4 ways upskilling helps to retain and attract IT talent

In today’s tough talent market, you can’t afford to lose valuable team members. Here’s how reskilling and upskilling can help you retain and attract talent while also driving business success
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In today’s fast-paced technology industry and tight talent market, reskilling and upskilling are increasingly important in retaining valuable IT employees. Business leaders must ensure that every member of their IT team has the necessary skills and expertise to drive their organization’s success.

By providing time for employees to gain new skills, you improve not only your organization’s employee retention and satisfaction metrics but your bottom line as well. Here’s why reskilling and upskilling IT talent should be a top priority for you and your organization:

1. It addresses the rapid evolution of technology

The technology industry is constantly evolving, so IT teams must stay current with the latest trends and tools to meet ever-changing demands. With AI advancing rapidly and security threats becoming more innovative, it’s your organization’s responsibility to stay ahead of the curve to maintain and protect its proprietary and customer information.

Additionally, new technology allows for greater opportunities for efficiency. Even the most skilled developers benefit from learning new skills as technology advances. For example, Quarkus is a technology that seasoned Java developers can use to build cloud-native microservice applications that reduce host costs and lower memory consumption.

[ Also read 3 creative ways to retain IT talent. ]

Reskilling and upskilling will help IT teams develop new skills, stay current with the latest technologies, and create a culture of innovation, ensuring your organization remains competitive and secure.

2. It increases employee retention and satisfaction

The tight talent market means organizations must take a more proactive approach to retain employees. Most employees, especially Millennials and Gen Z, aspire to have dynamic careers rather than stagnant jobs. If employees feel their knowledge and career are stagnating, they are more likely to move to an organization that has a strong learning and development culture.

Taking a proactive approach to your employees’ career aspirations is essential to ensure they feel valued and engaged in their work. Ask your team members where they want to advance in their careers and help them map out the steps and skills to get there.

For example, the Red Hat Skills Path Finder provides suggested training and certifications by job role. It creates a personalized roadmap for ongoing education, making it easy for employees to identify the next step in their career journey. Investing in reskilling and upskilling leads to greater employee retention and overall career satisfaction while helping the organization maintain a strong culture and bottom line.

Ask your team members where they want to advance in their careers and help them map out the steps and skills to get there.

3. It addresses the tight talent market

Finding qualified IT candidates is challenging. It takes time, effort, and money, especially in a tight talent market. Investing in your existing workforce can help you address this challenge by providing opportunities for internal employees to learn new skills and take on new roles within the organization.

With the advent of low-code and no-code development tools, anyone can perform analysis and visualize data with little to no coding knowledge. Empowering non-IT employees with the skills to learn new software like PowerBI helps employees stay fresh and discover new skill sets. It also provides the benefit of freeing up developers to work on projects that require their specialized skills and knowledge.

Employee lifetime value exists within every organization, and maximizing that value means taking an active interest in employees’ career paths by creating a learning and development culture. Creating professional development plans for employees and investing in their future at your organization increases your ROI. New skill acquisition can help you retain and develop your existing talent, reducing the need to search for new talent in a tight market.

4. It improves performance and innovation

Skills initiatives can help your IT team improve overall technology performance and drive organizational innovation. Additionally, acquiring new skills and staying current with the latest technologies will allow your IT team to create new solutions and approaches to business problems.

Facilitate reskilling and upskilling opportunities for your IT team by providing access to training programs and other opportunities for employees to learn and grow. For example, encourage your employees to participate in open-source projects, attend industry events, and collaborate with peers to expand their knowledge and skill sets.

Skills initiatives are critical for IT employees to remain competitive and valuable in a tight talent market. As a business leader, you must ensure your IT team has the necessary skills and expertise to drive your organization’s success. Investing in reskilling and upskilling can address the challenges of a tight talent market, increase employee retention and satisfaction, and drive innovation and performance within your organization.

[ Learn the non-negotiable skills, technologies, and processes CIOs are leaning on to build resilience and agility in this HBR Analytic Services report: Pillars of resilient digital transformation: How CIOs are driving organizational agility. ]

Tynan Fischer works as a Vice President, Training & Technology at United Training. Tynan is a proven business leader with exceptional management, operations, and business development background.