Crafting New Ways to Close the Skills Gaps with Digital Learning


If you are someone involved in employee learning and development/digital learning in your company, you must be spending an ample amount of time talking about skills and skills gaps. Skilling is hardly a new topic or even a requirement. But it’s become an almost undeniable priority thanks to the happenings of the recent past.

With some major disruption in the way we live, work, learn and do everything in between, the skills concerns have only increased. There has been a significant focus on integrating reskilling in learning and development initiatives.

Even before Covid-19 hit us, the World Economic Forum had said that 42percent of the core skills needed to perform existing jobs are likely to change by 2022. The pandemic perhaps exacerbated the situation driving companies to work towards closing skills gap urgently. Well into the pandemic, the 2021LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report said that when L&D pros globally were asked about their most important areas of focus in 2021, upskilling and reskilling topped the list with 59% voting for it.

So, companies have increasingly understood that skilling and reskilling after a skills gap analysis is absolutely imperative. And it makes sense to build skills internally because it is much more cost-effective. As Josh Bersin mentions in one of his articles, “it can cost as much as six times more to hire from the outside than to build from within.”

An integrated approach to reskilling should not just be about the processes, rather the focus should be on employees -- making them feel comfortable to navigate their reskilling journey in a holistic manner. Engaging employees through the right digital learning tools and reskilling process to ensure that they receive relevant performance support at the point of their need is critical.

Let’s deep dive into these two ways a bit more.

Engagement Is the Key to Robust Learning Experiences

When chalking out training programs, if employee engagement is not considered, then you can’t expect them to be motivated. Motivation is an essential element in building skills and capabilities. Training strategies depend largely on the level of employee engagement to be successful.

Additionally, training programs should also provide employees with the requisite tools that can connect them with the company and its goals. Employees should be able to freely interact with senior leaders and management as well as their peers and colleagues in a seamless manner. This will be the first level of support which will then give the company insights into challenges employees face.

When employees are engaged and their needs are understood, that is when the real learning starts to take place. This is where a strong LMS comes into picture. It enables L&D to integrate learning needs into the employee development process with advanced digital learning tools and digital learning platforms that drive continuous learning across the company.

Performance Management is the Cornerstone of Reskilling

Performance management is the foundation for reskilling in the future. In order to ensure continuous learning, L&D teams must be able to help individual employees set reskilling goals that support company goals, and contribute to employee progress too. An integrated LMS can help connect the dots between learning and performance.

All this has to be done with the help of reskilling initiatives that are sustainable. Strong, efficient technology is the key to providing training resources to help plug the gaps between skills learned, skills required and resilience needed for employees to move forward to achieve their goals. After all, during this time when the workforce is under so much duress, it helps for employees to have L&D teams they can rely on to keep their performance from dropping.

In Conclusion:

There are various approaches to skilling and reskilling. But the pandemic has taught us that companies need to support employees by offering reskilling opportunities that enable them to perform better. By supporting reskilling efforts through engagement and performance management, employees will be equipped with skills needed to execute end business goals.