In addition to its devastating impact on human health, the COVID-19 pandemic hit businesses hard in many ways. Staffing was a major problem area. All sectors, including the financial services industry, lost employees to sickness and shutdowns. In addition, when the pandemic restrictions began to loosen, many workers chose not to return to work. Even today, the Great Resignation is an ongoing headache for hiring managers; monthly staff resignations have remained above four million since September 2021.
Turnover in banks climbed to 23.4% in 2022, increasing workforce gaps. One-way firms can bring back and retain needed employees is to implement upskilling and reskilling programs.
In today’s fast-paced and rapidly evolving world, upskilling and reskilling employees have become essential for organizations to remain competitive and relevant.
Why Upskill or Reskill Employees
The necessity of upskilling and reskilling your team is clear. The World Economic Forum and a McKinsey Global Survey released the following stats:
- 50 percent of all employees will need reskilling by 2025
- 87 percent of organizations say they are facing skill gaps now or they will be in the next few years
- 40 percent of workers’ reskilling will take six months or less
When employees are upskilled or reskilled, they become more efficient and effective in their roles. They gain knowledge of new tools and techniques, which can improve the quality and speed of their work. As a result, employees are more productive, which translates into greater efficiency and profitability for the organization.
Upskilling and reskilling are also effective ways to retain talented employees. When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to stay with their current employer. Investing in the professional development of employees sends a message that the organization cares about its employees and their future growth.
- 94 percent of employees say they’d stay at their company if managers invested in their careers
- Younger workers say professional growth was the top reason for choosing their current company
- Gen Z says career growth is one of the top three most important job benefits
Upskilling and reskilling can also benefit customer satisfaction. Employees who are upskilled or reskilled are better equipped to handle complex customer issues and provide solutions quickly and efficiently. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, which can ultimately benefit the organization’s bottom line.
These skills also promote innovation and creativity within an organization. When employees are given the opportunity to learn and grow, they become more creative and willing to take risks. This can lead to new ideas and approaches, which can improve the organization’s products, services, and processes.
Upskilling Vs. Reskilling
Though they sound similar, upskilling and reskilling serve different purposes and result in different outcomes. Both allow companies to utilize internal talent instead of relying on external hiring.
Companies utilize upskilling to prepare for the future and adapt to changing demands. For example, managers might hold training events to help employees learn new skills in preparation for a promotion or new responsibilities. An upskilled employee often keeps the same job with added duties related to their newly discovered competencies.
Similar to upskilling, reskilling involves training employees to take on different responsibilities or a new job. Reskilling typically includes teaching lateral skills similar to what the employee is already doing. A reskilled employee typically moves to a new, lateral position.
Financial Services Career Paths
The financial services sector works with our changing economy and market demands every day, and it’s the perfect industry for an upskilling or reskilling program. For example, you employ a hard-working, promising credit union teller. You identify a skills gap in your company and believe this teller has what it takes to fill that need. Your training program will help them learn skills to become a relationship banker, including on-the-job training and online education courses. Instead of hiring a new employee (which is costly), you’re utilizing talent already on hand. If your employee succeeds in this role, you might help them prepare for management responsibilities through increased business management duties and employee oversight.
Creating Growth Plans
Successful upskilling and reskilling require a plan tailor-made to your business needs. A growth plan for financial service employees can be divided into several stages, including identifying employee needs, setting clear goals and objectives, providing training and development opportunities, and regularly reviewing progress.
First, you’ll want to assess skills gaps within your company. Which skills do you require to help your company grow? And who on your team might fill those needs? The more specific needs you identify, the more successful you will be.
Next, conduct a needs assessment to determine the skills and competencies that employees need to develop in order to fill those gaps.
Then, train your employees by upskilling and reskilling. This can be accomplished through online courses, webinars, job shadowing, and more.
Now it’s time to give your upskilled employees new responsibilities and move your reskilled employees to new roles. Continue to track their progress and provide them with feedback and more training regularly.
The job market and business landscape are continuously changing, and new technologies and processes are being introduced every day. It is crucial for employees to stay adaptable and flexible to meet these new challenges. Upskilling and reskilling enable employees to develop new skills and competencies, making them better equipped to tackle new challenges as they arise.
Upskilling and reskilling employees has also become essential for organizations to remain competitive and relevant in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world. It is crucial for organizations to invest in the professional development of employees to ensure they remain adaptable, productive, and satisfied. By doing so, organizations can reap the benefits of a skilled and engaged workforce, which can lead to improved customer satisfaction, innovation, and profitability.