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Technology Employee Upskilling and Reskilling: What You Need to Know

The Dos and Don'ts of Technology Employee Upskilling and Reskilling blog image

The current tech talent shortage is no less than an unprecedented crisis: in the U.S. alone, five jobs are available for one software developer, and 79% of CEOs in the tech industry are concerned about the skills gap. That means as an L&D professional, you need to find new ways to prepare your employees to fill these gaps, and if you aren’t already putting technology employee upskilling and reskilling measures in place you’ll be even more behind. These strategies are not only effective for filling talent gaps, but they also increase employee retention and loyalty. 

Do: Understand the Difference Between Upskilling and Reskilling

Upskilling and reskilling are often lumped together, but these two terms have very different meanings. Knowledge is power and knowing what reskilling and upskilling entail means you can develop the right content and program for employees:

  • Tech Employee Upskilling: teaching existing employees new skills or enhancing their current abilities. An example would be training a software developer to learn a new coding language. 
  • Tech Employee Reskilling: teaching existing employees new skills needed for another job so they can move to another job within the company. An example might be a tech support representative who learns a new skill to become a UX designer. 

Don’t: Try to Hire Your Way Out of the Skills Gap 

Using traditional recruiting, hiring, and training methods won’t get your company out of the tech talent shortage and skills gap. You need to be innovative and collaborative, which means you need to team up with HR, and IT leaders in new ways. 

It’s time to reimagine employee learning and training too. Workforce upskilling is already becoming an increasingly popular strategy—with 52% participating in this type of training within the past year and up to 75% for workers in computer-related occupations. And an estimated one billion—one-third of the global workforce—will need to be reskilled by 2030 to keep pace with changing technologies, priorities, and restructuring. 

Do: Give Employees What They Want 

Today’s top talent wants to work for companies that invest in them: 83% of workers say improving their skills is their number one priority. When you provide the kind of training and skills development that new talent is looking for, you build your reputation as an employer of choice so retaining top talent becomes easier. 

Technology employee upskilling and reskilling can also reduce turnover. A study by CareerAddict asked respondents to rate the importance of nine factors that would impact their decision to quit a job. The study found that lack of career advancement was the most crucial factor for leaving.

Don’t: Be a Penny Wise and a Pound Foolish 

What’s even more challenging are recent headline-grabbing layoffs at some of the biggest names in the tech industry. This can create hesitancy to invest in workforce development programs due to financial constraints—the cost of time, training and resources to put toward upskilling/reskilling can make it difficult to justify.

According to a McKinsey Global Survey, roughly 70% of respondents say that the business impact from reskilling programs has been greater than or equal to the investment. An additional 48% say the programs have enhanced bottom-line growth. So, it pays to invest, not be penny-wise, and a pound foolish.

Do: Put the Right Tools in Place 

It’s no easy task but having the knowledge and training tools in place to help you develop the training you need to make your employees successful is paramount. 

A few things can happen right now without a major upheaval, like doing a continuous needs analysis on employee training, and talking to business units, departments, and subject matter experts to find out what skills are needed. You can do a lot to help your colleagues look ahead and figure out how to adapt employee skills to fill the tech talent shortage and skills gap.