Many organisations will find themselves with tighter budgets now than they expected at the start of the year, making it harder to grow their business and achieve their targets. From energy bills rising, increasing operational spending for businesses, and the cost-of-living crisis impacting profits, businesses of all sizes are feeling the pinch. Maintaining the team you have and reducing the need to advertise for new staff is essential to keeping costs down and navigating these challenging times.

Upskilling has never been more important to businesses. But what exactly is it and how can it benefit your organisation during budget restrictions?

Keep your business competitive

Upskilling benefits businesses because it enables you to identify the areas where your company is falling short so that you can make improvements to beat the competition. In upskilling your staff, you can ensure their skills won’t become obsolete and that your team will stay on top of industry trends. They’ll bring better insights to your business so you can stay at the top of your game via more knowledgeable staff. As technology and trends continue to evolve faster and faster, having people on your side that can inform you and your clients of the best ways to progress is essential in preventing you from getting stuck in outdated processes.

Plug skills gaps

Over the past couple of years, economic fluctuations, wars and the pandemic have all created massive problems for industries the world over. Nurses have been in high demand since the start of the pandemic; lorry and truck drivers have been pivotal in transporting essential supplies and remain essential to how we operate; and as more companies move online, the demand for software developers has grown considerably. There are so many industries where employers can use upskilling to build stronger companies and more resilient teams. Upskilling can help you to prevent the skills gaps from widening further, helping people develop the skills needed in the world right now for better resilience against industry challenges

Improve staff satisfaction

Upskilling ensures your staff have the confidence to do their job well and to grow within their role in the company, and that’s a huge morale booster. It can help to increase productivity and self-esteem, which creates a happier and more proactive workforce. When budgets are tight, having a productive and engaged team makes all the difference in keeping your business growing, even during tough times. One of the reasons why employees leave companies is because they see no future with the company and no way for their role to grow. Upskilling enables people to build their skills without needing to apply elsewhere, which is beneficial to both parties.

Reduced recruitment costs

Replacing an employee is an expensive business. In fact, it’s believed to cost close to double the individual’s salary to replace them, from the wages of the new hire to advertising costs, bonuses and more. The more you can encourage your existing staff to stay, the more money you can save. Upskilling staff for internal promotions and creating a highly skilled team reduces the need for you to hire from outside the business, and prevents employee turnover, without you having to compromise on growing your business.

More flexibility with an agile team

It can be hard for businesses to hire in a forward-thinking way, especially when you can’t be sure what the industry landscape or technology will look like in five years’ time. Upskilling enables swifter responses to fluctuations in your industry and helps you and your staff stay ahead of the curve. Improving the skill set of someone already in the industry is far quicker and more efficient than hiring someone new and having them learn about the industry from scratch. It’s a way to keep your team loyal and benefits your company by ensuring you’re always ready to adapt.

Upskilling is something that we’re likely to see more of in the coming year, and with good reason. It’s a cost-effective way to keep staff happy and engaged and encourages staff retention and loyalty in your business. With budgets tighter and the need to cut back on everyone’s minds, being able to support staff with their career progression while building a strong and resilient team is time and money well-spent for any company.