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They boost employee retention and job satisfaction

Providing your employees with a clear path forward professionally is one of the best ways to retain those employees. Data from the 2023 Workplace Learning Report shows: 

  • Employees ages 18 to 34 listed “opportunities for career growth within the company” and “opportunities to learn and develop new skills” as the first and second factors they most highly value when considering new jobs. 

  • After two years, employees who make an internal move within their company have a 75% chance of staying at that company. Employees who make no such move only have a 56% chance of staying.

They help future proof your organization

Proactively fostering employee growth isn’t just good for your employees. According to the experts:  

  • 89% of L&D professionals agree that proactively building employee skills is the best way to navigate the evolving future of work. 

  • 72% of surveyed business executives from the U.S. and U.K. agree that upskilling and reskilling their workforce will be a critical business priority in the next several years. 

Business executives who emphasized the importance of upskilling and reskilling cited three reasons why they planned to focus on it:

  1. Building skills helps their employees stay up-to-date

  2. Filling skill gaps helps their organization navigate industry changes

  3. Identifying the skills employees need is a great way to develop managers

Personalization offers three core benefits:

  • It helps motivate the employee to follow the career path

  • It helps employees build the skills they need to achieve their own professional goals

  • It provides your organization with the skills you need to fill gaps and remain competitive

Step 1: Make a list of skill gaps in your organization

Update the job descriptions for each role in your organization to include as accurate and exhaustive a list of the skills required to perform each position as possible.

Work with the managers of each department to determine which skills are currently represented in your organization and which you’re missing. Answer the following questions:

  • What are your department’s goals?

  • What skills do your employees need to achieve these goals?

  • Which skills does your department require most in the years to come?

As you create this list of missing skills, rank them in order of business priority.

Step 2: Collaborate with employees to learn which skills they want and need

Set up time for managers to review the updated job descriptions with their direct reports. Have the pair review both the employee’s current job description and the description for the next higher position the employee hopes to reach.

Then, the manager and employee can work together to determine:

  • Which skills the employee already has

  • Which skills the employee still needs to develop

  • Which missing skills are the highest priority for the organization

  • Which missing skills the employee is most interested in

As with Step 1, have employees rank each of the skills they want to learn in order of priority.


Step 3: Compare the employee’s skill priorities with organizational priorities

Compare the list you created in Step 1 with the lists employees generated in Step 2. Whenever an employee lists a skill from the first list in their own skill gap list, write the employee’s name next to that skill along with the prioritization rank they assigned it.

Repeat this process for every skill on your list. If there are any skills leftover, write these skills below your main list.

Use the list you’ve just created to determine which skills each employee should learn on their personalized career path. Determine learning priorities in this order:

  1. Skills that appear on both your list and your employee’s. Start with their two highest priority skills on this list, then alternate between their next-highest priority skill overall and yours.

  2. Any skills on your list that aren’t covered in the first list. For each skill you assign this way, however, make sure the employee is also assigned a skill that is on their list.

  3. Any skills on your employee’s list that are not on your list.