How to Address Worker Skill Gaps in the Return to Work | MIT Sloan Management Review

Talent Development

Many firms are increasing their hiring activity as more people are vaccinated and pandemic restrictions ease up. And as noted in this article, as firms bring workers back to the workplace, many of them will need to retrain workers whose skills stagnated while furloughed, laid off, and unemployed during the pandemic. One tactic offered is to establish reintroduction periods -where a firm brings back returning employees after a period of absence and re-familiarizes them with their colleagues, the company goals, skill requirements, and changed policies, practices, and expectations. Regarding skills, firms can start by asking: 1) what skills did the worker develop while out (e.g., online learning) and that apply in the new role/environment? 2) What skills of the worker have atrophied and will need to be developed?  3) What new skills have emerged and that the worker will need to learn? These and other questions can help provide the basis for the learning component of one’s reintroduction plan. Other ideas are discussed.

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