27 January 2020

Your LMS is the key to rapid reskilling and upskilling

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The 21st Century workplace: rapidly changing, constantly evolving

The shape of the workplace is evolving all the time. The introduction of new technologies means that we are always finding new ways to work. While this notion is definitely an exciting one, it brings with it some causes for concern, chief among them being: Can today’s employees keep up with the digitalisation of traditional practices?

Fortunately, L&D departments are in a prime position to help workforces stay ahead of the curve. When company learning is change-responsive and equipped to deal with new advances in how businesses are run - if the learning is managed by an LMS, for instance - employees can upskill and reskill with ease.

Upskill and reskill?

Upskilling and reskilling are two ways to expand your skillset. You upskill when you learn new skills that help you in your current role: you reskill when you pick up these competencies for use in a different job. If an accountant wanted to make herself more employable by taking an ‘Advanced Excel’ course, she would be upskilling. If she instead starts watching videos on how to do coin tricks, she may be reskilling for a career in magic.

Technology overload

Reports have shown that an alarming number of people are struggling to maintain a relevant skillset in the face of an evolving work environment. In 2016, within the UK alone, an estimated 23% of people lacked basic digital skills which were required for around 9 in 10 new jobs. When employees don’t keep up with new and evolving technologies, companies risk losing their competitive edge, as they fail to capitalise on new innovations.

What’s more, not only does the average employee have to pick up a basic level of technical understanding now, but what they need to know increases as time goes on, as more technologies become widely adopted. By 2030, more than 375 million workers may be forced, by AI and other new technologies, to totally change their current skillsets.

The need for workers to keep on learning throughout their careers is clear. PwC reported in 2019 that nearly four-fifths (79%) of CEOs place the scarcity of ‘Key Skills’ - those skills essential to functioning properly within one’s job - in the workplace as a ‘top 3’ concern. Being able to respond to change in the workplace, and up/reskill appropriately when needed, is crucial.

Let your LMS help out

What can companies do to make sure employees keep updating their skillset? In short, look to your L&D team to provide the answer. 

When you can deliver engaging lessons to employees at the speed of change, you ensure that everyone is capable of working at full capacity at every moment. Be careful, however, of how you choose to deliver learning throughout your organisation. A report from Towards Maturity noted that a “teacher-centric” approach is prevalent in many workplaces, but slows down the learning process massively, since it relies on the timetable of the teacher, and often uses prescribed methods that don’t necessarily work for everyone. 

The way forward is to use an LMS that can be updated with more courses regularly, as new skills become necessary for the office. Towards Maturity’s paper found that 87% of individuals look for opportunities to gain new skills at work. So, instead of crowding a group of employees into a classroom every week, why not give them access to these at times that suit them? That way staff can seek out lessons for abilities they think will benefit them, and by extension, the company.

The right LMS can do so much more than rolling out change-responsive learning. Find out what other benefits there are to implementing the right LMS in our whitepaper, ‘6 ways an LMS can help L&D shine,’ available to read here.