Corporate America faces an acute shortage of skilled workers to fill vital jobs. That may explain why companies like Amazon and Google have begun upskilling and reskilling their current employees rather than trusting that incoming college graduates will be capable of the tasks at hand.

But for businesses unaccustomed to teaching new capabilities, this may itself prove to be a learning curve.

In two recent articles for the MIT Sloan Management Review and Scientific American, Kelly Palmer, workforce development expert and co-author ofThe Expertise Economy(2018), offers insights into how managers can build a culture of learning within their organizations – and in doing so construct an unstoppable pipeline of crucial talent.

In “The New Role for Managers in Workplace Learning,” Palmer provides three steps that enable managers to swiftly transition from boss to teacher:

  • Establish learning plans. Managers should regularly meet one-on-one with their reports to discuss plans to upskill and re-skill.
  • Let employees choose what and how to learn. While managers should be “hands on” enough to build cultures that support learning for their employees, they should also be “hands off” in ways that go against the old norm.
  • Model learning behaviors. Managers should set good examples by engaging in learning activities themselves.

As an outdated higher education system struggles to keep up with a radically changing global economy, companies will have to step in to play a more direct role in shoring up the pool of skilled employees. In this paradigm shift, Palmer is at the forefront of new ideas and solutions to the challenges of the future of work.

For more information on engaging Kelly Palmer for a keynote or workshop to better understand how your organization can benefit from upskilling and reskilling employees, contact Stern Speakers.