Retraining to Retain and Maintain Your Workforce

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Data Society          
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December 2022            
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The challenges organizations face in recruiting talent, reducing employee turnover, and bridging skills gaps have garnered considerable attention in recent years. Further, many companies have existing employees who offer valuable institutional knowledge, domain expertise, and continuity but lack the skills to meet rapidly evolving workplace technology demands. Employers can reconcile these conflicting priorities by investing in long-tenured human resources through training that retains and maintains their current workforce. 

The Case for Retaining and Maintaining Seasoned Employees

Most organizations consider employee retention among their top workforce goals, striving to minimize disruptions to workforce productivity and continuity. In addition, material measures highlight the costs associated with recruiting, onboarding, training, and acclimating new employees, with estimates indicating that it takes an average of six months for a company to break even on its investment in a new hire.

workers at all stages of their careers

The considerable contributions veteran employees make through leveraging their experience and knowledge are especially valuable assets that organizations lose with these workers’ departures. Further, according to Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends research, innovation is an attribute that is not correlated with generation, suggesting that workers at all stages of their careers have the potential to drive organizational progress in new directions. Still, while there are compelling arguments for retaining, rather than replacing, proven employees, workers with many years in the same role often function with skill sets that have become obsolete. This is where retraining programs can create tremendous organizational impact. 

Retraining to Retain and Maintain

Understanding the value their experienced employees offer, organizations are looking for professional development programs that can equip them to supplement their professional toolkits with today’s essential technical skills. This type of initiative is demonstrated in the example of a tech-forward enterprise implementing a training program to address these issues. 

A multinational corporation, this current Data Society client is undergoing rapid growth and, in the process, adding other organizational groups to its ranks. This organization’s learning and development department recognizes that this collective workforce has a wealth of proven professionals with experience, institutional knowledge, and leadership qualities. Therefore, they have identified a need to provide upskilling opportunities for all employees, catering primarily to workers with decades of experience who have lacked exposure to some current technologies. The program will address these employees’ retraining needs through pre- and post-assessments designed to:

  • Gauge the level of training individual employees need and allow employees to test out of courses if appropriate.
  • Track and measure employee progress.
  • Inform instructional design to ensure the course pacing and curriculum offer optimal learning outcomes.
  • Identify learning pathways that map existing skills to new roles.

This corporation intends to support its workers’ professional mobility and longevity through these efforts. In addition, retraining will help the organization access its dedicated employees’ full potential for years to come. 

Online retraining for employees

Adaptability is an Essential Skill for All Workers

The trend toward ongoing retraining, upskilling, and new skilling reflects a broader realization that today’s workers at all stages of their careers must have the flexibility to meet continuously evolving work needs, which change at a pace that even traditional academic programs can’t match. Several remarkable statistics illustrate this rising need:

  • Deloitte’s 2021 Global Capital Trends Survey found that 72 percent of executives surveyed named “the ability of their people to adapt, reskill, and assume new roles” as the most important or second most important factor in navigating future disruptions.
  • According to Deloitte's 2020 Global Capital Trends survey, 53 percent of respondents projected that between half and all of their current workforce would need to change skills and capabilities within the following three years, and 84 percent anticipated that lifelong learning to support ongoing workforce reinvention would be important to their development strategies.  
workforce retraining programs
  • According to the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report 2020, 44 percent of the skills employees need for their roles will change by 2025. 
  • “Capacity to adapt” was named the most relevant skill workers would need to succeed in today’s labor market by 60 percent of the 10,000 workers in this year’s Voice of the European Workforce study.
  • Only 17 percent of respondents to Deloitte’s 2020 Human Capital Trends Survey felt confident their organizations could anticipate extensively the skills they would need in the next three years.

Ongoing Learning for Sustained Success

Given these insights, it appears reasonable to assume that organizations will increasingly require continual training of employees across roles and tenures to thrive in an eternally dynamic workplace climate. Investing in workforce retraining programs that cater to current industry demands and different workforce demographics can help enterprises keep pace with the external and internal variables that drive sustained success amid uncertainty. In addition, retraining programs offer organizations a precious opportunity to thoughtfully assess their workers’ existing skills and identify pathways to new roles, enabling them to both retain and maintain valuable human resources.    


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Data Society provides customized, industry-tailored data science training solutions—partnering with organizations to educate, equip, and empower their workforce with the skills to achieve their goals and expand their impact.

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