In part I of the series, we talked about how Fuse balances our view of knowledge and skills, and how we’re supporting upskilling in the flow of work.
Why are we talking about upskilling and reskilling these days? Well, though we pride ourselves on our Knowledge Intelligence Engine, we also know that skills matter - and that according to a new research study by Brandon Hall Group, only 36% of companies believe they’re prepared to develop the skills they’ll need in the future.
The report, called Personalised Learning at Scale: Building the Corporate Brain, recommends a transformative approach to both upskilling and reskilling, citing the need for more flexible, adaptable, and personalised learning in the flow of work. This approach is highly regarded as connecting learners to information and knowledge, and could just be the ticket to helping companies successfully reskill to get where they want to be in the future quickly and efficiently.
It’s certainly the way we approach learning and reskilling at Fuse, and in this post, we are going to explain how we can help with reskilling, while also giving you some great reskilling examples from our customers Joules and Seasalt.
What Does Reskilling Actually Look Like Today?
People frequently use the terms ‘upskilling’ and ‘reskilling’ interchangeably, but the truth is, they are very different solutions to very different business problems.
Upskilling, let’s be honest, is probably more straightforward from both a conceptual and operational point of view. It goes a bit like this: you’ve got a set of skills and you need to begin working on improving business performance today. Usually, when it comes to upskilling, the gap to where you really need to be is quite minor. It’s more often than not about staying in your current role and doing what it takes to develop your expertise.
We talked a lot about upskilling in part I of the series so we won’t go on about it any further here, except to say that Fuse can be a core component in successful upskilling in that it encourages continuous learning by way of knowledge, in the flow of work.
Reskilling is a different animal. Reskilling by nature addresses more organisational issues, and people are usually reskilled to transition into new roles, or to become well versed with new and quite different responsibilities. This is why reskilling may sometimes be moreso the domain of the talent team rather than L&D (but it’s certainly not to say that L&D can’t play a role in reskilling.)
Reskilling is often focused on taking your workforce and molding it into what you need it to be in the future. This isn’t always what we call ‘radical reskilling’ which could be turning salespeople into software developers, for example. There’s usually a much more linear, transparent path that is tightly aligned with business strategy and roadmaps.
Want to hear more? We’ve got two great customer examples of how Fuse is helping companies reskill.
Joules and Seasalt: Rapid Retail Reskilling Driven by L&D
Yet Joules and Seasalt have something else in common beyond their use of Fuse for building culture, community, and learning in the flow of work to improve business performance. As retailers, they also had to undergo a massive transformation during Covid lockdown.
Unfortunately, many retail employees had to go on furlough during the pandemic: but not all. For those who were not furlough, the shift to a 100% online sales model required some upskilling, but also significant reskilling to learn the entirely new skills required for e-commerce.
Due to the unexpected circumstances presented by the pandemic, businesses also had to reskill employees very quickly in order to ensure they were ready to manage online selling profitably as soon as possible. With stores closed, there wasn’t time for a three-month training course to shift from tried and tested brick and mortar sales to the complexities of e-commerce operations.
How Does it All Work Together With Fuse? Reskilling for Talent Development, Upskilling for Performance
Reskilling, upskilling, how do they work together and what comes first, and how do we handle it with Fuse?
We think of it this way: reskilling is a strategy for talent development, while upskilling is a strategy for performance. Reskilling gets people to competence, while upskilling gets people to the stage where they are considered experts.
The biggest point is that it’s not just one or the other when it comes to reskilling or upskilling - it’s both. Skills are one part of the equation when it comes to improving business performance, along with knowledge and experience. Think about what goes into making your job role work on a daily basis, and what has made you a long-term success: it’s likely a mix of knowledge, skills, and experience. As you become competent by reskilling for foundational knowledge, then upskilling comes into play, and you build experience.
If you only focus on reskilling, you’ll likely end up with a competent workforce that never reaches expert status. On the flip side, if you don’t have the ability to reskill, you may not be able to reallocate internal resources and experience to adapt to changing business conditions.
Fuse is driving the entire story with our emphasis on facilitating continual, personalised learning. People are able to upskill continuously by practicing every day, rather than having to sit out and take a three-month course. For those looking both to upskill and reskill, Fuse has a wide variety of options, including links to third-party libraries, and access to great content built on the tacit knowledge and experience of the best subject matter experts. Closing the skills gap and reducing the onboarding process have never been easier.