The upskilling and reskilling of talent represents an implicit investment on behalf of companies. However, this has not stopped employees from moving on to other organizations, a major frustration for companies. This established that further endeavors should accompany upskilling and reskilling efforts to fortify the long-term commitment of contributors, experts said.
Young people tend to change jobs frequently, and the challenge of companies today is to detect key positions and crucial staff to retain talent, said Araceli Ramírez, HR Director, Estafeta. Sometimes, companies consider the wrong strategies, but creating experiences during which people can use their capabilities and newly-learned skills rarely fails. “Small efforts can have a great impact because people like to use and apply their knowledge,” said Nicolás Zuzenberg, Country HR Director, HP.
“Amid the digital transformation, leaders and HR departments have come to recognize the importance of upskilling and reskilling as a mechanism of sustained operability and competitiveness. The baseline of competencies and skills needed by organizations has shifted with the emergence of a digital-first economy and will assuredly continue to evolve with the introduction of new disruptive technologies and digital platforms,” Gabriela Rodríguez, Regional Manager, Evaluar told MBN. Moreover, technology should be used as a facilitator for these processes, said Angélica López, Innovation and Data Intelligence HED LATAM, Pearson.
The importance of skills has not gone unnoticed by talent either, as the risk of skill obsolesce has created a sense of urgency among workers to upskill and reskill to future-proof their careers and remain competitive. However, yet to be widely addressed is the explicit alignment of incentives. In practice, this requires employers to understand the skills their organizations will need in the long term and help their collaborators visualize their participation in this transformation. This is based on the realization that while employees say they want more training, they often struggle to identify which skills they want to develop. “Another challenge arises: to meet the different interests of the people because naturally, not all employees will have the same goals. The challenge will be to focus on the learning steps and seek personalization,” said Pato Bichara, Founder & CEO, Collective Academy.
Nonetheless, having personalized paths for every employee of a large company is not always possible which is why companies need to identify those that have growth opportunities and want to learn and grow. “We need to recognize people with potential and will to invest in them and their upskilling,” said Araceli Ramírez, HR Director, Estafeta. Moreover, Ramírez said that her company has a program that tests people and identifies their skills and areas of opportunities, to then work on a development plan. This also shows the importance of distinguishing between teaching and. “The company can provide the tools, but it will be the people’s responsibility to learn and grow,” Bichara added.
“We have to build an active learning path that matches the company’s objectives. Employees should also feel their career plan matches the company’s aspirations,” said López.
Upskilling and reskilling efforts should not be stand-alone retention initiatives, enabling companies to optimize their retention rates. A critical component of success starts with outlining the organization’s skills gap and empowering employees to own their career development within this space, according to Harvard Business Review. This approach drives individuals to assess and confirm the alignment of their professional interests with the needs of the organization, augmenting their probability to stay committed to the organization during and after the completion of their training cycle. Taking it further, career roadmaps allow companies to manage expectations and give employees agency on their progress and address performance gaps, too.