After years of steady recovery from the housing market crash in 2008, the U.S. economy has been suffering a massive hit from the COVID-19 epidemic. Consumers have significantly decreased spending on transportation, entertainment, and shopping—leaving minimal gains in the grocery industry. 

The brick-and-mortar model of business transactions has radically shifted to a patchwork of online venues. Because of this changing landscape, organizations across the globe are scrambling to meet the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In an era of social distancing, technological skills have never been more imperative to stay afloat. Many businesses must shift their talent to favor digital skills and maintain financial stability by downsizing. But downsizing or contracting your workforce means losing valuable skills. Individuals with the expertise to provide essential services may not have the skills to succeed in such a dynamic market. On the other hand, people with cutting-edge skills in information technology (IT) or software engineering are not always suitable for the essential functions of a business. 

This is where upskilling and reskilling come in.

The Benefits of Upskilling and Reskilling

In the event you’re forced to downsize, contracting your workforce will require a consolidation of skills. A single individual may need to account for several roles rather than one, which requires reskilling and upskilling. This means closing the gap between the talent lost and the talent kept in your business by equipping employees with a well-rounded combination of interpersonal, creative, and technical skills.  


Reskilling trains an employee to perform the duties of a different job within the same organization. This tactic is useful for transferring talents from one area of an organization to another and expanding that talent pool through training. 

If an employee is let go, the remaining staff can account for the gap in skills by undergoing training and transferring to the lacking area. Reskilling is also useful when needs for new skills arise within your company. In this case, businesses reskill existing employees rather than hire new ones, integrating two or more jobs so that one individual performs two sets of duties. 


Upskilling, on the other hand, trains an employee to improve within their job area. This tactic enhances existing talents by maximizing employee efficiency, effectiveness, and adaptability. 

For employees lacking technological or interpersonal proficiencies, being trained in these areas can improve the outcomes of their primary job duties. This doesn’t necessarily mean working more hours and decreasing employee satisfaction. On the contrary, upskilling opportunities optimize the essential business functions employees already provide, re-centering each contribution to a collective goal.

Advantages of Upskilling and Reskilling for Businesses

1. Adapt to a dynamic market

Reskilling and upskilling save your business time and energy when undergoing difficult transitions. Preparing employees for market changes in an efficient, cost-effective way could be what your business needs to survive any number of crises.  

2. Mitigate employee turnover

Upskilling prevents unnecessary downsizing and eliminates the hassle of onboarding. The time and energy spent during recruitment and onboarding is especially detrimental if your business needs to make effective changes quickly. Similarly, reskilling retains effective individuals and maximizes their talents while avoiding the costs of hiring. 

3. Provide an opportunity for employee growth

Reskilling or upskilling employees benefits both them and the business they contribute to. Continuing education through reskilling and upskilling keeps people engaged and updated on the most effective methods of their work. By investing in the growth of your staff, you’re actively demonstrating care for employee retention and career advancement skills.

4. Meet budgeting demands

Reskilling and upskilling are highly cost-effective. A Gallup report found that “organizations [with] a strategic investment in employee development report 11% greater profitability and are twice as likely to retain their employees.” 

The new hire model usually costs a business more time, money, and energy relative to the outcomes of a single person, making for small and costly changes. But if a team of dedicated individuals is upskilled or reskilled, the organization can function with improved quality and efficiency.

Knowing Your People

Reskilling and upskilling to enable online work boils down to leadership, employee attitudes, and excellent strategic planning. In other words, this process starts with truly knowing your team. 

But especially for large organizations, taking inventory of each person’s unique duties, connections, and talents can be overwhelming. That’s why you need a professional training resource that makes this process simple. 

Close the Talent Gap with Corporate Training

At Simplilearn, we accompany clients through every step of the training process, from identifying where reskilling and upskilling are needed, to designing a perfect strategic plan, to implementing programs that engage employees in active learning. Our cutting-edge program caters to your organization’s mission.

Interested in upskilling and reskilling your employees with multi-formatted courses on project management, IT, data science, and more? Simplilearn’s corporate training in emerging technologies is transforming our economy with valuable skills that last. Our unique Blended Learning approach drives higher learner engagement and the industry’s highest course completion rates.

Did you know that hands-on, interactive learning is five to seven times more effective than simply reading or watching course material? For this reason, our corporate training curriculum includes the following:

  • Live online classes
  • Mentoring
  • Labs
  • Projects
  • Self-paced videos
  • And more

Our learning consultants will work with you to design the best training program for your company. Unlock your team’s potential today!

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