Aimee O'Leary
Written by
Aimee O'Leary

The 2019 Worldcom Confidence Index identified that upskilling and reskilling employees was the number one topic for leader engagement – showing that business leaders see this as an essential step in the battle to retain talent. However, the report also revealed that leaders are concerned about their ability to upskill and reskill.

Kelly Swingler, Founder and CEO The Chrysalis Crew believes it’s time to take a strategic approach to the upskilling and reskilling challenge.

“It’s great to see upskilling and reskilling on the agenda as an area of focus.  Many manufacturing organisations have been focusing on these areas for a while to allow their people to move into newly created roles as more AI and tech come into use as well as helping people move into other roles in new companies if necessary.  Sadly, for most companies, upskilling and reskilling has been lacking for too long, and I think this then impacts on areas of engagement, confidence, culture, talent, sustainability and indeed the overall success of the organisation.

For decades, companies have been placing their people on cookie cutter development courses thinking that in spending the money they will create a more talented workforce.  What is lacking, is the focus on what skills are actually needed in the business now and in the future and so development misses the mark.

This then has a knock-on effect with talent attraction and retention.  All too often companies want to replace person X with person Y, yet fail to review the job spec properly or consider what outcomes the new person in the role needs to achieve.  What they miss is that person X has changed the role, learned new skills, developed in the role, made it theirs and brought into it some of their own unique skills and personality.  We need to better understand the skills and talent we need, remove our conscious and unconscious bias and stop trying to replace people, and instead focus on attracting the people who can deliver the outcomes we need, and this can be very different to what we see written on paper.

When we know the skills we need to deliver our outcomes and objectives, upskilling and reskilling become easier. We are then less worried about our company reputation because we know we have the right people in the right role at the right time with not only the right skills, but also the right behaviours”.

If you’d like to discuss your employee engagement and development needs email [email protected] to reach the EEA training and consulting team.