The Race to Remain Relevant in a Rapidly Changing Workplace

The old adage – change is constant has never been more true.  Emerging technologies, an aging workforce, and remote work are just a few of the disrupters we all face.  This is ushering in an urgent need to close skill gaps and support an agile workforce. Central to navigating all these factors is upskilling and career management. For employees and employers alike, upskilling and career development is the only way to stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant. 

Employers Feeling the Burn.  

In fact, employers believe that 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted in the next five years and that six in 10 staff members will require training before 2027, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report. As more and more tasks are being automated, a new set of skills and competencies are emerging that are more important than ever. Consider that cognitive and self-efficacy skills topped the World Economic Forum’s list of the top 10 skills needed today, with analytical and creative thinking leading the way. This is followed by resilience, flexibility and agility, motivation and self-awareness, curiosity, and lifelong learning.

Workers Desperate to Remain Competitive.

A growing number of workers are concerned about keeping their skills up to date and remaining competitive in their careers. A recent study by Amazon and Workplace Intelligence of 3,000 workers across a wide range of professions found that:

  • 78% fear they lack skills to advance their career.
  • 58% are worried their skills are already outdated.
  • 70% feel unprepared for the future of work.

Why is this so important for employers to address? Because not doing so can bring on significant challenges in retaining valued talent. The same study by Amazon and Workplace Intelligence found that 2 out of 3 employees said it’s ‘extremely’ or ‘somewhat’ likely they’ll leave their employer within the next year – and the reasons are all centered around growth opportunities:

  • 64% of employees plan to quit because there aren’t enough opportunities for skills development.
  • 66% plan to quit due to lack of career advancement opportunities.
  • 65% want to leave because they see no way to transition to a new role or career path.

For Gen Z and Millennial employees, this jumps even higher with 74% of them citing a lack of career mobility and skills development options as the reason behind their plans of quitting. 

Addressing the Challenge.With so much at stake, organizations need to find more effective ways to identify and solve skill gaps while providing more defined career paths. Unfortunately, 40% of employers don’t have upskilling or reskilling initiatives or the resources to implement them, says a 2023 skills gap report by Wiley.

If you are part of the 4 in 10 who don’t have practical ways to address reskilling, consider starting with a modern talent assessment testing platform for at least one of your employee segments (new leaders, hi-pos, at risk, etc).  Not only can you understand what is missing but you can develop detailed and effective career development plans to meet those gaps. 

Consider the benefits.  Your modern data-science based platform will: 

  • Identify Skill Gaps with Precision. Talent assessments deliver valuable and data-based insights into the skills, competencies, and capabilities of an organization’s workforce. Employers can pinpoint specific areas where employees may be lacking or underdeveloped. 
  • Tailor Career Development Initiatives. The assessment data and knowledge of strengths, weaknesses, and areas for development inform a more targeted and customized career development plan that can be aligned with an employee’s personal goals and aspirations.
  • Empower Continuous Learning. It’s no accident that lifelong learning is among the top 10 skills in today’s knowledge-based economy, alongside other cognitive-related competencies. Talent assessments serve as catalysts for continuous learning by highlighting areas where individuals can further develop these key competencies and empower them to take ownership of their professional development journey.
  • Inform Strategic Decision-Making. Once again, talent assessments play a crucial role in strategic decision-making around workforce planning and development. By understanding the skill profile of their workforce, employers can make informed decisions about hiring, promotion, career mobility, and talent management. Using science-backed data enables organizations to identify high-potential employees, address skill gaps, and align their talent strategy with their business objectives. 
  • Enhance Employee Engagement and Retention. Investing in talent development sends a powerful message to employees that their growth and success are valued by the organization. There is an argument to be made that organizations that develop an employer value proposition touting their focus on helping employees stay on top of changing technologies and offering upskilling/reskilling when needed will attain a competitive edge in talent attraction and drive higher engagement, satisfaction, and retention. 

Now is the Time.  

Since 2015, skill sets for jobs have changed by about 25%, according to LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report, and this is expected to double in 2027. And technology will impact and transform 1.1 billion jobs in the next decade. Companies estimate that in 2024, approximately 40% of workers will require up to six months of reskilling. These stark figures illustrate the urgent need for upskilling and reskilling to address widening skill gaps.

Meanwhile, there is a compelling business case for turning to upskilling and reskilling internal talent to achieve fewer layoffs, a decrease in voluntary departures, and an increase in morale and productivity. In addition, retraining existing employees can be significantly cheaper than recruiting and onboarding new ones and the organization retains the valuable knowledge and skills specific to the company’s operations and culture.

In fact, companies that excel at internal mobility retain employees for an average of 5.4 years, nearly twice as long as companies that struggle with it, where the average retention span is 2.9 years. Another survey of leadership development professionals found an ROI ranging from $3 to $11 on leadership development efforts. On average, that’s an ROI of $7 for every dollar spent on leadership development.

Looking outside the benefits to the organization, consider that upskilling could lead to the net creation of 5.3 million new jobs by 2030.

Building the Workforce of Tomorrow.

The rapid pace of technological innovation is reshaping industries and redefining job roles at an unprecedented rate, creating both opportunities and challenges for organizations and their employees. As the nature of work continues to evolve, organizations that prioritize employee development and adaptability will be best positioned to thrive in the face of change. Leveraging talent assessments, companies can meet the demands of today’s workforce by charting a path to success in their careers, while also building a skilled and resilient workforce capable of driving business growth and innovation.