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HR professional using L&D for strategic workplace planning

When discussing training, we often think through the narrow scope of getting a new employee up-to-speed on their position’s current tasks and responsibilities. However, learning and development that becomes holistic in its approach to upskill and reskill employees not only helps to train workers for their current role, but also to prepare them for how their work—as well as your organization’s work—will evolve in the future.

The importance of workforce development plans that take into account not just current skillset requirements but also future work needs must be balanced in the ever-increasing evolution of professional industries. A pivotal part of creating and distributing enhanced L&D efforts is the ability to leverage virtual training platforms—as well as their robust analytics. Recently, Mercer released a report exploring how shifts to corporate training and corporate learning through new learning and development initiatives can improve workforce planning. Here are some key takeaways.

Upskilling and reskilling supplant new hires

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercer found that HR professionals’ top action to capture new skills necessary in an organization was to make an outside hire. Finding a professional with the required skills was the go-to method for filling this need. However, per the 2022-2023 study, a post-pandemic shift has seen outside hires fall to fourth on actions taken in the same scenario, with human resource professionals opting for multidisciplinary teams (35%) or peer-to-peer training (34%) as the most preferred remedy.

So, suppose HR teams see the benefit in upskilling/reskilling their workers, which also yields more opportunities for growth and upward mobility for those individuals. What’s holding the process back?

Ineffective L&D processes

More organizations are discovering the value of upskilling and reskilling team members to address current and future industry changes. However, the old methods for delivering learning and development to workers must be more effective. In fact, according to Mercer’s report, one in three workers blame a lack of dedicated time, and one in four say that the available resources are ineffective.

As the workforce embraces a new classification of workers—sometimes called “new collar jobs”—who provide highly technical skillsets to the workplace, the need for corporate training that successfully provides current insights while also forecasting future skill needs only continues to grow. Not only are these “new collar” workers shifting how organizations address their evolving workforce, but they are often highly sought after and difficult to find, making the need to retain that much more valuable. Virtual training opens the door to retaining top-notch workers, even if life events require these individuals to relocate. With remote and hybrid work continuing to skyrocket in popularity, virtual training platforms allow organizations to offer this employment flexibility without risking a drop in worker skillsets and capability.

But, if your organization invests strongly in a workforce development plan that reskills or upskills your employees, don’t you risk making your workers even more sought-after by the competition, as well?

Retaining top talent

If your organization shifts away from hiring for needs as they develop and, instead, looks to use corporate learning to leverage the abilities of your current workers, how can you be confident they won’t take their newfound skillsets elsewhere? The Mercer report addresses this very concern, noting, “There is an increased expectation that employers play a leading role in helping people remain employable. Many HR leaders are still skeptical. They see the value of skills-based talent models in enhancing business agility but fear that investing in skill-building makes their employees more attractive to competitors. While this remains the number one barrier to reskilling employees, the percentage of HR leaders concerned decreased from 58% in 2020 to 36% in 2022.”

In fact, LinkedIn found that 94 percent of workers would stay at their company if the organization would invest in their careers. Providing your team members with the skills they need to effectively do their work now and in the future isn’t time, money, and other resources that will turn around and walk out the door—on the contrary, it can be the very act that keeps your top talent with you while continuing to grow and develop along the way.

So, if your best workers want corporate training and other learning and development opportunities, and your organization can use this strategy to retain the top talent, how can you ensure you’re providing effective and efficient corporate learning as part of your workforce development plan?

Measurable, repeatable results

There are several convincing reasons why virtual training platforms are the path toward success for organizations that provide career-enhancing learning and development opportunities for their workers. Perhaps the most incentivizing is the ability to leverage real-time, robust analytics unavailable via in-person training. With best-in-class virtual training platforms, your organization can construct the best version of any corporate training or organizational learning environment, provide it seamlessly at scale, and act on the deep data analysis provided.

With a virtual training platform, you no longer need to make your best leadership members available whenever you want to provide their keen insights—record once and distribute infinitely. Do you want to provide in-session quizzes to ensure viewers truly understand the material? You can sprinkle these in and use the results to tweak and modify the information accordingly.

Looking for a mix of real-time interaction as well as work-at-your-own-pace coursework? The best virtual training platforms on the market offer synchronous and asynchronous learning modules—all without sacrificing insights. Just because your team met for a video call doesn’t mean the data isn’t there—top-performing platforms can store talk time for all participants, the number of hands raised, and even identify when users are no longer “on screen” with other members.

Prepared for the future of work

The future of corporate learning is a workforce development plan that upskills and reskills internal talent, leveraging truly powerful technology for analytical insights to ensure L&D efforts are not only efficient and effective, but also positively contribute to your organization’s ROI.

Ready to discover how a best-in-class virtual training platform can take your organization to the next level? Talk with a Class team member today, and let’s take your top talent even higher.

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About Eric
Eric Hansen works as an Account Executive for Class. He is passionate about education technology and helping others learn. When not working, he loves spending time in the Utah mountains, mountain biking, fly fishing and camping with his family.