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Upskilling: What It Is and 5 Ways to Upskill Your Team Using AI

As technology continues to adapt and create new opportunities within the workplace, it becomes increasingly important for companies to fill these new roles with candidates who possess specialized skills. 

Upskilling lets organizations close the talent gap and fill these open positions while maintaining their current workforce and creating learning experiences.

The question is, could AI transform your upskilling strategy? Stick with us as we delve into the benefits of automating the upskilling process and reveal five ways you can use AI to enhance your next training session. 

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What is Upskilling?

Upskilling is a workplace trend that focuses on providing employees with the tools, training, and development opportunities to improve their current job abilities and skills. 

Upskilling allows employees to advance to different roles and opportunities within the same company, therefore adapting to changing job demands and minimizing the skill gaps. 

Digital upskilling, in particular, will become the main focus for businesses this year, as a 2019 report in the Netherlands found that 50% of workers in the country need to be upskilled in digital skills. 

Here are some ways upskilling can empower your workforce: 

  • Prepare them for the future. Upskilling can help employees prepare to take on new roles that emerge as a result of adapting technologies.
  • Boost morale. Upskilling can be seen as a form of personal development by equipping employees with a new set of skills and allowing them to explore new career paths. This investment in their personal growth can significantly boost morale and make them feel valued.
  • Boost retention. Employees who feel that their employer is investing in their development are more likely to stay with the company. 
  • Improve innovation. Employees with a diverse range of skills can contribute to increased innovation, bring new perspectives and ideas, and are better equipped to solve complex problems. 

Upskilling is slightly different to reskilling, which involves learning new skills to gear employees towards a different path entirely. However, reskilling is also important as 14% of the global workforce may need to switch occupational categories by 2030, as advances in artificial intelligence disrupt the world of work.

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Should Businesses Automate Their Upskilling Practices? 

In 2024, upskilling is essential as technology advances rapidly. Businesses must train their employees to adapt to new technologies to remain competitive. 

Key benefits of using AI for upskilling your workforce:

  • Trains employees faster. With AI-powered tools, businesses can upskill their workforce significantly faster and without much hassle. 
  • Prepares the next-generation workforce. AI helps in making employees more adaptable to the changing work environment and thus preparing a modern workforce.
  • Tracks employee progress. An AI-powered dashboard keeps a record of employee participation, performance, and learning trajectory.
  • Attracts top talent. By using state-of-the-art training facilities, businesses can attract top talent.

According to a recently published set of AI statistics from Hostinger, 40% of business leaders saw an increase in productivity when using AI-powered automation tools to enhance their business practices. 

Ross Stevenson, Chief Learning Strategist and Founder at Steal These Thoughts, said: “Generative AI is happening whether you like it or not. It’s an opportunity for L&D teams to amplify their work and unlock opportunities with data, skills and performance. The high-performing teams of the future will be those who learn how to leverage these new tools now. Don’t get left behind.”

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5 Ways to Upskill Your Employees Using AI

Artificial Intelligence can perform various tasks but never replace empathetic, communicative leaders.

However, it can aid leaders in educating their employees. As the digital revolution continues to transform the working world, upskilling is essential if you want your business to stay on top. Using AI to help you identify skill gaps and enhance digital-first training sessions could optimize the effectiveness of your upskilling in 2024.

With this in mind, here are five ways to upskill your employees using AI.

Hunting For Employee Skill Gaps

AI is a fantastic aid for identifying employee skill gaps. As a powerful analytic tool, AI can help employers with large teams analyze large amounts of data in just a few clicks.

AI can quickly analyze and highlight gaps in performance data from individual employees, making it easier for employers to see where their workers need to improve.

Improving Learning and Development with an AI LMS

Upskilling your workforce via a learning and development (L&D) program is probably the most obvious way to go. 

An AI LMS is a digital platform that combines machine learning technology with learning management features. That makes it a powerful tool for streamlining content creation, personalizing learning experiences, gaining valuable data insights, and more.

Take EdApp as an example. This AI LMS has a smart authoring toolkit called AI Create, which can create a new mobile-friendly training course from scratch. This means that whenever your employees are, they can tap into the skill session without human input or teaching involved.

Learning on The Job With AI Chatbots 

AI chatbots act as virtual assistants in many roles in the digital world. Whether you use them for customer service or in-office productivity, they are a great addition to the modern workforce.

They are also great aids for upskilling. With the ability to generate quick informative responses, they can send suggestions to your workforce and offer a range of sources to learn from at the click of a button. 

For offices short on training staff and time, chatbots can aid in upskilling without a mentor’s input. Instead, employees can access information as and when they need it.

Creating Real-Life Scenarios Using AI-Powered VR Simulations 

VR simulations are constantly used to enhance employee upskilling. They provide great immersive environments for training and can help create hyper-realistic scenarios for employees to experience first-hand. 

However, most of these simulations are pre-programmed by the company, which can still take time and cost extra money.

AI-powered VR takes training simulations to the next level. With the ability to change the scenario in real-time, depending on the actions of the user, AI can help enhance the realism of scenario-based training, as employees instantly see the consequences of their actions.

AI for Skill Mapping 

In the same way as it highlights skill gaps, AI can also be used for skill mapping. If you’re unsure what crucial skills your employees lack, AI tools can help you analyze your competitors and identify what skills to introduce to your team for a shot at success.

Skill mapping empowers strategic workforce development. If you have a well-researched plan, your upskilling sessions are likely to have a larger effect on your business progress and productivity.

Wrapping Up

As we step into a new era of upskilling, AI will be at the center of development. Not only will employees need to learn more about the automation of business practices, but the same tools can also enhance the way each employee is re-trained.

From hyper-realistic VR experiences to learning on the job using AI-powered chatbots, the opportunities for SI integration in the training room are endless. 

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