Can Reskilling Employees Solve the Skills Gap?

October 8, 2021

There's a skills gap, and it's growing. As someone running a business, how can you take the challenge head on?

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Is it time to help your employees get their study on?
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It’s the 21st century, and millennials and Gen Z’ers make up most of the entry-level to mid-level positions in today’s workforce. More now than ever before, there are gaps in workers’ skill levels. Every company across the nation has had to accommodate these workers and re-train their staff. For the next five years, the skill gap will only continue to grow. 

According to a recent survey, 43% of companies report a current skill gap. These companies are working overtime to ensure that their employees have the skills necessary in order to do the jobs they were hired for. Those in high-tech and finance are reported to be hit the hardest by these gaps. These companies will have to work even harder to beat the gap.

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Organizations are hard at work trying to close these gaps. Some companies resort to hiring freelance or contract workers in order to fill the gaps as necessary. The most common way to close the skill gap is through hiring, with the second most common way being skills training. The real question is: Can reskilling employees close the skills gap? 

To many, this may seem like an unsurmountable hurdle to jump across. However, there is training available to employees in need. A college degree is still the most desirable form of training and education there is. Still, those who continue their education into college or trade school are becoming few and far between, as the cost for a higher education is higher than ever. With fewer and fewer of these degrees being earned than ever before, the skills gap continues to grow at daunting numbers.

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Not only has the workforce changed due to automation, but 2020 and the pandemic have played a huge role in the need to reskill employees. The pandemic has caused a huge push for digitization, as more people are now working remotely than ever before. With this push for digitization, reskilling has become essential. Instead of hiring new staff, training existing staff is the most inexpensive and efficient option. It also saves not only money, but time as well.  

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Not only does reskilling help to save time, but it also creates and fosters a culture of learning. This is vital to not only retaining employees, but to attracting new ones as well. Reskilling allows current employees to learn new skills in order to perform well in new company roles. It also shows potential employees what the company has to offer them if they were to accept a position with that company. Reskilling current employees makes your company more attractive on the job market to potential employees or job seekers.  

Not sure where to start when it comes to reskilling your current staff? Follow these simple tips to get started.  

  • Select the necessary skills that the company needs. This means coming up with a list and sticking to it. Getting your employees’ buy-in is important as well and will help them transition into their new skills and roles.  
  • Train all employees. Don’t just select a few people to train. There are a few basic skills that everyone should learn. Get the whole team involved and pumped up to learn new skills! 
  • Make it personal. There is no cookie-cutter recipe to reskilling employees. Make the training personable to each employee. Assess your company’s needs and incorporate each employee in a game plan. 
  • Build a growth mindset. Help instill a growth mindset in each employee. Each person should have a learner’s attitude, as everyone is continually learning and growing. Each and every employee is a life-long learner. This is the mindset that should be adopted by each employee. 
  • Use early adopters. Use the early adopters of the reskilling program to implement reskilling amongst the entire staff. These employees will encourage the rest of the staff to jump on board with the reskilling program. 
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Finally, I leave you with this: Reskilling isn’t going to happen overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take it one day at a time. One employee at a time. The time and money you are investing in your current team is well worth the expenditure in the long haul.  

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