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futureproof your workforce with a reskilling strategy.

Does your talent strategy take into account the ways that learning and development investments can influence your recruitment challenges?

When a company finds itself in need of new skills, the first thing they’re likely to do is hire external talent to fill those gaps. Yet, as the nature of work continues its rapid evolution — and since future jobs will require new and different skill sets — looking toward outside talent is just one part of an effective strategy for meeting demand. So how can you prepare for this future? By enhancing your company’s learning and development strategies to develop the new skills current employees will need in a changing world.

new approaches to employee development.

Traditional, top-down approaches to corporate learning and development (like hours-long classroom courses or slow moving slideshows) no longer work. Today’s learners want simple, more specialized, on-demand learning programs — similar to how they learn in their personal lives by watching a video on YouTube.

Using the 70:20:10 learning model, it’s also important to remind employees that 70% of their knowledge comes from on-the-job experience. The other portions that contribute to upskilling and development come from interactions with others (20%) and educational training in a fail-safe environment (10%).

Fortunately, a wide range of self-paced learning solution vendors -such as MindTools- offer employers the opportunity to provide their workers with relevant, engaging and easy-to-consume learning content at a low cost. And they deliver content in the way today’s employees want to learn: video-based, mobile-optimized and completed at their own pace. Add in gamification, recognition of their new skills and an easy way to share knowledge with colleagues, and you have an effective way to reskill and upskill your teams for the future.

L’Oreal is just one company investing in the upskilling and training of its employees. The cosmetics giant enrolled about 14,000 workers in an upskilling program aimed at expanding their digital skills like search engine optimization, digital media allocation and digital analytics. This upskilling program has certainly paid off, with the company experiencing an increase in e-commerce sales of 33% in 2016.

opportunity to lead the way.

Despite the success of L’Oreal and others, our 2018 Talent Trends Report suggests that few companies are planning to follow this strategy. Only 11% of human capital and C-suite leaders surveyed expect to provide training or reskilling to existing employees to meet changing business needs this year. Instead, the majority (59%) say they plan to hire extensively to fill those gaps.

While hiring outside talent might be a good strategy for finding individuals with the latest emerging skills, you have more to gain with a multi-pronged approach. The challenge lies in understanding when to recruit new hires and when to reskill or upskill current talent. Being equipped with robust talent analytics and an understanding of the skills your company will need in the future can help you navigate the right path forward. Though it may seem daunting, such a strategy can be a competitive differentiator in retaining and attracting top talent, and supporting an enhanced employer brand and talent experience.

Consider this: with only 11% of companies committed to training and reskilling their teams, you have the opportunity to stand out. Showcasing your learning and development program will demonstrate that you value employees’ contributions and want to give them the skills to ensure their future success. It will also make you stand out as an employer of choice, helping to draw in the best candidates at a time when qualified talent remains in short supply.

cultivate a culture of learning.

How can you create an effective learning and development program to futureproof your organization? As mentioned before, it should match the way employees interact with content in their personal lives. That means providing short courses, or bite-sized webinars, they can take or view at their own pace and when most convenient. And just as workers often crave recognition of their accomplishments on social media, you can offer certificates and awards that can be publicly displayed (whether on their desk, or on LinkedIn). If you don’t have the internal resources to create such a program, you can leverage the massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by many prestigious universities.

Less formal methods can also be helpful in the overall learning strategy. Creating a forum in which employees can share practical insights they’ve learned either on the job or through formal courses will help to spread the knowledge and elevate the entire employee base.

For any learning and development program to be effective, it needs to be ingrained in the company culture. You can do this by highlighting the value of the program and its role in employees’ personal development and preparing them for the future. Not only will this encourage them to participate, but it will enable the company to foster a culture of continuous learning that sets it apart in an increasingly competitive talent landscape — and an uncertain future.

To learn more about this and other strategies you can use, get your copy of the 2018 Talent Trends Report.