saw an opportunity to unleash their capabilities through upskilling.
Toyota embarked on a transformative journey with a program called the Toyota Production System (TPS). The vision was clear: to empower factory workers and elevate their roles from performing assembly line tasks to holding pivotal positions within the organization.
With enthusiasm and determination, Toyota invested in extensive training programs that provided factory workers with new skills, knowledge, and problem-solving abilities. The workers embraced this opportunity and eagerly absorbed the valuable lessons imparted to them.
As time passed, the upskilled factory workers began displaying their newfound expertise and passion. They evolved into team leaders, guiding their colleagues towards improved productivity and efficiency. Their eyes were sharp, spotting areas for improvement and identifying inefficiencies that hindered the production process.
These factory workers turned into problem-solvers, working hand in hand with engineers and managers to devise innovative solutions and optimize manufacturing operations. They developed a deep understanding of the intricate production system, utilizing their skills to streamline processes and enhance quality control. Their journey from low-skilled workers to pivotal roles demonstrated the transformative power of upskilling.
The story of Toyota and its upskilled factory workers serves as a timeless reminder of the potential within individuals, waiting to be unleashed through strategic upskilling initiatives. It testifies to the power of investing in the growth and development of employees, transforming their roles and the entire organization in the process.
Future-proofing the workforce: top upskilling trends to watch in 2023
Upskilling continues to be a constant focus as job roles evolve, and we expect it to be even more critical in 2023. The global educational services market grew immensely last year thanks to easily accessible online education, many programs and certifications, and flexible learning pathways. In addition, the increased adoption of technology across industries spurred demand for programs in data science, tech, management, and other related disciplines. IT, banking, manufacturing, education/training, and healthcare and pharmaceuticals were the five sectors with the greatest demand for upskilling in 2022. In 2023, when the job markets look brutal, organizations worldwide will continue to invest in skills development programs to retain their employees and accelerate their career progression.
This blog post explores how organizations will upskill their employees, identify key motivators for upskilling, and develop a strategic approach to future-proof their businesses based on the latest trends and their effects across various industries and geographies.
Area of concentration
Data literacy has become the language of business, so it’s no surprise that the domain in which upskilling was most in demand in 2022 was data science. With automation set to displace 85 million jobs globally by 2025, many organizations are upskilling their employees with new digital technologies to cash in on this economic transformation.
Take a look at the top in-demand human skills and digital skills for 2023.
Understanding which skills will be in demand in the future is critical for HR leaders, as it allows them to proactively address skills gaps, align workforce planning strategies, attract and retain top talent, enhance organizational agility, drive innovation and competitiveness, and optimize costs. By anticipating skills gaps, HR leaders can identify areas for upskilling and ensure the organization has the necessary talent to meet future challenges.
Motivating employees to upskill
Before we explore what factors motivate employees to upskill in 2023, let us look at what companies spend on learning and development. This will give HR leaders a clear idea of the impact and losses associated with attempting to upskill unmotivated employees.
Source: Learn Experts
By knowing the factors that drive employee motivation, HR leaders can design and implement upskilling programs that align with employees’ needs and aspirations, resulting in higher engagement and success. Take a look at the factors that motivate employees in 2023:
Motivation plays a role in sustaining the learning process. As employees encounter challenges and obstacles during their upskilling journey, their motivation provides the resilience and determination to overcome them. Furthermore, motivated employees who upskill are likelier to experience increased job satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty to their organization. They see the value in continual learning and understand its positive impact on their career growth and future opportunities. Therefore, HR leaders must foster a culture that nurtures and sustains employee motivation for upskilling, recognizing its significance in driving individual and organizational success.
Forecasting future skills
According to Korn Ferry’s “Future of Work” series, the skills gap is a trillion-dollar problem. Therefore, forecasting skills before upskilling is crucial for effective workforce planning and organizational success. It enables HR leaders to align upskilling initiatives with future needs, ensuring the workforce has the right skills. By identifying high-demand skills, HR leaders can proactively develop targeted training programs, bridging skills gaps and driving organizational competitiveness.
Let’s consider relevant HR and IT skills today, with stable or decreasing demand.
Once HR managers identify skills gaps and future skills requirements, they can proactively address them by implementing targeted upskilling programs. These programs may include workshops, online courses, mentorship, and on-the-job learning opportunities. HR managers can collaborate with learning specialists to design effective programs and foster a supportive learning culture.
Well-designed learning journeys
Employees dread long, boring, and, boring, and irrelevant learning journeys created by organizations. Endless hours in stuffy conference rooms, listening to monotonous instructors and enduring mind-numbing e-learning modules. Employees can feel like they are trapped in a time warp of irrelevance.
2023 calls for transforming these experiences by making learning engaging, interactive, and relevant. Take a look at what employees have to say about how organizations can create a more engaging and effective learning journey:
Investing in the right technology
By investing in the right technology, organizations can provide employees access to innovative learning platforms, virtual training resources, and interactive simulations. These technologies enable employees to engage in self-paced learning, acquire new skills, and stay up to date with industry trends. Leveraging technology for upskilling offers various benefits to organizations. Here is how technology offers creative ways to facilitate upskilling.
Microlearning: Bite-sized modules delivered through mobile apps or learning management systems enable employees to access targeted learning anytime, anywhere.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR): Immersive simulations allow employees to practice new skills safely, boosting engagement and confidence.
Gamification: Introducing game elements like points, leaderboards, and rewards motivates employees and makes upskilling enjoyable.
Online collaboration: Collaborative platforms foster knowledge sharing and social learning among employees.
Personalized learning paths: Data analytics helps HR leaders identify skill gaps and customize learning experiences based on individual needs.
By leveraging technology, organizations can enhance the upskilling experience, engage employees, and stay ahead in the digital landscape.
From upskilling for upskilling’s sake to ROI-driven development
In today’s competitive business landscape, companies understand the importance of upskilling their employees to stay ahead. However, gone are the days of blindly investing in learning and development initiatives without considering the return on investment (ROI).
Investing in employee training and development is a significant financial commitment for companies. On average, organizations spend over $1,000 per employee on training programs, with larger companies facing even higher costs due to larger headcounts. However, simply investing money and time into training does not guarantee a positive return on investment (ROI). This misalignment hampers both employee engagement and organizational growth potential.
Calculating the return on investment (ROI) in upskilling initiatives is crucial for organizations to measure the effectiveness and value of their efforts. Data-driven approaches provide objective and reliable ways to evaluate the ROI of upskilling programs. Here are some data-driven methods for calculating ROI in upskilling:
Pre- and post-assessments
Conducting pre- and post-assessments is a valuable data-driven method to measure the impact of upskilling. Assessments can include skills tests, knowledge quizzes, or performance evaluations. By comparing the results before and after the upskilling program, organizations can quantify the improvement in skills and performance, providing tangible evidence of ROI.
Employee performance metrics
Analyzing employee performance metrics can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of upskilling initiatives. By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as productivity, customer satisfaction, or sales performance, organizations can identify if there are positive changes following upskilling efforts. Comparing the performance metrics of upskilled employees with non-upskilled peers can provide a clear indication of the impact of upskilling on business outcomes.
Employee engagement and retention
Upskilling initiatives often positively affect employee engagement and retention. By analyzing employee engagement survey results and turnover rates, organizations can determine if upskilling programs contribute to higher engagement and increased employee retention. Higher engagement and retention rates are indicators of the positive impact of upskilling on the workforce, leading to potential cost savings on recruitment and training.
Cost savings and efficiency
Upskilling initiatives can result in cost savings and improved operational efficiency. Organizations can quantify the financial benefits of upskilling by tracking relevant cost factors, such as reduced external training expenses, decreased reliance on external consultants, and increased productivity. Efficiency metrics, such as reduced error rates, faster task completion, and improved process optimization, can also demonstrate the ROI of upskilling efforts.
Employee feedback and surveys
Collecting feedback from employees who have participated in upskilling programs is another data-driven approach to assessing ROI. Surveys and interviews can gauge employee satisfaction, confidence levels, and perceived value of the upskilling experience. Positive feedback and qualitative data can provide valuable insights into the impact of upskilling on employee development, engagement, and motivation.
By leveraging these data-driven methods, organizations can measure the ROI of upskilling initiatives in a quantifiable and objective manner. Data collected from pre-and post-assessments, performance metrics, employee engagement, cost savings, and employee feedback provide a comprehensive view of the impact of upskilling on individual and organizational success. This enables organizations to make informed decisions, optimize future upskilling investments, and demonstrate the value of upskilling to stakeholders.
Staying ahead of upskilling trends: how HRForecast empowers organizations to succeed
HRForecast is an end-to-end provider of workforce transformation solutions to help organizations in various aspects of upskilling. Here are some of the use cases where HRForecast can assist organizations:
Workforce planning: We help organizations develop effective strategic workforce planning strategies. By analyzing workforce data, market trends, and business objectives, we assist in identifying the skills and competencies needed for future growth. This enables organizations to align their upskilling initiatives with strategic workforce planning.
Skills demand forecasting: We use advanced analytics and predictive modeling to forecast future skills demand. This helps organizations anticipate the skills that will be required and proactively develop upskilling programs to address those needs. Organizations can minimize skills gaps and ensure a future-ready workforce by staying ahead of the curve.
Training needs analysis: We support organizations in assessing their employees’ training needs. By analyzing job roles, skills requirements, and individual performance data, we help identify specific areas where upskilling is needed. This enables organizations to design targeted training programs tailored to the needs of their workforce.
Learning and development strategy: We assist organizations in developing comprehensive learning and development strategies. We provide insights into effective upskilling methods, learning platforms, and approaches to maximize the impact of training initiatives. This ensures organizations have a structured and well-aligned approach to upskilling their workforce.
Get in touch with our consultants to embark on your upskilling journey.