Your Guide to Upskilling & Reskilling 

Can you think of a time when you had to shake things up in your profession?

Perhaps you took on a new project, shifted to a new position, or had to learn new software being used in your current role.

Consider how you adapted to it. While you didn’t go through an external shift in your job, an internal one can still be major, and impact your day-to-day work life.

As a trainer, being able to reskill people effectively helps your clients reach their goals and preserve their company culture.

We have been talking for the last year or so about the importance of Upskilling and Reskilling because it truly is the future of workplace training.

Below is our blog post on upskilling/reskilling and how to smoothly integrate it into your corporate training.

Upskilling Vs. Reskilling: What’s the difference?

Upskilling is upgrading current skills with complementary training that will allow the trainee to grow within their role. This could be through teaching them new software and systems that are being implemented to the role, or any other strategic shifts in a role that are new to the employee or could be built on.

For example, if you want to switch to a new system for your bookkeeping, you will have to conduct training on the ins and outs of the new system for your account managers so they can continue to work at the best standard. Or, if you notice not as many sales are closing as you’d like, you could upskill your sales reps on closing deals. Upskilling is all about building on potential. You know your team is talented, that’s why you hired them in the first place, and nurturing that through providing opportunities for upskilling will keep them sharp and give your organization an edge.

This can be facilitated through online training, shadowing, or microlearning. It really depends on the context to determine whether this type of training is best done internally or externally.

With upskilling, your employees get new opportunities and develop their skills and talents for personal and professional growth.

Reskilling is when the employee is given the training to take on an entirely new role. Internal organizational shifts allow for trusted employees to grow in the organization and work in the role that best suits them. It also saves employers time and expenses to onboard someone who is entirely new to the organization, which is critical now more than ever due to turnover being more common in the workplace.

For example, an employee may feel loyal to a company and enjoy the workplace culture. But they may currently be in a sales role, while their background is actually accounting management. If an accounting management role opened up, what better candidate than an employee that has already demonstrated their commitment to the organization’s vision and mission?

Reskilling can effectively take place internally through job shadowing or mentorship. If the exiting employee is willing to help with the transition, they can also offer insight into the reskilling process.

As the way employees work continues to change, new roles and talents will be necessary. Career shifts are at an all-time high, and the training industry is crucial to fostering smooth transitions. Reskilling helps employers retain the good talent they already have that may be looking for a career change.

Leading and Managing Internal Changes

Making the decision to institute changes in your team’s roles through upskilling or reskilling is not always easy. Being prepared, planning well, and being surrounded by a good team will make these decisions and implementations a lot easier.

It’s important to stay positive through internal changes in your organization. You are likely to experience higher than normal levels of stress and knowing this beforehand will give you the ability to be prepared. As a trainer, you will lead your team through new and sometimes stressful learning curves. Be a reassuring and active force throughout this whole process.

Upskilling and reskilling take time. Just because it is internal, does not necessarily mean it is any quicker. Be precise and specific with your directions as to when the change process begins and the timeline you have in mind for training. Be patient – and trust your trainee’s talents that they have already demonstrated to you.

Make sure to be available during the change process. Reassure employees that you are there for them and you are here to provide them with the necessary resources to lead them through the change. Stress to them that you are available and focused on keeping the communications lines open.

Always be aware of office gossip that can go around when role changes take place, they can happen before, during, and after upskilling or reskilling takes place. Put out honest and clear communication as soon as possible. Transparency is a crucial way to demonstrate your respect for your team.

Remember, you may have to cope with pushback. Keep in mind that these types of feelings are normal as people generally do not enjoy change and are sometimes made nervous by it. You will likely encounter pushback and resistance by a number of team members. Provide facts and data to show why the upskilling or reskilling is happening and reassure them the need and benefits of the change.


Change is a part of a growing and successful organization. By understanding your options and opportunities with upskilling and reskilling, you can optimize your team and position your organization for success while keeping your employees happy and motivated.

Posted by Katelyn Roy on

  • Tags: business skills training, communication skills, corporate behavior, corporate behaviour, corporate culture, corporate training, courseware, Delegation, delivering training, Soft Skills Training, upskilling/reskilling

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    • I read and loved this article hence I would like to receive other Articles as well. It opened my way of thinking.
      Xolilizwe Mnguni

      Xolilizwe Cecil Mnguni on

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