Woman reskilling for a new job function

Times are changing. The workforce is changing. And most in-demand skills are changing at a rapid pace. This is why reskilling has become a major factor for businesses today. 

Reskilling is when you learn new skills for a different job function within the same company, whereas reskilling's sister upskilling is learning new skills within the same job function. 

According to The World Economic Forum, 75 million jobs got displaced between 2018-2022 in 20 major economies. And it keeps going. Underlining the importance of reskilling. 

But even though 74 percent say that reskilling is important or very important for their organization's success within the next 12-18 months, only 10 percent are ready to address it.

Furthermore, 61 percent in Deloitte's Human Capital Trends (2019) mark that they find it challenging to find the right qualified, experienced hires today and that it takes an average of 42 days to fill an open job. 

The numbers speak for themselves. We should have started reskilling yesterday. For good reasons: Reskilling is often cheaper and needs fewer resources. It can be done for as little as one-sixth the cost of hiring an external candidate (Deloitte HCT). A bonus is that you keep a lot of in-house knowledge within your business by reskilling an internal hire. A person who is already familiar with your business culture and do's and don'ts. 

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How to Reskill and Getting the Future Workforce Ready

It can seem overwhelming for an employee to jump into a  completely different job function. Unless they are ready for new challenges and have evolved new skills that could be useful in another role. Here are 4 tips to smoothen out the process and reskill the workforce of tomorrow:

1. Discover Strengths and Weaknesses

Map out what core strengths and weaknesses the employees possess. At the same time, find out what direction they want to move in regarding their career goals and connect it to the jobs that need reskilling. Do not see this as an annual check-in, but see it as an ongoing process.

2. Connect New Skills with Company Goals

Show employees how they can succeed in a new role and how their skills come in-handy. Align their aspirations with company goals and connect the employee to the new skills needed to achieve success - for both the employee and the company. For example, maybe your leaders should learn more about soft skills as part of your values. 

3. Boost Learning Initiatives in the Flow of Work

Digital learning is great to provide employees with new skills to maintain a new job function. Especially, microlearning and stretched learning are amazing tools to upgrade employees' skills during their workday.

Stretched learning, for example, lets employees reflect upon the learning and has only one or two learning goals for each learning activity. In this way, digital learning will not seem too overwhelming for the employee, as if she is assigned to loads of new learning modules to learn a new skill. Some learning platforms can boost this process with ease, assigning specific learning modules for specific employees at the right time. 

4. Make Learning Available, Personal & Visible

As mentioned, the learning can be boosted in the flow of work. But, at the same time, it should be available when it suits the employee to do the learning. Do not lock the learning modules away in a hidden folder where you have to spend several clicks just to find it. Instead, make sure the learning is available on all devices - laptop, smartphone, and tablet - and at any time of day.

A great way to keep the motivation up is to build personalized learning paths and journeys based on job roles and functions. And also here, don't hide it away. Let it be available for your employees to see their learner journey!  Visualize the journey in your learning platform and allow your employees to see their own progress and what they can expect to come ahead. This can be a great motivational factor!