The bottom line: People who need digital skills the most are often the least likely to get them.
Fortunately, enterprises can make a difference. Closing skill gaps from within an organization should be an initiative every business undertakes.
Offering digital upskilling and training as an employee retention strategy can help maintain a competitive edge, especially in today’s battle for top talent.
To position your company for success it’s critical to understand:
Why upskilling and reskilling are good alternatives to hiring in today’s talent landscape
How relevant, personalized training helps talent acquisition and retention
Why employee-directed learning boosts upskilling program adoption
Companies are always looking for bright, new talent, but looking internally could be a smart move. Existing personnel may already have, or have the potential to easily acquire, the skills you’re looking to build in order to grow.
An employee already steeped in your organization’s culture knows your business and your customers. When you have an open position, consider looking at employees whose current capabilities overlap with your new role requirements. With some strategic reskilling or upskilling, they might be just what you’re looking for and save you the time and money it takes to hire and onboard someone from outside the organization.
Reskilling and upskilling from within is a trend that’s here to stay. By 2024, it’s estimated that 40% of workers will require up to six months of reskilling, while 94% of business leaders expect their workers to pick up new skills. Embrace this trend and invest in your people. It pays off—93% of CEOs who introduce upskilling programs see increased productivity, an improvement in talent acquisition and retention, and a more resilient workforce.
Workers want enhanced learning and development opportunities, with 77% of workers saying they’re ready to learn new skills or completely retrain. They know it will keep them more employable, with 74% seeing upskilling as a matter of personal responsibility.
Companies that support continuous learning and encourage innovation are preparing their workforce to adapt to change. How? By equipping them with the skills they need to leverage new technology and techniques to streamline processes and drive growth.
Personalizing upskilling and making it relevant to an employee’s job––as well as other roles they might want to try––can foster company loyalty.Those who have the right tools and training are more likely to address challenges with confidence and let others outside the organization know they feel supported at work. Word of mouth is an invaluable part of overall talent acquisition efforts and can serve as part of your overall recruiting strategy. Indeed, companies that have a reputation of investing in training are more attractive to job seekers.
Upskilling can foster a culture of upward mobility. That’s a motivating factor for employees that also generates excitement and boosts adoption of corporate learning programs. Continually offering opportunities to upskill builds a pipeline of digitally savvy talent that can fill future needs and help you stay competitive. Consider credentialing opportunities that make new skills “official.” Conquering one skill set at a time builds worker confidence.
While leadership should give people paid time to learn, it’s wise to encourage skills acquisition and experimentation, and avoid top-down mandates. Instead, put people in control of how they spend their learning time. At PwC, our approach to upskilling also involves citizen-led innovation. We give our people the time, resources and freedom to learn how to build digital solutions they can then share across the organization to help drive efficiencies and innovation at scale.
Related upskilling content
Forrester report: The CEO and the adaptive workforce
Adapting learning strategies across experience levels
Upskill, reskill, or hire? A guide to smarter skill development
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.