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All About Re-Skilling and Up-Skilling

The Covid-19 pandemic caused businesses across all industries and sectors to rethink their business models. For many, that meant a swift transition to cloud-based computing and artificial intelligence (AI) as well as a shift to a virtual office. Now that things are settling into a kind of new normal, other issues resulting from these changes need to be addressed.

Re-Skilled Workers

Retraining workers is one of those issues. Re-skilling and up-skilling training has been around for some time. A 2017 McKinsey survey showed that AI and automation would result in 14% of the global workforce needing to switch occupations or be re-skilled by 2030. The pandemic accelerated that timeline.

Continuous Training

Many companies were forced to up-skill or re-skill people almost overnight as businesses closed down as a result of the pandemic. As restrictions ease, companies can be more intentional about which modifications they keep and the kinds of training they offer, but without doubt, some things will be changed forever. Continuous training is one of them, as the results of a recent survey highlight:   

  • 91% of companies and 81% of employees say training has boosted productivity at work.
  • 74% of respondents prefer to work for an employer that offers re-skilling/up-skilling training.
  • 68% of companies’ training is aligned with changes within the organization.
  • 65% of companies train employees on new technologies.
  • 55% of employees want training in hard skills relating to their role.
  • 53% of employees want training in soft skills relating to their role.
  • 52% of employees want training that will help move their career forward.

These statistics are compelling.

Strategic Plans

In response to these changes, companies need to build re-skilling and up-skilling efforts into their strategic plans. That is, they need to craft their training programs not as ad hoc endeavors, but rather as a critical step in the process of building agility into their growth strategy.

As they do so, they need to evaluate how their companies have changed because of the pandemic, which of those changes will become totally or partially permanent, which of these skills would be most critical should there be another major business disruption, how the changes affected any existing skills gaps and which skills are needed to support the business over the next 12 to 18 months. (Longer-range planning is difficult in the current environment given the pace of change in the adoption of new technologies and continuing supply chain disruptions.) In addition, each element of the plan should include methods for measuring participation, accountability and success.

Skills Analysis

The skills analysis should be performed for each job category, for example, assembly line work or customer service support, as well as for each job level, from top leadership to support staff. Once that is done, the leadership team needs to prioritize these needs, decide how training will be delivered and balance these elements against the available budget. As far as budgeting goes, companies can cut costs by providing training digitally, either on a virtual platform like Zoom or in self-learning modules.

The list is formidable, but those companies willing to take a hard look at it will be well-positioned as a resilient, agile business that is prepared for unforeseen disruptions.

Posted November 2020 – Copyright 2020

This information is offered with the understanding that Paytime, Inc. is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services.  This information is meant to provide general and summary information only.  The subject matter is not specific to any company, individual or industry and none should be implied.  No attorney-client relationship or consultant-client relationship has been created and no legal or other professional advice is implied nor inferred. If legal, accounting, consulting or other professional advice is needed, those services should be acquired from a licensed professional.  In no event will Paytime, its agents or employees be liable to you for anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on this information.


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