In 2022, L&D can expect a considerable emphasis on upskilling and reskilling of employees and managers. Much of this work will probably focus on delivery through didactic and experiential means for learning (traditional teaching/training, eLearning, reading, video, games, and simulations), but there are at least two more approaches that are especially suited to the reality of the world of work in the coming years: coaching and mentoring. This article focuses on the latter two.

Upskilling and reskilling support

Choice of methods for upskilling and reskilling depends on the readiness of individuals to learn, as well as on the nature of the skills involved, the readiness and number of individuals to use the methods, and on the time required to develop outstanding competency in the skills.


Training assumes that the instructor, the designer, the subject matter expert, or others who create the training materials already have the skills and knowledge required. The teacher knows the questions, the mistakes being made, and the canonical ("right") answers required.

Training is the usual choice when employees are to learn a new skill or new information that they do not have when they start the training. There are a number of different issues involved. For example, are employees going to be required to do some completely new task which nobody has ever done? Does the learning require expanding upon certain concepts or skills that employees have only a vague understanding of? The timeframe for training is usually quite short, from an hour or two to a week. The outcome is specified in the learning objectives.


If employees already have the knowledge and skills required but they are running into barriers that prevent them from using the knowledge and skills to achieve the desired outcome, coaching would be a better choice than training. The coach has the answers for the employees' questions. In coaching sessions, it is the worker who in effect leads the session by using the knowledge and expertise of the coach to come up with the performance solution on their own. In other words, the employee demonstrates and asks questions; the coach observes and provides answers. Coaching is partnering in a creative process that inspires the employee to maximize their potential.

The timeframe for coaching is usually short-term (up to six months or one year) with a specific outcome in mind.


"Mentoring is an employee training system under which a senior or more experienced individual (the mentor) is assigned to act as an advisor, counselor, or guide to a junior or trainee. The mentor is responsible for providing support to, and feedback on, the individual in his or her charge." (

The timeframe for mentoring is longer-term, lasting a year or two, or longer. Mentoring is development-driven, beyond the professional’s current job function and is a holistic approach to career development.


Jacobs, Susan (2018). "What's the Difference Between Mentoring and Coaching?"

Gartner for HR (2022). "Top Priorities for HR Leaders 2022"

Zust, Christine (2017). "Know The Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring"

Coaching Software

Coaching Software 2022 (Capterra)

Coaching Software 2022 (Trust Radius)

Mentoring Software

Mentoring Software 2022 (Capterra)

Mentoring Software 2022 (Trust Radius)