How to Upskill your Workforce for the Future of Work

Upskilling for employee advancement

According to Deloitte, 74% organizations anticipate reskilling to be a top priority over the next year, but only one out of ten claim they are well positioned and ready to take on the task. 32% agree that lack of investment is currently posing the greatest threat to their organization’s workforce development.  

In fact, 68% of survey respondents said they are only committed to low to moderate investments in reskilling, and (perhaps the most alarming statistic of all) many admit they are making no reskilling investment at all in one of the biggest areas that require it: Artificial Intelligence (AI).

How do you commit to modernizing your workforce, give your employees the skills they need to close knowledge gaps, and propel your company forward in a time of disruption?

What Skills Will Your Company Need In the Future?

McKinsey notes that a skills mismatch is already occurring in fields where high AI adoption has taken place. Technological skills are required to fill roles in data analytics, IT, mobile and web design, and R&D. AI and machine learning are becoming a large part of back end operations, and at least a surface understanding is required for employees to remain resilient and effective.

On the other side of the spectrum, while customer service is benefiting from automation and self-service options, soft skills are needed for the human touch, which has become a major competitive point across industries. Critical thinking, active learning, and leadership skills rank in the top ten skills needed to future-proof your workforce.   

What Approach Will You Take to Addressing Skills Gaps?

There are five main ways you can work on modernizing and upskilling your workforce.

Upskill for employee advancement 

Upskilling builds on the knowledge and skills your employees already possess, positioning them for relevancy, resilience, and upward mobility within your organization. Investing in learning and development programs and giving employees the opportunity to learn on the clock is a proven way to increase employee retention and develop existing talent. AT&T used Coursera, Udacity, and other online programs to upskill 100,000 employees with STEM backgrounds in the face of disruption in the telecom industry.

Reskill for employee retention

Reskilling programs take workers whose jobs are being phased out (often due to integration of AI and IT automation) and help them complete employee training to shift into a new type of work.  Education provider General Assembly has been tapped heavily by Microsoft for a talent strategy initiative to reskill one out of ten workers by 2022.

Onramp for fresh talent

Onramping lets you train newly emerging candidates in a sort of apprenticeship arrangement that can provide a direct pipeline of raw talent. The training includes the chance to work on real company projects, after which you can decide if the arrangement should become permanent and whether or not to make a job offer. Onramping can deliver loyal employees who become long-term assets to your organization. Capital One offers such a program to train college graduates without computer science backgrounds for software engineering roles.

Educate for multiple incentives

Providing education opportunities for your employees can provide them with the incentive to excel, while resulting in tax incentives for your organization. They end up positioned for upward mobility, and you end up with a tax break and a skilled workforce. Cigna’s Education Reimbursement Program (ERP) delivered a dollar for dollar return in investment, as well as an additional $1.29 in talent management savings.

Outskill for happy ex-employees

Laying employees off is never easy, and can cause reputational damage to your company. Outskilling provides exiting employees with new skills they can use to land an emerging job in a changing world of employment. By providing learning and development options prior to layoffs, you can streamline workforce planning and retain goodwill.

Censia Can Help You Identify the Correct Option for Your Workforce

Censia delivers the capability to accurately evaluate upskilling and reskilling opportunities among your existing employees by building Ideal Candidate Models and comparing them to your employees’ Complete Talent Profiles. Intelligent Passive Sourcing can include your own employees and Internal Mobility Matching reveals underutilized workers who could be the perfect fit for a new role. Begin the process today to create a workforce ready for the future.

Further Reading

How to Upskill your Workforce for the Future of Work

Censia’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


How to Upskill your Workforce for the Future of Work

Forget the Glass Ceiling. Here’s how to fix the Broken Rung.


How to Upskill your Workforce for the Future of Work

The 5 Most Effective Talent Management Strategies


Want to see Talent Intelligence in action?