Learning & Development

Reskilling and Upskilling in a Hybrid World

Reskilling and upskilling in a hybrid world

Over the past few months 5app has been looking at the impact of hybrid on working and learning. Reskilling and upskilling remain high on the list for learning professionals.

But what happens when reskilling and upskilling and the hybrid model collide?

New Processes, Tools and Techniques

For the learning professional, the first move should be to take a step back. The urgency to support people when the pandemic first struck led to the implementation of new processes, tools and techniques. These ways of working were designed to meet an immediate need. Now that work is settling into a more stable routine, it’s clear that the C-suite believe hybrid is the way forward.

So, if your senior managers are committing to a hybrid model of working, the learning and people functions will need to ensure that your teams and colleagues are skilled for their current roles as well as be prepared for how their roles may change.

In June of last year, McKinsey identified 56 distinct elements of talent that people will need to future-proof their ability to work and succeed in their positions. It is therefore essential to understand how your learning function might be able to support the delivery of this process. However, a simple needs analysis isn’t going to cut it. As technology becomes more sophisticated and people are expected to update and renew their skills faster, a different approach is required.

Key Technology Factors to Consider

In terms of the technology you might use, there will be a few factors that will inform how this will work.


Firstly, accessibility will be crucial. If your teams aren’t equally able to access the material they need, when they need it, in a format they need, you will be left to duplicate and twin processes.


Your technology needs to be completely inclusive. All levels of digital literacy and skill will need to be considered, as well as the availability of the systems. Inclusivity means making sure that people have the support required and can work across teams and even across organisations.


Collaboration will also be essential. The smart learning functions will define shared outcomes – not just learning data outputs – to facilitate truly collaborative support. Having larger teams of people providing support also helps the asynchronous approaches that many learning teams will need to adopt. Being able to support people online, on a shared collaborative platform will be essential.


Last but not least it's important to have easy back end control. The proactive learning teams are able to craft pathways, inputs, programmes, content at pace and scale to be delivered just in time in front of learners. Having this control and ease of use will become more important as we develop deeper hybrid working patterns.

What’s your experience of reskilling and upskilling? How important is technology in your learning design priorities? Get in touch and let us know what you think.

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