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Can Reskilling Employees Solve the Skills Gap?

If your company is struggling to find talent to fill open roles or you have a group of employees whose work will soon be obsolete, you’re not alone. A recent survey shows 60 percent of companies face a skills gap, and experts estimate that technological advances—while also creating new opportunities—will mean close to a billion workers need to find new jobs over the next decade.

This is why many companies, including Amazon, are looking to “reskill” parts of their labor force. Reskilling is training employees for a completely new job. (This differs from “upskilling,” which is training employees for a major change in their current roles.) The COVID-19 pandemic’s massive disruption of business has increased the need for both upskilling and reskilling, as some major economic shifts become permanent.

Why Reskill Your Workforce?

A majority of corporate leaders said addressing the potential skills gap brought on by automation or digitation was a “top 10” issue, according to a recent survey from McKinsey, and that same group of leaders believe corporations—not governments or other organizations—should take the lead in reskilling workers for future jobs.

Reskilling programs also add value to your organization, bolstering your employer brand and building loyalty among your people. Creating a culture of learning attracts employees who are excited about the opportunity to learn new skills, which is often something they are happy to share with friends. As employees see value in these programs, they are likely to increase their tenure with your company.

Addressing Uncertainty

Reskilling also addresses the uncertainty many workers currently feel about their preparedness for the future. A survey from staffing company Randstad shows 40 percent of workers believe they have yet to acquire the skills they need to remain relevant in today’s workforce. The same survey shows 55 percent of employees want to learn new skills and 94 percent say they put new skills to work on the job.

Reskilling also can be much more effective than hiring new employees, since you are taking employees who already know your brand and culture and, in many cases, bring years of institutional knowledge to work with them. Reskilling existing workers is also cost effective, since you reduce or eliminate the expense of recruiting and onboarding new employees.

How to Reskill Employees

Reskilling starts with finding the right workers to participate. Work with your managers to find reliable workers who are quick to take initiative. These self-starters are great candidates for reskilling. You also need to find employees have good time management skills and so will be able to balance on-the-job learning with their normal responsibilities.

The next step is to develop the curriculum to build the reskilling program. This starts with identifying the skills needed to master the new role, followed by developing a training program, including preparing materials that align with specific learning objectives.

The Importance of Training

Once your curriculum is prepared, you can deliver your training. This can be done in-person with mentors leading a group of employees, be deployed via online eLearning software or using a hybrid approach. Paycor’s Learning Management System can help you efficiently deliver reskilling training across a distributed workforce. An advantage of online learning is it can be automated, with employees working through self-directed modules to acquire new skills.

Once you’ve completed your first round of training, it’s important to collect feedback from participants and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program to make adjustments as needed for future reskilling initiatives. Again, using an online learning management system can help you track completion rates and obtain feedback from participants.

With obvious benefits for both employees and employers, it’s clear reskilling will become an essential part of employee training programs in the coming years.

How Paycor Helps

Paycor builds HR solutions for leaders. With Paycor, you can modernize every aspect of people management, from the way you recruit, onboard and develop your team, to the way you pay and retain them. See how Paycor can help the leaders of your organization solve the problems of today and tomorrow.