3 Important Takeaways from UNLEASH’s Latest Skills Strategy Webinar

According to the World Economic Forum, talent scarcity and skills shortages define the world of work in 2023. Skills Strategy - L&D programs reskilling employeesThese shortages and the tight labor market make it even more crucial for companies to manage talent effectively. As a result, companies are improving their Learning and Development (L&D) strategies while focusing on reskilling and upskilling their employees to enhance competitiveness and economic resiliency.

This was the topic of discussion in UNLEASH’s webinar titled “Skills Strategy: Are You Leveling Up Your L&D?”. The panelists included:  SoftwareOne’s Global Head of Talent, Serena Gonsalves-Fersch, Work in Motion’s Founder, Claire Doody and Coursera’s Head of Sales, George Anthony, who brought diverse perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of implementing skills programs into a company’s overall L&D strategy.

With so much at stake and the increased rate of workforce digitization, which widens skills gaps and shortages, companies need to discover new pathways to lessen these shortages that align with company goals.

How to Level Up Your L&D Skills Strategy

Identify and align your skills-building programs.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a playbook for companies looking to improve organizational skills-building. Identifying the skills gaps within an organization and aligning the development of those skills to company goals comes with its unique challenges. With this in mind, experts suggest the following:

  1. Get comfortable with the uncertainty of the space.
  2. Find a measurable starting point for L&D initiatives.
  3. Understand that skill-building initiatives are partnerships, not solely an L&D endeavor.

There can be much uncertainty within the human capital space. Evolving technologies result in changing demand for different types of skills. Experts suggest this is the new norm, and adaptability and refocusing initiatives will be vital to winning in the new economy. Internal L&D teams must find a starting point with measurable outcomes to win buy-in from leadership. Companies should involve talent acquisition and workforce management teams to take a more holistic approach to skills-building for this to happen effectively.

Define your outcomes when developing a skills strategy.

Along the same lines as discovering where an organization should start with its skill journey, it is equally important to determine where the organization needs to be at the end of that journey. Organizations can utilize training and skills development programs as a perk for greater retention and internal mobility among their workforces. However, if employees gain new skills with nowhere to go at the end of the program internally, they could look externally, and the organization would’ve lost investment.

Defining what successful outcomes are is vital to building a strategy and establishing clear paths for employees to take after their skills development.

Recognize the obstacles your L&D strategy faces.

Panelist Serena Gonsalves-Fersch believes the internal team with the least amount of control over skills acquisition is an organization’s L&D department. Outside of providing skills courses and continuing education, there is little the team can do alone. In actuality, the internal and external partnerships among the various organizational functions drive desired skills-building outcomes.

Working with the broader organization and, in some cases, external partners is vital to implementing an effective L&D strategy beyond providing additional skills-building courses. Leaders implementing these strategies must work with their internal talent structure, talent acquisition and workforce management teams to look at skills-building holistically.

Working with other internal teams helps with data tracking and gaining insights into the overall effectiveness of the programs. Using external partnerships to build a learning program strategically can also drive a successful program.

Partner with the reskilling experts. 

Personalized learning pathways, internal and external partnerships, gaining buy-in and aligning initiatives are crucial to maximizing an organization’s L&D outcomes. Without a roadmap to achieving these initiatives, implementing skills-building programs into an organization’s L&D strategy can feel like a mountain to climb. Companies don’t need to face these challenges alone with an experienced skill-development partner.

Tech Elevator’s team is comprised of experts in implementing scalable reskilling solutions that develop future talent with in-demand technical skills and proven results. With over 3,500 graduates and best-in-class outcomes, Tech Elevator can help your company build its workforce of the future.

Curious to see how one Tech Elevator partner achieved 100 percent retention with its reskilling program? Discover more here.

Skills Strategy and L&D initiatives - Meredith Hendershott

Written by Meredith Hendershott, Tech Elevator’s Director of Enterprise Account Management and Delivery