April 2021
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TD Magazine

Be Proactive by Expanding Employees’ Skills

Thursday, April 1, 2021

In light of the pandemic and digital transformation, now is the moment to ensure workers have the skills to support shifting business needs.

Digital transformation is affecting the workforce. And according to Randstad Sourcelight's 2021 Talent Trends Report for which researchers interviewed more than 800 human capital and C-suite leaders in the talent space—one of the top 10 leading L&D trends is to repurpose talent to build a sustainable workforce.


Almost all (92 percent) the leaders said companies should take on the challenge of reskilling their workforce, and almost half are focused on making sure employees have soft skills. "Reskilling and upskilling are more urgent in the time of COVID-19, so organizations that are accelerating their digitalization efforts must make learning a critical component of their business transformation," says Michel Stokvis, senior director of Randstad Innovation Fund and group innovation.

The report advises organizations to keep a watchful eye on what roles are vulnerable to advances in automation and what skills employees will need to support anticipated future business shifts. Further, the report identifies five ways L&D leaders can redeploy talent.

Employ microlearning strategies. Provide learning opportunities in bite-size portions. That can enable employers to rapidly reskill workers so that they can better support new business initiatives and evolving market conditions, the report explains.

Incentivize L&D opportunities. Inspire employees to invest time in internal and external learning opportunities to build and enhance their skill sets.

Manage and document occupation-based training. Support training options specific to different roles. Doing so enables organizations to track the skills employees have and are developing and identify how those skills can transfer to other positions within the business. According to the report, nearly 40 percent of companies provide training programs for skills specific to occupations.


Facilitate career transitions. Provide training and career support. Ongoing advances in technology will continue to eliminate the need for some roles. By equipping employees with skills, companies can help displaced workers quickly procure stable employment.

Make upskilling part of the review process. During performance review conversations, managers and employees can work together to develop employees' skills and increase their marketability.

Those five strategies are not only beneficial to employees, the report notes, but also employers. Those actions can decrease the skills gap, enable companies to build a more sustainable workforce, and help displaced employees find meaningful, stable employment.

About the Author

Derrick Thompson is a former writer/editor for ATD.

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