Best Practices for Retraining and Upskilling Your Current Workforce

best practices for employee retraining

According to the latest research from Deloitte, 74% of organizations recognize the readiness gap in their organization and say reskilling their workforce by 2022 is vital.  However only one in ten claim they are well-prepared to meet new demands:

  • Nearly 60% admit they need additional information before they can understand how ready their workforce is to handle upcoming challenges
  • Almost 40% say that they are having trouble identifying priorities when it comes to workforce development needs
  • Less than 20% believe in their organization’s ability to correctly anticipate skills their employees will need by 2023

How can you upskill or retrain your employees if you don’t know what you will need them to do?

Look at the Big Picture

Even if you don’t know what exact skills your employees will need, you can retrain and upskill on a broad level to prepare them for coming changes in workplace roles and responsibilities. It is clear that automation and augmentation are advancing rapidly, and that digital skills will be needed to maintain competitiveness.

McKinsey predicts demands for the following skills to rise and fall over the next decade:

  • Physical and manual skills for repetitive tasks: down nearly 30%
  • Basic literacy and numeracy skills: down almost 20%
  • Technological coding and interactive skills: up by more than 50%
  • High-level soft skills for initiative-taking and leadership: up by more than 30%

By focusing on technological, social, and emotional skills, you’ll be preparing your workforce for the future.

Invest in Learning Technology

A learning management system (LMS) for upskilling is critical to success in employee retraining programs. You’ll see a rapid return on investment; 54% of organizations that invest in learning technology see almost immediate improvements in both employee engagement and productivity.

Seek out programs that can be tailored to each employee’s proven strengths and identified weaknesses. By creating unique learning experiences, you avoid wasting time covering basics and can hone in on skills the employee recognizes as actionable and helpful to their future career plans.

Provide Access

From an employer standpoint, the question is what to provide employees in the way of upskilling and retraining opportunities. From the employee side, accessing such opportunities can be the main obstacle to reskilling. A staggering 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if their employer was invested in their career advancement.

In companies that do offer learning opportunities, the number one reason employees cite for failing to take advantage is lack of time. Make room for employees to learn by scheduling hours to work on upskilling on the clock. Provide a quiet workspace and the tools they need, along with a personalized learning experience.

Do Your Employees Require Upskilling or Reskilling?

recent BCG survey explored two specific megatrends in the area of job skills adaptation: technology changes and globalization. Nearly two-thirds of respondents believed that their current positions will be greatly affected by one or both trends.

There are two potential ways to answer the challenge of these megatrends. One is upskilling, which teaching workers new skills for their current work position. The other is reskilling, or teaching employees skills to be used in a completely different job. Digital skills account for around 70% of fastest-growing skills globally, but interpersonal skills are beginning to overlap heavily.

Depending on whether technology changes automate or simply augment a task, your staff may need to upskill or reskill. If your organization is globalizing, the shift in job responsibilities may be more interactive. You’ll need to provide ways for them to improve and add not only hard skills to handle new technology, but soft skills to handle personal interactions.

Leverage Gained Knowledge

Providing employees with upskilling and retraining opportunities is only the first step. Once they have completed a program, leverage their increased value for company benefit and their personal advancement. Setting goals is pointless if there is no measurement of results or recognition of effort.

Create retraining and upskilling programs that will produce the employees you need to fill readiness and knowledge gaps in your organization, and then use them. You can significantly reduce hiring and onboarding costs if you develop your existing workforce into the talent you’re looking for. Employee churn can be minimized, and staff loyalty increased.

How Censia Can Help You Funnel Undervalued Employees Into Your Learning Programs

Censia provides several functions that can help you identify not only candidates for upskilling, but what skills are likely to be in high demand over the next few years.

  • Instant Candidate Comparisons let you look at profiles of not only new applicants, but past candidates, passive talent, and your own existing workforce to identify in-demand skill-sets.
  • Complete Talent Profiles help you see where your employees are right now and where they want to be, providing insight on career trajectories, diversity, loyalty, and more.
  • Internal Mobility Matching highlights employees ripe for learning programs and helps you nurture and develop their skills with an eye to their in-house career advancement.

By surfacing undervalued employees with high potential, you can reduce your spending on hiring and onboarding. Internal employee development can help you future-proof your workforce, and substantially raise your revenues while bolstering the attractiveness of your employer profile.

Further Reading

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