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The Role of Leadership in Encouraging Employee Upskilling

Published on Jun 25,2024 27 Views

Soumya Swain
Passionate about technology and its endless possibilities - driving innovation forward. Passionate about technology and its endless possibilities - driving innovation forward.

What is Upskilling?

The process of grabbing new skills and gaining important competencies required for both the short and long term is known as upskilling. It focuses on developing workers’ skill sets in order to help them progress in their positions and find more opportunities within the organisation down the road.

In this fast-changing workplace of today, it is important for employees to upgrade themselves with the latest developments in the world and be updated. Today, with digital evolutions and technological enhancement, companies realised the need for workers to keep learning as well as developing their skills throughout their career. The fact has also highlighted the role of the leadership in being the catalyst for this aforementioned.

Employe upskilling for business

The Need for Employee Upskilling:

The need for employee upskilling stems from several factors shaping the modern economy. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, technological advancements are expected to displace millions of jobs while creating new ones that require different skill sets (WEF, 2023), which will eventually lead to a rise in the requirement of training and upskilling of employees.In fact, according to a LinkedIn survey, 94% of workers said they would stay longer at a company that supported their professional growth (LinkedIn, 2023). This figure depicts the way employee retention intersects with upskilling opportunities, and how important the balance between the two is for a happy, ambitious workforce.

The advent of AI and automation is drastically changing the nature of work. As manual labour becomes more automated, workers must adjust by learning new skills. It is imperative that employees receive upskilling in areas like AI management, oversight, and application in business processes so that these technologies work together with them rather than taking their place.

The skills of job seekers and the competencies that employers require clearly differ, especially in fields where technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Organisational growth and innovation are hampered by the skills gap because it makes it difficult for employers to find candidates who possess the necessary abilities. Through the implementation of ongoing upskilling programmes, companies can strive to bridge this competency gap and guarantee that their employees possess the most recent, industry-relevant skills.

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Strategies to Ensure Upskilling for Workforce

  • Analyse the skill gaps in your organisation.
  • Include upskilling in your plans for employee development.
  • Select the employee training approach that works for you.
  • Make use of technology to deliver learning while working and make it a part of everyday process.

Role of Leadership in Upskilling:

The increasing adoption of digital transformations and technological advancements has made it imperative for businesses to ensure that their workforce is continuously learning and developing their skills. And the first point of contact for employees in organisations to foster this process? Their LEADERS. Leaders play a pivotal part in initiating and ensuring their employees are trained well. Since the onset of the pandemic, a McKinsey & Company report indicates that numerous leaders have intensified their initiatives to reskill or upskill employees. They have eventually realised that this approach is the most effective means to address skills gaps, prioritising it over hiring, contracting, or redeploying employees.

Key Elements of leadership to enforcing upskilling among their employees are:

  1. Vision and Strategy: Executives need to create a clear vision for the skills the organisation will need in the future and develop strategies to connect employee development with these objectives.
  2. Resource Allocation: In order to be successful, upskilling programmes need to have enough funds and personnel. This includes funding upskilling programmes, hiring educators who meet the necessary qualifications, and providing time off for learning.
  3. Personalised Education: no two learners are the same. Leaders ought to create personalised learning plans that cater to the requirements and career aspirations of every staff member.
  4. Cultural Embrace For Learning: Encouraging a work environment that prioritises lifelong learning inspires employees to actively seek out chances to expand their skill sets. Leaders can set a good example for their team by participating in training programmes and supporting a growth mindset across the whole organisation.
  5. Feedback and Evaluation: To gauge the effectiveness of upskilling programmes, employee opinions should be sought on a regular basis. Optimising learning outcomes and enhancing programme relevance can be achieved by making adjustments in response to feedback.


Investing in upskilling is essential to maintaining the adaptability and longevity of your company. It will not only make your company healthier and more productive, but it will also make it more resilient to unforeseen change. Upskilling lowers employee turnover. When employees believe their employer cares about their professional development, they are more likely to stay with the company. Employees that are trained on their present and future objectives build a versatile team with a wide range of abilities at their disposal.

Through proactive measures, leaders can guarantee that their workforce possesses the skills and expertise required to effectively handle change and make a substantial contribution towards achieving organisational and personal goals.

Want assistance for a smarter, more successful team? Make learning a priority! Edureka can help by ensuring upskilling for your employees, by catering to a wide network of in-demand tech courses with a seamless learning experience. We are committed towards helping your workforce stay up-to-date with the latest developments and carve out a niche for themselves and for the company too.


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The Role of Leadership in Encouraging Employee Upskilling