The idea of upskilling and reskilling employees to tackle the challenges of a changing world was gaining steam well before anyone ever heard of the New Normal. But the pandemic has definitely put the idea in the spotlight. 

Startups turned coal miners into coders. Big-box stores staffed their distribution centres with waves of downsized hotel workers. So upskilling and reskilling employees is proving to be a transformative idea. Businesses that optimise their workforces through upskilling and reskilling will be better prepared to face the new climate.

But is upskilling and reskilling employees really necessary? And how can businesses best approach the process?

Learn how Salesforce uses its own technology to drive digital transformation and improve innovation with the CIO Playbook.


Why upskilling and reskilling employees is the future of work

The rise of new technologies, such as AI, threatens to upend the business landscape. Many roles are already being rewritten or written out all together. For instance, cashiers are already being replaced by self-service kiosks. It also won’t be long before self-driving cars make rideshare and taxi drivers redundant. 

The advancements in AI also means that many office jobs are at risk. American news organisation, NPR, using research from the University of Oxford, calculates that there’s a 97.6% chance that bookkeepers will be automated and a 94.5% chance that paralegals will be replaced. If a job revolves around repetitive analytical processes, the odds are that a computer can do it cheaper and better than a human.

That’s why the traits that today’s organisations are prizing most are:

  • creativity

  • flexibility

  • empathy

  • diplomacy

In other words, things that computers can’t really do. Finding workers with these traits is a boon for businesses. And letting employees go just because their role is no longer needed is a waste of valuable resources. Instead, businesses should focus on upskilling and reskilling employees.


The benefits of upskilling and reskilling employees

Upskilling means providing employees with new skills and training to better prepare them for their current role. Reskilling is training employees for entirely new jobs.

Upskilling and reskilling employees offers a range of potential rewards for businesses, including: 

  • Creating a culture of innovation: nurturing an innovative mindset is an important aspect of company culture. Showing the workforce that training and agility are priorities displays strong thought-leadership skills.
  • Building loyalty: businesses that can show their employees that they’re valued and not expendable will create a more united, loyal workforce.
  • Attracting talent: there’s a fierce battle for talent in today’s climate. Many Millennials and job-hunters from Gen Z expect flexibility at work and the ability to move quickly up the ladder. Studies show that the majority of Millennials prefer to work for businesses with training and development programmes. So upskilling and reskilling offers a great chance to attract top talent.
  • Increasing employee engagement: an engaged, collaborative workforce is an effective workforce. And many upskilling and reskilling tools and strategies are aimed at nurturing efficiency and collaboration. Creating a modern digital workplace that prioritizes knowledge-sharing is a good way to improve employee engagement.


Blazing a trail: tools for Upskilling and reskilling employees

At Salesforce, we believe that upskilling and reskilling are the future of work. This is why we’ve created Trailhead. Trailhead is a self-learning platform where workers can begin their own learning journey and develop new skill sets. 

We’ve designed the platform to be easy to use and accessible by anyone, from anywhere and at any time. The future of work is coming at us rapidly and we’ll need to reach our full potential to face it head on.

Here are some ways that Trailhead can to help workers blaze bolder paths towards that better future:

  • A simplified learning process: Trailhead is self-paced and the content is delivered in bite-size units, so users won’t get overwhelmed. At the end of every unit, users can take a quiz or face a challenge in a real Salesforce environment. They earn badges and points along the way.  

  • Fast onboarding: we’ve made Trailhead an important part of our onboarding process. Although it was originally designed for developers and administrators, it’s grown to accommodate business users, sales, marketing, and more.

  • A turbocharger for productivity: Trailhead makes it easy for workers to learn the ropes of their role from wherever they may be. They can benefit from using the self-service, mobile-friendly platform. And by offering small bites of easily digestible content, Trailhead makes it easy for users to satisfy their hunger for knowledge without having to carve out large amounts of time.


Begin upskilling and reskilling employees today

With so many transformative changes already shaking up the business landscape, companies need to be as prepared and agile as possible. Can you imagine having an entire workforce that has cultivated the creative, flexible, and empathetic traits that today’s businesses prize so dearly? 

Now, can you imagine this workforce being armed with an entire arsenal of skills, trained for a variety of roles, and prepared for any challenges they might encounter? If you can, you’re seeing the importance of upskilling and reskilling employees. The future of work starts now.

See how developing apps can help prepare businesses for the future of work, check out our blog, How the Salesforce Platform Is Turbo-Charging Businesses.

Learn more about how businesses can adapt to a changing world with the CIO Playbook!