The world of work is changing, and this constant evolution requires a workforce that’s more agile than it has ever been before. In the coming years, some jobs will be made obsolete, while many will look completely different. With advancing technology, new unprecedented roles and skills will become necessary. In order to stay ahead of the constantly evolving roles in tech, organizations must focus on their retention plan and provide learning opportunities for employees to learn and grow within their existing roles to avoid turnover and stagnancy within roles.
One way of improving employee retention and productivity is by building a workplace culture that offers upskilling and reskilling opportunities. Upskilling is the process of teaching workers new skills, and reskilling is the process of learning new skills so you can do a different job, or of training people to do a different job. Upskilling and reskilling opportunities boost employee engagement and satisfaction by eliminating the feeling of stagnation. In a study done by Pew Research, 63% of US workers said no opportunities for advancement was the reason they left their jobs.
For organizations, providing upskilling opportunities to employees helps bridge the quickly widening skills gap. The growing skills gap has led to staffing challenges, making it harder for organizations to recruit and retain talent. A study by LinkedIn found that 63% of workers believe they need to develop new skills to advance their careers, but only 36% have access to the training they need. Upskilling and reskilling employees does more than close skill gaps, though. When you invest in your talent’s development, employees are happier and they stick around longer. Learning and growth opportunities are overwhelmingly rated as the number one marker of an exceptional workplace in a study from 2021.
Here are some considerations for companies looking to improve their employee retention plan and attract top talent with upskilling and reskilling:
Retention Plan Considerations
Identify Skill Gaps
Before developing your plan for upskilling and reskilling initiatives, it is important to conduct a workforce analysis to assess the current landscape of the company’s employees. This will help to identify any skills gaps or skills that will be most crucial for your business’s success in the future. This also allows companies to understand where their employees lack essential skills and knowledge, helping them prioritize areas for improvement and set the strategic direction for learning and development programs. Performing a workplace analysis will help to determine the desired outcomes of reskilling and upskilling for current and projected workforce needs.
Invest in Learning Platforms
In the digital age we live in, companies have more access than ever to online learning resources and opportunities to train employees in any skillset. Managers should provide employees access to a variety of learning resources such as online courses, workshops, webinars, and mentorship programs. Consider offering a fixed budget for employees to put towards their own learning and development.
However, learning platforms don’t have to take up a big chunk of the budget in order to be effective in their training, as there are also plenty of free and low-cost online resources you can use for formal workplace training. Providing access to various learning resources ensures that employees have the tools they need to upskill and reskill effectively, making the learning process more accessible.
Encouraging cross-functional training and job rotation among employees helps them to acquire new skills as well as improve collaboration and understanding across different departments. This gives employees a broader understanding of the organization, which can lead to greater job satisfaction and the ability to adapt to changing roles. Cross-training can be especially helpful when looking to fill new positions and gives managers the ability to hire internally. Cross-training does a lot to empower employees to share their knowledge, which removes the need to bring on costly new hires.
Monitor and Adjust
After implementation, it is important to have a plan in place to continuously monitor the effectiveness of your upskilling and reskilling initiatives. Be sure to collect feedback from employees and make adjustments as necessary to improve the programs. Reskilling efforts should be measured and monitored using a timeline that shows progress against milestones. This should be used to evaluate and revise the plan for continuous improvement, and to make necessary adjustments or corrections to the approach. Consistent monitoring of upskilling initiatives allows companies to adapt their training as needed, ensuring that they remain effective and aligned with evolving business needs as the tech industry advances at a rapid pace.
Offer Incentives and Rewards
Consider offering incentives such as bonuses, promotions, or other rewards for employees who successfully acquire new skills or certifications. This not only provides incentive but also ensures that employees don’t feel stagnant in their roles and remain motivated and productive. Regular feedback and recognition also show that the company values employees’ efforts and progress, motivating them to continue their learning journey.
Fine-Tune Your Retention Plan with Momentum
In the wake of the great resignation exacerbating the skills gap, employee retention and loyalty are at the forefront of many companies’ minds, and upskilling and reskilling are essential to employee satisfaction, adaptability, and ultimately retention.
On-the-job learning contributes significantly to employees’ skill sets and aids in career progression, as well as strengthens the organization as a whole. When employees see a business investing in their career growth, it can boost overall productivity. Learning opportunities tend to increase job satisfaction, which leads to better outcomes. Creating a plan for upskilling and reskilling initiatives is essential to any organization looking to retain employees and cut hiring costs.
It’s important to identify the skill gaps, set a strategic direction, develop an action plan, and then monitor the performance of the programs to adjust the strategy as necessary. A work environment focused on continuous learning is essential to employee retention, and Momentum believes that all people have the ability to learn and, in turn, deserve a high-quality education experience.
With Momentum, you can keep your team up to date (or ahead) of the demand for digital skills. To fine-tune your upskilling and reskilling plan, talk to the experts at Momentum now.
Contributions from Julia Hoffman