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Three key upskilling benefits that power a multi-generational workforce

Understanding how employees learn and adapt to new technologies and ways of working can help companies develop more effective upskilling strategies.

Where a person is in their career journey can influence what’s important to them, and learning preferences vary by individual regardless of experience level.

In order to attract and retain entry-level workers, as well as more experienced employees, you should cater to the learning needs across various groups. A thorough upskilling program that appeals to staff of all experience levels should provide three key benefits:

  • Relevant skill development that matches individual role and experience levels

  • Time––and space––to practice and share their newfound skills 

  • Growth opportunities meaningful to employees at different career stages

Relevant skills training for a multi-generational workforce

Learning that’s tailored to an employee's role, function and skill level (when tied to applications of those skills) not only resonates––it sticks. This is true when it comes to both reskilling experienced workers and training staff newer to the workforce. 

A more experienced workforce and technology can coexist, while a newer workforce can acquire the institutional knowledge of more experienced workers. Keeping skills development relevant is key to leading a multi-generational workforce.

Offering personalized upskilling programs that meet learners where they are can help enhance the benefits of a multi-generational workforce. With predicted talent shortages, and the availability of key skills still a major concern, companies should consider increasing learning opportunities as part of their talent acquisition and retention strategy. 

Conduct skills assessments across your organization to determine what skills individuals have and what they need to be successful in their role in the future. Invest in a diagnostic tool or an end-to-end upskilling platform that can help you accomplish this kind of in-depth analysis. Then, use that analysis to assign personalized learning paths that can close your people’s skill gaps in ways that help them grow in their careers while also benefiting the business

When learners get served content and courseware relevant to them, it keeps them engaged. It also makes it easier for them to see where they can apply the knowledge and skills they’ve gained to their work––driving innovation and efficiencies across the entire organization.

Encourage employees to practice and share newfound skills 

Your people need opportunities to practice and apply what they’ve learned. 

Offer programs with scenario-based training that upskills them in technologies they can use to improve performance of everyday tasks. Then let them try it out. Real-world opportunities to practice and share newfound skills with others can increase productivity and skill retention. 

When it comes to learning and practicing digital skills, newer workers are slightly more willing to dive in than their more experienced counterparts, according to a recent PwC survey of US employees. Among those aged 18 to 34, 66% said they were ready to learn new skills, compared to 60% of those aged 45 to 65. And 64% of younger workers said technology creates more opportunities than risk, while only 56% of older workers said the same. 

Communication to a multi-generational workforce should involve mitigating apprehension about upskilling. Show that you trust your employees to figure out how to turn new knowledge into business value. Give them opportunities––and protected time––so they can practice new skills and find ways to apply them. 

Provide growth opportunities

One of the challenges in managing a multi-generational workforce is offering equal access to learning. 

A recent PwC survey revealed that more than a third of workers 54 and older had zero opportunities to improve digital skills while only 16% of workers aged 18 to 34 said the same. That’s a gap that can lead to huge discrepancies in career growth. 

Training for a multi-generational workforce needs to be more equitable so when growth opportunities arise your employees can be ready to stretch themselves. Most of them want to be upskilled. A recent PwC survey found that 77% of workers, regardless of age, would be willing to learn new skills—or even completely retrain—to make themselves more employable in the future. 

By developing a culture of learning that involves training for a multigenerational workforce, your organization can share knowledge and skills among teams and bridge potential gaps across all experience levels.

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Invest in tomorrow 

Stay ahead of the curve with PwC ProEdge, the revolutionary way to upskill your people and prepare your organization for tomorrow. This unique platform allows you to pinpoint critical skill gaps and effectively help close them with automatically generated personalized learning pathways. Leading curated content, coursework and hands-on learning empower your workforce to make an immediate impact at scale. ProEdge enables your people to perform at their highest level—giving them the power to help transform your entire organization.

Take the first step on a new path toward transforming both your organization and the learning experience of your employees.

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