4 reasons to reskill your workforce. Reskilling has long been associated with training employees who are about to leave the company, but data continues to show strong benefits for offering reskill opportunities for all workers.

Reskilling helps employees develop new skills beyond the scope of their current jobs. Often, reskilling programs are reserved for employees who will be laid off. Data, however, suggests that reskilling all employees can help improve retention, lower hiring costs, boost team morale and more. 

In February 2020, McKinsey conducted a survey in which 87 percent of executives felt they were experiencing skill gaps in the workforce or expected them within a few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought reskilling to the forefront, as work from home technology and other new challenges in the workforce have widened skill gaps even further. 

So why should you prioritize reskilling for all employees — not just those preparing to leave the company? Here are four key reasons to consider: 

1. Retention.

One of the most compelling reasons to reskill is that it can improve your employee retention rates, thus reducing the time, money and effort you spend on hiring and training new employees. Investing in employees’ skills shows them you care about their development and increases their desire to remain on at the company — an IBM study found that new employees are 42 percent more likely to stay if they are receiving the training they need to do their jobs properly.

2. Training and hiring costs.

Going hand-in-hand with retention rates, reskilling your workforce can lower your training and hiring costs. If you’re reskilling your employees, when a new position pops up you can hire someone internally by teaching them the responsibilities of the role, rather than having to look outside the company. Promoting internal mobility is also attractive to employees who want to see that their employer is dedicated to helping them grow and improve.

3. New talent.

Committing to reskilling can also help attract new, top talent in an increasingly competitive job landscape. According to a Gallup poll, 87 percent of millennials — who make up the majority of the workforce — said that professional development is very important to them in a job. Maintaining those aforementioned low retention rates can also work in your favor for attracting talent, as it shows potential new hires that employees want to stay on at the company and suggests a positive work culture.

4. Employee morale.

Boosting company morale is an essential reason to consider reskilling. In addition to showing employees that you care and are invested in them, reskilling can improve employee confidence and, as a result, make them more committed to their jobs and to producing high-quality work. Per one 2020 study,  80 percent of employees said their confidence improved from reskilling training. Reskilling also gives employees a greater sense of job security, because it offers them the opportunity to learn skills outside of their role, and protects them in case their current position is eliminated.

Once you’ve decided to reskill your employees and identified any glaring skills gaps within your company, the process can take on a variety of forms, from focusing on digital skills to creating a job shadowing program to facilitate peer learning. Provide your team members with encouragement to grow and offer them the tools to facilitate that development.

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