Of all the things that occur in the world of business, change is constant. But with change comes uncertainty.
Whether its market disruptions, new business objectives, or employee demands, staying agile in these moments will set you up for success.
So what’s the best way to keep your cool in uncertain times? Surround yourself with a skilled and adaptable workforce that is resilient to these changes.
Fostering a culture of continuous learning means focusing on upskilling and reskilling your workforce to guard against challenges that your company may face.
With 40% of employers admitting that they don’t track the skills of employees, a lot of us are clearly putting ourselves at a disadvantage.
If this didn’t convince you to refocus your strategy, we’ve created a rundown of some of the top benefits of future proofing your workforce through upskilling and reskilling:
Guard Your Workforce Against Market Disruptions
When you are aware of employees’ skills, identifying skills gaps in the workforce that need closing, and are continuously working on closing them, you set your organization up for prosperity.
As learners continuously react to the market and gain the skills required, they become an adaptable force that can shift and bend with any changes in your market.
As a result, employees have a greater wealth of knowledge and are used to reacting to what your industry demands, allowing you to leverage their skills to carry your organization across murky waters.
Learn the Skills of Tomorrow
With regular skills analysis, both learners and admins can predict where they see their industry heading and focus on updating their knowledge.
As well as market-alignment, future-forward mindsets allow you to better align with business goals and strategies, upskilling and reskilling your employees will prepare them for coming demands.
Retain Your Top Performers
You may be sick of hearing about it but it’s true – Millennials are now the majority in the workforce, and we have to be prepared to listen to what they’re asking for.
Millennials not only want, but expect to have learning offered to them within their place of work and have no qualms in taking their skills to another employer if this isn’t provided.
Not only Gen Y, but employees of all other generations are starting to take note and are similarly asking for more opportunities to upskill in their role. This comes with a shift in career mentality, as employees look to move up within a company, rather than changing companies to get that promotion.
We need to realize that focusing on the people within your company also means focusing on your company and its goals. The two are tied together and as one grows, so does the other.
Reduce All That Costly Hiring
We all know the cost of hiring new talent, and the cost of losing great talent. While learning can guard against your best people quitting, it also allows you to create SMEs from your current workforce.
When the organization realizes what they are missing, having a culture of reskilling and upskilling allows HR to first look inwards, and see possibilities in the people that they already have.
Hiring internally results in a shorter time to productivity and much lower cost implications than recruiting new employees, while also giving current employees another motivation to learn and develop.
Technology’s Role in Upskilling and Reskilling
While technology is driving a significant amount of change that requires a skills transformation for the workforce, it also offers an opportunity to harness skills for improved outcomes.
However, the training methods for reskilling and upskilling are somewhat dependent on human effort. There is a place for these technologies to support, but the primary value is in tracking and measuring skills across the workforce.
Imagine for a moment that you work on a team of ten people, and I asked you to write down the strongest 10 skills for each person. Chances are you will stall out fairly quickly, because it’s hard to be that precise.
Technology, on the other hand, can scale infinitely. A simple database will do, but some learning technologies in the market actually provide ways to track employee skills on a more granular level.
The Role of L&D
Learning and development professionals can create a degree of “future proofing” in the business by staying ahead of the curve on any skills that are shifting. Their actions, with the support of learning technologies, prevent the firm from being caught flat-footed and having to invest heavily to try and catch up.
Be the superhero of your organization and future proof your business by focusing on what makes you different – your people!
Read more on how to plan for the future in our full report on reskilling and upskilling the workforce.