What Is Medical Upskilling, and Why Is It Important?

The evidence is clear: upskilling drives positive ROI for health systems.

There’s this not-so-surprising trend in the workforce. It’s called continuous learning, or upskilling. And, it plays a critical role in virtually any company’s ability to attract and retain the right talent. In fact, 93% of Millennial and Gen Z professionals expect their employers to provide some level of on-the-job training.

But what makes this stat so significant is that Millennials are expected to make up 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2025.

So, if you hope to dip your toe into the growing pool of talent to keep your organization staffed to an acceptable degree, you need to start thinking about how you will deliver these opportunities to employees.

And to do that, you need to fully understand the definition of upskilling and why so many potential candidates place such a heavy emphasis on this particular benefit.

What Is Medical Upskilling?

To sum up: through medical upskilling, healthcare workers expand their existing skill set and increase their value in the workforce. Certainly, health systems profit, too. They enhance business performance by hitting the mark on several strategic initiatives: Decreasing turnover, increasing employee engagement, and cutting hiring costs.

However, that’s a relatively simplistic explanation of a complex term. Let’s dive a little deeper.

Typically, upskilling occurs within a specific role or career path. This gives employees clear opportunities for growth as they expand their knowledge. And, it’s absolutely crucial when it comes to technical skills.

Why? Because as technology advances—and as treatments and techniques evolve—health systems and their employees can’t afford to fall behind.

Further, let’s not dismiss the value of soft skills. For instance, strong communication, adaptability, and general professionalism are key soft skills in healthcare. They can (and should) all be further developed. This increases operational efficiencies and better supports internal departments. Experts say this entire concept shouldn’t be thought of as some menial convenience, either. It should be a necessity.

Why Is Medical Upskilling Important?

Some health systems have a somewhat ruinous habit of expecting their teams to stretch well outside their current capabilities. Additionally, they expect them to tackle complicated responsibilities without the training necessary to succeed.

It’s an unfortunate cycle that contributes greatly to the perpetual turnover throughout the industry. However, when we consider the pace of healthcare—and how quickly things can change—it’s easy to see how any health organization could fall into this trap.

So how do you break the cycle?

An excellent place to start is by establishing a simple framework—a one-stop-shop of sorts—that allows employees to sharpen specific skills.

Above all, we know that healthcare is a specialized industry. Therefore, we’ve found that investing in customized medical upskilling courses—which can be delivered on-demand through a high-end learning management system (LMS)—works. Why? It’s a straightforward approach that makes learning feel like an organic part of the job.

Moreover, these online catalogs or training libraries often provide micro-learning courses (with credentialing) and global access.

And that’s just the beginning.

This technological integration creates an undeniable strategic advantage that directly impacts your core business.

For one health system, a customized pharmacy technician training program focusing on both technical and soft skills delivered a 300% return on investment (ROI) with a 100% completion rate.

And here’s another staggering statistic: By 2030, the World Economic Forum predicts that by investing in upskilling opportunities, the workforce will increase global GDP by $6.5 trillion.

All these numbers suggest that taking steps to implement a streamlined upskilling solution helps organizations boost morale and increase retention. Because, it shows a clear, practical course of action in times full of uncertainty and confusion.

Additionally, employers who genuinely put in the effort to upskill their employees build trust, which helps establish a larger culture of honesty, psychological safety, and respect.

How to Calculate ROI

We get it. Learning and development often seem like take-it-or-leave-it expenses. It’s one of those things where it’s difficult to justify the cost without a way to track results. It’s even more challenging when 51% of skills development platforms deliver a poor user experience, resulting in a lower percentage of active users each month.

So it’s perfectly reasonable that you might question whether or not training adds any real value to learners and your business.

However, we can tell you now that it does.

But perhaps it’s time to find an effective way to measure your returns on the cost of training programs. Here’s what we recommend:

Track Completion Rates

Because no one wants to invest in yet another platform that no one will use, adoption and completion rates matter. With the right tech, you can easily track course engagement, progress, and completion.

Ask for Feedback

There’s a mind-blowing stat out there that says only 50% of organizations solicit and document feedback from the employees who participate in upskilling initiatives. Yet, it’s probably the most effective way to find out if your training platform is easy to navigate, exciting to explore, and valuable to the learner.

Review Acquired KSAs

What are KSAs, you ask? They’re acquired knowledge, skills, and abilities. That’s where competency assessments come in. They provide definitive scores directly correlated to KSAs. And, these assessments are automated, which makes it incredibly easy to measure learning.

Link Training to Specific Strategic Objectives

Most importantly, there’s no value in teaching your employees skills that don’t directly impact the success of your organization. That’s why a successful medical upskilling platform will always drive business goals in the right direction. For example, do you need more employees trained in the basics of pharmacology to fulfill patient needs? Or do you need a system that leads to state-required certifications? Overall, by defining your objectives, you’ll find that determining ROI happens naturally.

4 More Intriguing Stats

  1. Studies show that 60% of organizations (across all industries) with advanced upskilling solutions also have stronger corporate cultures and higher retention rates.
  2. One survey found that 77% of professionals would put in the effort to upskill and make themselves more employable.
  3. The average amount of time it takes for any organization to see true ROI in a fully automated LMS is between six months and one year.
  4. eLearning increases retention rates by 25% to 60%.

The bottom line:

Conclusively, an investment in training technology can yield massive returns for learners and the health systems that employ them. It builds trust and inspires loyalty while increasing overall job satisfaction. Which, consequently, improves productivity across several teams and multiple locations.

So, are the returns of training worth the costs? Absolutely.

Want to learn more about how medical upskilling solutions can add more value to your business?

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