Articles 4 min read

Redundancy Vs. Reskilling and Reassigning

When times are starting to get tough, do you risk losing an employee or can you pivot and offer new opportunities internally?

The BTN was recently delighted to partner with Eightfold, for an exclusive physical roundtable with some of the leading people champions from across industries for a conversation around ‘Redundancy Vs. Reskilling & Reassigning’. The open and interactive session was hosted by Frank Thies (Director of Strategic Accounts EMEA at Eightfold) which brought about the following takeaways:

Europe is heading for a recession as the cost of living crisis deepens, which will have a knock-on effect on organisations and their ability to sustain their current operations. The shift from the great resignation to what could become the inevitability of a great redundancy will set many organisations back. How can we ensure we are being proactive rather than reactive in our approach to our people strategy? Rolling out the default reaction of cost-cutting is a short-term benefit which has a huge impact coming out the other side. The loss of an employee is not a siloed impact, there is a loss of experience, passion and business familiarity which can be hugely challenging to replace in the future. Redundancy loses not just vital skills for your organisation but industry experience. How can you use the role of HR to see a crisis and turn it into a positive one? How can we identify new opportunities internally, whether that be through adjacent roles, project secondment or upskilling to create new value?

Reskilling is critical within all organisations

Reskilling may be seen as the buzzword of the year but this is a critical component for success for all organisations, particularly since the evolution of the hybrid workforce and a larger shift to digital. Reskilling is a solid alternative to a decision based upon firing current employees and hiring new ones with a different skillset. However, reskilling and redesigning can often be overlooked meaning organisations need to carefully consider exactly how they can learn to reskill and rescale on a larger scale.

The conversation followed into the realisation that it is simply not about the skillset itself but more about the experience and communication stories that individuals have with their employees and leaders. This can be seen as a way to transfer people to be as productive as possible so that leaders can engage new talent. However, the point was raised that, the importance lies within upskilling colleagues we already have onboard to provide future leadership opportunities. Doing this means that organisations will be able to boost their staff satisfaction and retention rates, as well as future-proofing their business, ensuring they maintain a competitive advantage over competitors within their industry.

However, with the changes of digital transformation, hiring managers’ thoughts are constantly changing and are therefore facing many challenges which need to be looked over. This can be seen particularly within organisations with no strong learning culture, making upskilling an even bigger challenge because employees want to learn but are not given enough opportunities to do so.

At Eightfold, they believe that people are every enterprise’s greatest asset and therefore want to put them at the centre by combining reskilling with upskilling to form career development.

To retain talent, new business models need to be implemented

For some companies, attracting and retaining talent can seem almost impossible. Top talent tends to leave once they have reached a certain level, and high turnover drains resources. However, attracting the best employees and keeping them appears possible for other organisations.

The point was raised that for one organisation, they found that 30% of their workforce consisted of top-tier workers who had 20+ years of experience, whilst 30% have 3 years or less. As a result of this, the aim is to ensure that organisations understand how they can recognise skillsets for what those top tier employees have gained and learnt over those 20+ years and help assist those with less experience so that they can learn to have the same amount of experience. Therefore, the performance management part of an organisation’s time should be allocated to teaching younger employees who are not as well experienced and ensuring that they are.

Despite this, it was mentioned that the only way something like this could work is if organisations know how things are done and can identify the challenges they face. This is why a skills structure is key and is a language missing across many organisations. Therefore for leaders to translate what they have and understand what tools they need to use to fill gaps, they need to lay the correct foundations and implement new business models so that they can retain talent.

Rewarding equals development 

To attract and retain the best talent, companies need total reward policies and practices. Rewarding good work is a critical element of effective management but can be extremely damaging if used too often, too little, or in an unfair way. Therefore, the challenge comes down to finding the tool that drives the right behaviours.

Workforce diversity is a fast-growing trend in the business world which provides many tangible benefits for performance, innovation and productivity. Having a diverse workforce means you will gain a broader range of skills and experience on your team, larger and more varied candidate pools and an increased language and cultural awareness. All of these factors result in better decisions and results overall. However, we must ensure our diverse workforce continues to be rewarded in a way that they appreciate. The role of personalisation, or even hyper-personalisation, is vital here as a means to engage every individual in the way they want to be rewarded.

Better results lead to reward and therefore better development.

About Eightfold

Eightfold’s deep-learning talent intelligence platform is powered by the largest global talent data set to unleash the full potential of the total workforce – employees, candidates, contractors, and citizens. Grounded in Equal Opportunity Algorithms, the Eightfold® Talent Intelligence Platform uses deep-learning AI to help: attract the best talent for the job, understand how your workforce stacks up against the competition, identify and develop skills to unlock workforce potential, deliver bias-free talent recruitment, and much more.

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