Reskilling the Workforce: Benefits and Best Practices

In a business world where change is the only constant, reskilling has become more important than ever. Reskilling also helps people adapt to changing demands. Often, workers whose jobs would be eliminated by automation can learn how to use automation technology, such as warehouse workers learning how to work on robots. Sometimes, reskilling may require workers to earn a new degree or certification. 


What Is Reskilling?

Reskilling is the process of teaching employees an entirely new set of skills. It is a key tool that organizations can use to adapt to new realities in the marketplace. In all cases, reskilling offers workers the skills they need to move their careers in new and promising directions.

This article offers insights into why reskilling is so critical today, the benefits it brings, and how mentoring can help your company realize your reskilling goals.


The Need for Reskilling

Every industry today faces fast-moving change in business climate, market demands, and the tools and resources needed to keep up. Technology is a major driver, ushering in automation, offering opportunities for organizations to evolve, and profoundly affecting their needs and how they do business. The pandemic, along with the rise of the gig economy and freelancing, have also had a huge impact on the way people work.


By 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labor between humans and machines, especially in labor-intensive industries such as manufacturing, energy, and transportation. However, 97 million new roles may emerge from this shift, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). 


All of this means that organizations will need far different skills for success than they needed in the past or even in the present. Around 40 percent of workers will require reskilling of up to six months by 2024, the WEF says. Along with clear competitive advantage, reskilling offers many other benefits for businesses, including:


  • Cost savings: When companies reskill existing employees, they avoid the costs of letting workers go and then hiring and training new workers.
  • Retention: Reskilling allows companies to keep valuable people even when their current roles no longer meet the company’s needs. 
  • Engagement: Opportunities for reskilling show employees that the company is willing to invest in their future, making them feel valued and boosting engagement and loyalty. 
  • Hiring: Organizations that offer reskilling opportunities demonstrate a commitment to employee growth that attracts quality candidates.
  • Learning mindset: Businesses that emphasize reskilling instill a company culture where constant learning is the norm.


Reskilling is not just key for business; it’s also critical for employees who want to thrive in the future. Employees who want to fully take advantage of economic opportunity for the length of their careers will need to demonstrate they have the skills that employers demand. 


Benefits of Reskilling with Mentoring

Mentoring offers a highly effective way to make sure that employees get the reskilling they need through a people-centric approach. With mentoring, employees gain the advantage of one-on-one guidance to help them navigate roadblocks and have a successful reskilling experience


Enhances learning and skill acquisition

Mentoring is based on personal relationships, and that means mentors can help their mentees in a customized way. This personalized approach helps mentees receive just the kind of encouragement and teaching that makes the most sense for them. This greatly enhances the learning process and ensures that mentees acquire deep skills more efficiently.


Provides access to industry insights and experiences

One of the biggest advantages of mentorship is that it offers an opportunity for mentors to teach from their own experience and built-up knowledge. Mentors can offer insights based on real-life learnings that mentees would not be able to access in any other way. While this is invaluable information for the mentee, it’s also a big benefit for the organization in terms of capturing institutional knowledge. 


Builds employee connectivity

Employees tend to be more engaged when they feel connected to their organization and the people they work with, resulting in greater motivation, productivity, and retention. Mentorships are highly effective at creating these connections. These relationships are formed not only between the mentor and mentee, but throughout the organization because of the networking that is so important for successful mentorships.


Boosts confidence and motivation

Reskilling isn’t easy, but employees with mentors have a cheerleader in their corner to help. Mentors can serve as sounding boards when things get tough, and they provide a big-picture view that can make a real difference. Mentors’ experienced perspective can be the boost that employees need to have faith in themselves and create a vision for their future.


The Role of Mentors in Reskilling

Mentors can play a meaningful role in reskilling by acting as a personal resource for mentees. Along with direct skills training, they can offer mentees friendly advice and support to help reskilling employees move forward in the right direction and stay on track. Long-term mentoring relationships extend these positive interactions over time to enrich the careers of both mentor and mentee and contribute to the cohesiveness of the organization overall.


Effective mentors tend to have some characteristics in common. These include:


  • Experienced and knowledgeable
  • Good listening skills
  • Nonjudgmental
  • Able to offer constructive feedback
  • Flexible
  • Adept at networking


Good mentors are willing and able to spend time helping others, enjoying teaching as well as learning, and have valuable insights to pass on to others.


However, one size does not fit all, and successful mentoring also depends on a good match between mentor and mentee. Organizations need to keep this in mind when designing a mentorship program and take steps to ensure the most effective matching possible. These can include:


  • Defining the purpose of the mentoring relationship
  • Determining the type of matching that will best support the desired outcome
  • Creating criteria and profiles for matching mentors and mentees
  • Providing training for mentors and mentees
  • Empowering participants to have choices


Strategies for Reskilling with Mentoring

It takes careful planning to make the most out of reskilling with mentoring. Planners need to think ahead strategically to provide the structure and resources to ensure an effective reskilling program. Here are some actions you should take when designing your program:


Assess your learning needs and goals

Successful reskilling begins with knowing what you want to accomplish. This requires identifying which skills the organization needs to develop within the workforce. These should be prioritized so that the skills that will have the most immediate impact receive the most resources to begin with. As the program develops, resources can be rolled out to lower-priority skills.


Creating a personalized learning plan

Mentors can help personalize learning for each mentee, but it’s important to start with a common foundation of what employees are expected to know at the end of each reskilling program. This includes the skills they should have and the tasks and activities they should be able to perform, based on market challenges and customer needs. As the plan is being designed, you should consult with potential learners. Their feedback at this stage is invaluable in creating a doable, effective learning program.


Establishing regular mentoring sessions

Consistency is key to any kind of learning, and reskilling is no exception. Mentors and mentees should agree on a schedule of regular mentoring sessions. Regular meetings give mentors and mentees opportunities to build a good rapport. The right cadence also offers participants the chance to review/reiterate past learnings while they are relatively fresh, while building knowledge with each session.


Tracking progress and adjusting the plan as needed

The goals for a reskilling program will be set in the design phase; once the program is launched, it’s time to track progress against those objectives. Goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This makes it easy to track results—which should be used to adjust the program over time as needed.


Overcoming Obstacles to Reskilling

Reskilling offers clear benefits, but it’s not always easy to implement. Obstacles for organizations and individuals can include:


  • Financial barriers
  • Time constraints
  • Fear of failure
  • Lack of support from employers


Leaders should keep these potential roadblocks in mind when they are creating reskilling programs. With the right approach, many of these can be headed off within the structure of the reskilling program before they ever start.


Launch Your Reskilling Program with Chronus Mentoring Software

 Reskilling is shaping up as a high-impact strategy for futureproofing in any industry—and the time to begin is now. Chronus mentoring software can help you get a head start on an effective reskilling program with built-in automation that supports your reskilling goals while simplifying administration. 


Key features of Chronus Mentoring Software that drive reskilling include:


  • AI-driven mentor matching that connects participants to the right people and skillsets—based on your organization’s unique needs
  • Customized guidance for participants at every stage of the process
  • Tracking tools that allow you to see participant progress and map program impact to key business goals
  • The ability to insert learning objectives into in-platform mentoring training through the help of Chronus Courses


Taking a modern, technology-driven approach to your mentoring and reskilling programs ensures these key functions can evolve with you as you move into a fast-moving future.

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