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How to upskill and reskill in the hybrid work culture?


Companies are looking for ways to sustain themselves in the ever-changing environment considering the Covid-19 pandemic. Every day is a new challenge. What happens next?

In such difficult circumstances, companies need to note that the employees are as stressed and anxious as the employers themselves. An average employee struggles for a position for themselves in the organization each day.

As time passed by, employees somehow adopted the remote working system. Eventually, their productivity increased as well. It resulted in better performance rates with convenient time slots. Unfortunately, several employees were asked to leave their job positions because they did not have the right ‘skills and competencies for it.

The need of the hour was to introduce a reskilling and upskilling programme. It would have benefited the organization as well as the employees. However, most organizations did not know how to implement them and overcome these challenges.

According to a McKinsey global survey, 87% of executives experience a skills gap in the workforce or expect them soon. But less than half have a clear sense of how to address the problem.

Mirroring this, the Deloitte 2020 Global Human Capital Trends Survey found 74% of organizations know that reskilling their workforce is important in the next 12 to 18 months, but only 10% feel they have the necessary resources to reskill their people.

Additionally, the basic difference between ‘upskilling’ and ‘reskilling’ is unknown to people.

Upskilling occurs when an employee learns new skills to be better at their existing jobs.

On the other hand, Reskilling occurs when an employee learns newer skills to perform a different job altogether.

For example, when a job that was earlier done manually is replaced by some tech-savvy machines, the employees are taught newer skills to perform some other tasks.

While reskilling and upskilling were always crucial for the growth and success of any organization, the Covid-19 pandemic created an alarming need for the same.

Digitization and the complete work-from-home system brought a complete transition in working methods. The Human Resources teams found it impossible to single-handedly teach new skills.

Some organizations were already following this practice and were able to manage their employees’ training efficiently. On the contrary, some believed in focusing on existing skills only. It served as a drawback for them.

Here are some steps that companies can follow to effectively reskill and upskill their employees in the hybrid work culture that we are in:

1. Identify employee behaviour

It is of utmost importance to figure out the behaviours of employees. Every individual is different in some way or the other. The skills and competencies also vary, even if they work at the same level.

Multiple personality tests shall be conducted. These tests help identify a standard set of individuals and classify them according to it.

This strong classification helps in figuring out the coping levels and flexibility acceptance rates of employees. Accordingly, different skill development courses can be designed for different groups.

2. Begin from the top levels

Managers at higher-level positions act as the role models of junior-level employees. Apart from setting up goals, they also have to maintain harmony among the employees and ensure that they work to the best of their abilities.

Additionally, the higher-level managers should be encouraged to take an active part in the process of learning.

This simple process can be initiated by sharing experiences, taking regular one-on-one sessions, clearing doubts and promoting a willingness to learn.

Involving top-level managers is beneficial for the growth of an organization since it attracts the younger generation. Young people aim to learn from their seniors and perform better when they are taught with proper attention. This helps in bringing fresh talent to an organization.

3. Map skill gaps and act as a small organization

After successful identification of personality types and initiation of learning from top-level managers, mapping skill gaps becomes essential.

Skill gaps refer to the gaps between the skills that an employee has and what they need to perform a job better.

The personality tests bring out different groups. This group classification converts a large organization into a smaller one.

According to research, smaller organizations tend to manage upskilling and reskilling programmes better.

Thus, the transition from a big organization to a small one poses out to be fruitful. Proper identification of gaps helps in further processes of building up curriculums.

4. Formulate respective modules

Post gap identification, formulation of the desired module becomes necessary.

Various training agencies offer cost-effective training solutions with high-end modules and attentive teaching staff.

They also possess different modules for different personalities and skill gappers. Organizations usually prefer to outsource this service.

5. Create an inclusive and optimized learning journey

It is salient to be all-inclusive with the training programmes. Employees who are not available offline must be included through online platforms at all levels.

After the successful implementation of programmes, proper monitoring of the learning journey should not be ignored.

According to a report by LinkedIn, in the UK, 43% of L&D professionals are using different methods to determine how satisfied employees are with learning programs, including qualitative feedback, surveys, talent retention rates and company mobility rates.

6. Promote Incentive Learning

Employees when rewarded, work better.

Human nature works on the principles of working to achieve something. While the upskilling and reskilling programmes will be beneficial to them in future, rewarding them will increase their motivation levels.

Since the employees would be going under training while performing the side of their jobs by side, their workload will increase. Thus, rewards will help them increase their productivity levels.

It will also generate a competitive environment and lead to better results.

After successful completion of the training programmes, it should not be assumed that this shall never happen in future.

The Covid-19 crisis posed a challenge for the organizations under which they had to resort to training. However, this should be taken up as a lesson for many.

Continuation of the upskilling and reskilling programmes is the call for demand. The environment of work culture is changing at alarming rates. Many changes are expected with the upcoming full digitization of the industry.

This will wipe out many jobs but also lead to the creation of newer jobs. Employees who would have continuously upskilled themselves would be able to survive and get a hold of the hybrid culture.

Most importantly, there must not be any budget constraints. Cutting down training costs to save expenses would only result in bringing a huge liability for the future.

Spending money on employee training is in fact an investment for the future.

An organization that promotes learning always holds a respectable position in the industry.


References: most-effective-tools-to-bridge-skills-gap-amongst-employees/,4,-

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