Companies are struggling to keep pace with change and emerging skill needs. What are the top barriers to reskilling and what can employers do to tackle them?

Today's subject matter expert

Rupali Gupta
Talent Solutions Leader, Singapore, Mercer

The rate and pace of change in today’s day and age is unprecedented – from health (COVID) to digitization, business challenges, workforce changes and macroeconomic forces – things are changing both at pace and scale!


Insights from Mercer’s 2022 Global Talent Trends Survey showed that nearly all (95%) of employees in Asia reported learning a new skill, yet a staggering 97% of companies reported significant skill gaps. And while providing opportunities to reskill and upskill is top of the people agenda of organizations in Asia, key barriers still remain.


So, let’s take a look at what gets in the way:


1.       Multiple, conflicting priorities: Companies and employees are dealing with multiple, sometimes too many priorities and as a result end up trying to get everyone to do everything. Before upskilling becomes too haphazard, simplify priorities and consider investing in a talent marketplace. Make use of technology help you identify areas you should be focusing on to develop critical skills for your organization.


2.       Lack of time: Employees already have to deal with massive changes in the way they work, and how they manage their lives, caring for loved ones and integrating work-life. Therefore, it is important to promote purposeful learning amongst your employees, giving them the time and space to pick up new skills which can positively affect their career progression. Their efforts should then be integrated with appropriate rewards to invigorate the motivation for learning.


3.       Too many/ too little options: Both, the lack of structured learning options, as well as having too many generic learning resources make it difficult to access structured, focused and curated content. To help mitigate this, build social networks where employees learn from each other, have a culture of curating and recommending content to their teams, peers and across expertise-led networks.


To power up your skills agenda and build pathways to prosperity for your employees, you need to take a proactive and future-oriented approach – one with the right business case around what skills are needed, and where opportunities, career paths and incentives are linked to the process and outcomes of upskilling.


If you have any questions, get in touch with us today!

Related articles

Speak with Mercer consultant