How Reskilling is Reshaping the Future of the Workforce

The future of work is changing rapidly, driven by technological advancements, automation, and changing market conditions. As a result, many workers are finding that their skills and expertise are becoming obsolete, while new jobs and industries are emerging. According to estimates by the World Economic Forum, AI will replace 85 million jobs by 2025, while creating 97 million new jobs in the same timeframe. 

Workers are aware that the winds of the job landscape are shifting. In fact, 74% of workers would be willing to learn a new skill or retrain a current skill to remain employable. The ball is in employers’ court to provide opportunities for their employees to learn new skills that will empower them in the workforce of tomorrow.

To keep pace with these changes and remain competitive, businesses are turning to reskilling as a way to equip their workforce with the skills needed to succeed in the years ahead. In this blog post, we will explore how reskilling is reshaping the workforce by providing workers with the tools and knowledge needed to adapt to new technologies, automation and changing market conditions. We will examine the five key reasons why reskilling is important for the future of work, and highlight the benefits that businesses can achieve by investing in reskilling programs. 

What is reskilling and why is it important?

Reskilling refers to the process of training employees in new skills or technologies so they can perform different roles within an organization. In today's fast-paced business environment, technological advancements, automation tools, and changing market conditions are constantly creating new challenges for companies. Reskilling allows businesses to adapt to these changes by equipping their employees with the skills needed to succeed in new roles and industries.

Here are five core reasons why reskilling is important in today’s market landscape

  1. Automation and AI: Automation and AI are increasingly being used to perform routine tasks, which means that workers need to develop new skills to remain relevant in the workplace. Reskilling provides an opportunity for workers to learn new skills that are more valuable and difficult to automate.
  2. Changing market conditions: Markets are constantly evolving, and businesses need to be able to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities. Reskilling allows companies to build a more agile and adaptable workforce that can respond to changing market conditions and stay ahead of the competition.
  3. Evolving talent expectations: In today's competitive job market, companies need to provide opportunities for their employees to grow and develop their skills. Reskilling programs can help companies retain their talent by offering them a path for career advancement within the company, rather than seeking new opportunities elsewhere.
  4. Expensive hiring: It is often less expensive to reskill an existing employee than to hire someone new with the required skills. Reskilling can help companies save money on recruitment and training costs, while also increasing employee loyalty and retention.
  5. Social responsibility: In an era of rapid technological change and automation, reskilling is not only a smart business strategy, but also a social responsibility. By investing in reskilling programs, companies can help ensure that their employees are able to adapt to new technologies and changing job requirements, while also promoting social equity and reducing the impact of job displacement.

Benefits of reskilling

Companies looking to remain competitive and increase the productivity of their staff can expect results from reskilling employees. Reskilling also has positive effects on employees like improving their job security and leading to higher job satisfaction.

Get an in-depth look into each benefit below and understand how they are created through reskilling.

Increased productivity

Reskilling can equip employees with the skills they need to be more productive and effective in their roles. When employees are trained to use new technologies or perform new tasks, they can complete their work more efficiently and accurately, leading to increased productivity for the company.

One of the main reasons why reskilling can increase productivity is that it allows employees to develop new skills and knowledge that they can apply directly to their work. For example, an employee who receives training on a new software application may be able to complete tasks faster and with fewer errors than before, as they now have a better understanding of how to use the technology effectively.

Moreover, reskilling can help employees to work more efficiently by eliminating unnecessary or redundant tasks, or by introducing new methodologies and best practices. By identifying and addressing inefficiencies in their workflow, employees can complete their work more quickly and with greater accuracy, which can translate into higher productivity for the company as a whole.

In addition, reskilling can help to close skills gaps that may be preventing employees from performing at their best. Employees who lack the skills or knowledge needed to perform a particular task may struggle to complete it effectively, leading to lower productivity and performance. Reskilling can help to address these gaps by providing employees with the training and support they need to perform their jobs more effectively.

Improved employee engagement

Offering reskilling opportunities demonstrates a commitment to employee development and can increase employee satisfaction and engagement. Employees who feel valued and supported by their employers are more likely to be motivated and productive in their work.

Reskilling can help employees feel that their employer is invested in their professional growth and development. This can increase their sense of loyalty to the company and create a positive work environment. When employees feel that their employer is committed to their success, they are more likely to be motivated to perform their best work.

Additionally, reskilling can help employees develop new skills and expertise, which can make their work more interesting and challenging. This can increase their sense of autonomy and control over their work, leading to increased job satisfaction and engagement.

Finally, reskilling can lead to career advancement opportunities within the company, which can be a powerful motivator for employees. When employees see that they have a clear path for growth and development within the company, they are more likely to be engaged and invested in their work.

Greater agility

In today's rapidly changing business environment, agility is crucial for survival and growth. Companies that can adapt quickly to changing circumstances are more likely to stay ahead of the competition and succeed in the long term. Reskilling can be a powerful tool for achieving greater agility by enabling companies to develop a more versatile and flexible workforce.

By investing in reskilling, companies can build a workforce that is prepared to handle disruptions and uncertainties in the business environment. For example, if a company is facing new competition or changing customer demands, reskilling can help employees develop new skills and knowledge to meet these challenges head-on. This can help the company stay competitive and relevant in the market.

Additionally, reskilling can help companies take advantage of new opportunities and emerging trends. For example, if a new technology or innovation is disrupting the industry, reskilling can help employees develop the skills needed to leverage these new developments for the benefit of the company. This can lead to increased efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

Enhanced innovation 

Reskilling can be a powerful catalyst for innovation within an enterprise. By exposing employees to new ideas and perspectives, reskilling can help stimulate creativity and encourage employees to think outside the box.

When employees are trained in new technologies or methodologies, they are often exposed to new ways of thinking and working. This exposure can spark innovative ideas and insights that may not have been possible without the reskilling program. By promoting a culture of innovation, companies can encourage their employees to experiment and take risks, leading to breakthroughs and improvements in products, services, and processes.

Reskilling can also help employees develop the skills and knowledge needed to innovate in their specific roles. For example, a marketing professional who is reskilled in data analytics may be able to identify new insights and opportunities for customer engagement. A software engineer who is reskilled in agile development methodologies may be able to streamline processes and deliver new features and functionality more quickly.

Moreover, reskilling can foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement within an enterprise. When employees see that their company is investing in their development and growth, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work. This can lead to a more innovative and collaborative culture, where employees are encouraged to share ideas and work together to solve complex problems.

Increased profitability 

Reskilling can have a significant impact on the profitability of an enterprise. By equipping employees with new skills and knowledge, reskilling can lead to cost savings and increased revenue.

One of the primary ways that reskilling can increase profitability is by reducing recruitment and training costs associated with hiring new talent. When a company needs to fill a new role or replace an employee who has left, it can be costly and time-consuming to recruit and onboard a new employee. Reskilling existing employees to take on these roles can be a more cost-effective solution. Additionally, reskilled employees may already be familiar with the company's culture and processes, reducing the amount of time and resources needed for training.

In addition, employees with new skills may be able to take on more responsibilities or work on new projects, leading to increased productivity and profitability. For example, a reskilled salesperson may be able to expand their customer base or increase the value of each sale, leading to increased revenue for the company. A reskilled software developer may be able to create new products or features that can be sold to customers, leading to increased revenue streams.

Reskilling can also help companies stay competitive in their industries by adapting to new technologies and market trends. By reskilling employees in emerging technologies or methodologies, companies can stay ahead of the curve and develop new products or services that meet the changing needs of their customers. This can lead to increased revenue and profitability in the long term.

Examples of Successful Reskilling Programs

Companies struggling to think of how to implement a reskilling program can look to corporate examples that have worked at scale. The examples below from Verizon, Bank of America, and Mastercard serve as a guide for companies to learn how to successfully run their programs.

Verizon

Verizon didn't work alone to develop a program to reskill employees. Instead, they sought the help of Generation USA and JFF to create a reskilling program that would help 500,000 individuals by the year 2030.

In total, Verizon invested $44 million into developing its workforce for unemployed or underemployed workers. The program was in response to the rise of automation that caused many layoffs and underemployed circumstances.

Bank of America

Taking a more holistic approach to reskilling, Bank of America is invested in up to 40,000 team members each year in a program called The Academy. They also have another program aimed at helping low to moderate-income neighborhoods develop the skills and training needed for career paths in the industry.

By investing in reskilling for employees, Bank of America is specifically addressing its attrition rates which have seen a significant decrease since implementing the program. The programs developed by Bank of America also partner with nonprofits in local areas to provide skills training.

Mastercard

Before the pandemic, Mastercard invested in developing a program called Degreed. The intention was to integrate Mastercard's practice of skill-building and innovating into a culture of learning. As the workforce was forced to perform from home, Degreed became a lifeline for employees to stay updated on the new products and services their company was offering.

Mastercard focused on creating educational content with experts from within the company to ensure all the material was not only helpful but also highly relevant. They also segmented the learning experience by experience level and function.

How to Implement a Reskilling Program

Understanding the benefits of reskilling and how it is applied at a corporate level is helpful, but it doesn't provide the steps necessary to transition a company to a learning culture.

Below are the actions needed for any company to invest in reskilling for their employees.

Gain executive buy-in

Major changes in any company usually start at the top. Executives need to be on board before any changes can be implemented. This requires research that ties reskilling to the bottom line, including statistically significant data showcasing ROI and how it would benefit the company in the long run. Once all executives in the company are in support of the program, a formal process for implementation can begin.

Identify skill gaps

The goal of any reskilling program is to fill the gaps in skill sets that employees need to succeed. To do this, research needs to be conducted to identify the skills needed for specific roles and the ones that are lacking among current employees. An audit will identify the current skills a staff contains and determine the skills needed for company growth. Once the gap is identified, a comprehensive reskilling strategy may be employed.

Partner with a training provider

After identifying skill gaps, the next step is to partner with a training provider to develop and deliver a comprehensive reskilling program. The training provider should have expertise in the areas identified as skill gaps and be able to provide customized training that meets the needs of the enterprise. It is important to choose a training provider that is reputable and has a proven track record of success.

At Correlation One, we’ve supported some of the largest enterprises in the world in reskilling their workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. Interested in how we can support your company’s reskilling initiatives? Reach out to learn more.