The 3 First Steps to Launch Your Organization’s Next Reskilling Program

Talent development is a major focus for organizations looking to future-proof their teams. Companies are increasingly looking to reskilling and upskilling programs for their talent and workforce solutions. In fact, roughly 70 percent of businesses today offer more skills-building and training since the pandemic.

Human Resource Executive’s Carol Patton said it best when she wrote, “reskilling or upskilling employees is no longer a trend but a survival strategy that fuels or sustains a company’s growth.”  That’s why global and national giants like Amazon, PwC and Accenture have implemented reskilling programs to lessen skills gaps and future-proof their workforces.

While workforce development programs are on the rise, companies looking to launch their own program may be at a loss as to how to get started. The fact is, it can be a serious undertaking with implementation and planning lasting anywhere from three to six months. Despite the time commitment, companies continuously see the positive impact it can have across the organization and, as a result, push for more skills-based training offerings.

With a large-scale talent initiative, planning and preparation are key. To help you understand the process and steps to take, our experts have broken down implementation into three tangible steps.

1. Gauge employee interest in developing their skills. 

According to a survey conducted by PwC, as much as 77 percent of workers say they’re ready to learn new skills or completely retrain. So while it’s likely your employees are eager to learn a new skill set, gauging interest is a crucial element in planning your workforce development approach.

An experienced reskilling provider will be able to help your company navigate how to measure interest and evaluate its need within your workforce. Depending on the demand, your organization’s program size might start small with several employees participating or be a larger scale with dedicated cohorts scheduled multiple times a year.

To get a sense of your employees’ interest, consider using team meetings, one-on-ones, internal messaging boards and casual lunchtime conversations to bring up the possibility of a reskilling program. These conversations will provide better insight into who is interested and give you the opportunity to address any questions that employees might have about participating in a reskilling program.

Some reskilling providers even host information sessions and open houses to help explain their programs in more detail to interested employees. These sessions are great opportunities to help understand the program’s curriculum and the level of commitment needed throughout its duration.

2. Evaluate your team’s capacity to reskill. 

There are two options to consider before implementing a reskilling program–whether to reskill with an in-house initiative or from an external partner.

An in-house initiative can be the best solution for companies that already possess the resources to do the heavy lifting around the implementation and delivery processes. While in-house initiatives offer flexibility, they can also require heavy cross-team collaboration and investment.

An external reskilling partner comes to the table with more experience and expertise. Their team will act as guides and consultants throughout the implementation, as well as the delivery process. An experienced partner will help you identify the curriculum that best matches your company’s goals, assist your team with marketing the program internally, determine the best instructional format and even help transition the reskilled employees into their new roles.

If you’re not sure where your organization stands, consider having an informal discovery call with a reskilling consultant to explore your options.

3. Identify the right employees for the reskilling program.

Once you’ve decided to move forward with a program and know how you’ll implement it, it’s time to select employees for the program. In this phase, you’ll launch internal recruitment efforts that evaluate employee potential and establish a candidate selection process.

Selecting employees for a reskilling program can be a fairly simple process with the right partner. Some already have an established application process that includes behavioral interviews as well as aptitude tests to determine whether a candidate is a good fit for the program.

Consider the goals of your reskilling efforts. Is your team looking to increase diversity among tech teams? If so, aligning your company’s DEI initiatives with your reskilling program can be incredibly impactful.

Once you’ve laid the groundwork for your program by gauging interest, capacity and which employees are right for reskilling, you’re ready to dive into the technical implementation. Not sure how to manage that process? Our enterprise team is comprised of experts in curriculum planning and development, so consider scheduling a free consultation today.

Speak with a reskilling provider to explore your options.

If you’re ready to future-proof your workforce and start your company’s reskilling journey, take a look at our primer to reskilling implementation for more information on how to get started.

Depending on your company’s needs, your reskilling provider can discuss the best fit reskilling solution and guide your team through the process.

Reskilling Program - Meredith HendershottWritten by Meredith Hendershott, Tech Elevator’s Director of Enterprise Account Management and Delivery