Why upskilling is crucial for hybrid teams


As the hybrid revolution continues to accelerate, upskilling will become more important than ever for modern businesses going into the New Year

Closing the skills gap and keeping top talent are just two of the many benefits of upskilling in the world of hybrid work.

While some people worked harder than ever during lockdown, others took a step back and took the chance to learn some new skills.

Upskilling – where you learn techniques to enhance and expand the areas you work in – can be hugely beneficial, not just for employees, but also for companies looking to bridge internal skills gaps.

Mind the (skills) gap

A recent study by McKinsey & Company showed that 87% of companies say they either have skills gaps in their workforce or expect to have a gap within the next few years.

Upskilling presents an opportunity for companies to develop their home-grown, or in-house talent and, in turn, reduce staff turnover. However, many of those who upskilled at home also discovered that working exclusively in that environment doesn’t create the work-life balance they desire.

PwC’s Hopes and Fears survey for 2021 showed that 72% of employees want a hybrid working solution – a combination of working from home, a business HQ and a third location, such as a local flexspace. Meanwhile, 77% of respondents were also keen to learn new skills to make their jobs more secure.

Beat the competition

So, employees clearly want the improved work/life balance that hybrid working gives them. But retaining that talent is proving to be more challenging than ever.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, US employees leaving their companies hit a record figure of 4.4 million in September 2021.

“Job seekers have a strong hand in the labour market,” says Nick Bunker, economist at job site Indeed, in an article for CNBC.

As the race for talent becomes increasingly competitive, companies that invest in training – and can provide a hybrid working model for their teams – will not only equip employees with the tools to develop into new roles but will close that internal skills gap.

A combination of skills

Research by McKinsey shows that over the next 10 years there will be an increase in demand for technological, social and emotional skills, and a decrease in the need for purely physical, manual and basic cognitive skills. Companies must look towards training their hybrid teams in core competencies, such as strategy, creative thinking and adaptability.

In this new hybrid world, upskilling can be done virtually or in-person. Creating a culture of continuous learning will mean companies are better equipped to identify gaps and will benefit from a much more agile workforce.

In short, there’s no downside to upskilling your workforce – it can only help businesses to thrive in this brave new hybrid world.

Enjoy this? You might also like these other Spaces magazine stories:

Seven tips for embracing hybrid working after a career break

Upskill from anywhere: How the hybrid revolution has transformed professional development

Share this article
Four tech strategies for the new world of work Read now Four tech strategies for the new world of work How to manage the transformation to hybrid Read now How to manage the transformation to hybrid