Boost Retention & Performance: Build a Successful Reskilling Program for 2024

Many employers today are facing major skills gaps – where the skills an organization needs don’t match up with the skills the workforce possesses. Recruiting efforts, of course, play a big role in helping organizations face these challenges, and learning and development leaders can step in by crafting scalable reskilling programs that ensure the viability of their talent into the future.

What is reskilling?

Reskilling is the act of training employees on new skills or job functions to help them transition into a different role within the organization. In some cases organizations undergoing a radical transformation may need to reskill entire segments of their workforce. Someone whose job is being outsourced might be reskilled into an entirely different department within the organization, especially if they’ve proven to be a team player and quick learner.

Which employees should be reskilled?

Answering this question requires considering which job functions are likely to be disrupted in the coming years, whether by evolving technology or by changes in business strategy.

How long does reskilling take?

Depending on the goals of a program, reskilling can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year.The time it takes for an employee to reskill depends on a variety of factors,  including:

  • The complexity of the new skill: Learning basic software like email might take a few hours, while mastering advanced data analysis could take months or even years.
    The employee’s prior knowledge and experience: Someone with a similar skillset or relevant background will likely pick up the new skill faster than someone starting from scratch.
  • The learning method: Taking a structured course, working with a mentor, or practicing on the job can all impact the learning pace.
  • The individual’s learning style and aptitude: Some people learn best through hands-on experience, while others prefer more theoretical approaches.

Therefore, it’s difficult to give a one-size-fits-all answer to how long reskilling takes. However, here are some general estimates:

For basic skills: A few hours to a few days
For intermediate skills: A few weeks to a few months
For advanced skills: Several months to a year or more

Best Practices for implementing a Reskilling Program

Effective reskilling programs empower individuals to adapt to changing workplace demands and thrive in the organization. 

Regardless of the program’s size, here are some best practices for designing reskilling initiatives:

Needs Assessment:

  • Uncover skills gaps. Conduct a skills gap analysis by working with leaders in the organization to identify necessary skills, and then measuring existing skill among employees. Analyze current and future job requirements within your organization or target industry. Understand the specific skills and knowledge needed for success.
  • Consider your employees biggest challenges. A lack of time, for example, is one of the biggest barriers to reskilling so it’s crucial that the significance and relevance of learning is highlighted throughout the experience.
  • Focus on relevance: Prioritize skills directly applicable to real-world job demands and industry trends.

Program Implementation:


  • Assess employee readiness: Gauge individual employees’ interest, aptitude, and learning styles to tailor the program accordingly.
    Program Design:
  • Variety of learning formats: Offer blended learning options like online modules, interactive workshops, hands-on projects, and mentorship opportunities to cater to diverse learning preferences.
  • Implement Bite-Sized Learning: Implement bite-sized learning sessions that allow for incremental skill development and build towards larger qualifications.
  • Accessibility and inclusivity: Ensure program materials and delivery methods are accessible for individuals with disabilities or diverse learning styles.

Delivery and Support:


  • Engaging Mentors: Recruit passionate and experienced professionals who can effectively connect with learners and provide real-world insights.
  • Feedback and progress tracking: Implement mechanisms for regular feedback, progress tracking, and personalized guidance to keep learners motivated and engaged.
  • Peer support and collaboration: Foster environment where participants can network, share experiences, and learn from each other.
  • Continuous improvement: Regularly evaluate the program’s effectiveness, gather feedback, and adapt based on learner needs and changing industry demands.


It’s important to remember that reskilling is an ongoing process. Even after mastering a new skill, employees will need to continue learning and adapting to stay competitive in the job market. 

By aligning the reskilling program with existing career development initiatives and providing opportunities for skill application within the organization, combined with a culture of continuous learning, organizations forster adaptability in their work force leading to the long term success of the company as well as the individual. 

By creating reskilling programs organizations create a feeling of being valued and invested in by employees, leading to less turnover and increased performance.

Many organizations are stepping up their efforts to explore what their talent is capable of, reskilling programs are an effective tool for unlocking untapped potential.

Further Reading:

7 Steps To Create A Successful Reskilling Program For Your Organizational Needs:
World Economic Forum – Reskilling Revolution: A Guide to Workforce Transformation:
McKinsey Global Institute – Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation:

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