Why Reskilling and Upskilling are Essential to Keep Pace with Emerging Technologies

Find out how Tavant emerged in 2023 with a more prepared and skilled workforce by committing to a comprehensive reskilling, upskilling, and cross-skilling program.

As a digital products and solutions organization at the forefront of emerging technologies, Tavant understands the importance of keeping its teams updated on the latest technology, business, and software engineering trends. The rapid succession of transformations in the business sphere has greatly emphasized this need, compelling organizations to stay up to date with the latest advancements to maintain their competitive edge.

With a global workforce of over 3000 professionals, Tavant serves a diverse range of industries, viz. FinTechs, including consumer lending, manufacturing, agtech and sustainability, media and entertainment, among others, provide an equally diverse range of technology expertise on Salesforce, big data and analytics, cloud and DevOps, automated testing, and many more. Using cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, our solutions empower businesses to work faster, better, and more accurately, allowing them to remain flexible and adaptable to the ever-changing demands of today’s interconnected world.

This pace of change in the business environment means that skills can quickly become outdated. New technologies are constantly emerging, and Tavant associates need to be able to adapt quickly. This requires a clear focus on continual learning and upskilling to ensure associates remain relevant and effective. Tavant’s focus on providing our customers with impactful, state-of-the-art solutions can only be achieved through business & engineering excellence, and this demands the highest standard of software development and business acumen.

We understand the challenges that companies face, including a tight labor market, high inflation, and rapid changes in technology. The recent trend of layoffs among large corporations notwithstanding, business leaders face a shortage of skilled associates that could reach 85 million by 2030. Given the pace and multiple dimensions along which technology is advancing, both businesses and their associates are feeling the pressure to stay up to date.

While we’ve always prioritized employee learning engagement and experience, in 2022, we set a lofty goal of increasing reskilling and upskilling by 50 percent over the previous year.

Tavant addressed this skills challenge with its Competency Nexus program, driving individual and business growth through creative learning and a knowledge ecosystem. Implemented with our learning platform provider, O’Reilly, we attained results far beyond our expectations, achieving a 403 percent increase in the number of associates reskilled/upskilled throughout the organization.

Building a Comprehensive Program

The Competency Nexus program follows a four-prong strategy prioritizing learning, growth, and knowledge management. A Holistic Learning Program, Competency Nexus, brings together various competencies or skills from different domains, such as technology, soft skills, compliance, and process learning, to develop a holistic and versatile set of capabilities in learners. Its key elements include:

  1. Creating multimodal and dynamic learning solutions that can be adapted to support the business through change.
  2. Enhancing the learner experience and enabling associates to understand the impact of their own work on the organization and customers.
  3. Deepening learner insights to provide an immersive and adaptive learning environment, allowing associates to apply what they have learned.
  4. Enabling, facilitating, and empowering leaders at all levels to navigate change and uncertainty.

After listening to feedback from customers, talking to company leaders, getting input from associates, and assessing the organization’s goals and needs, it became clear that reskilling, upskilling, and cross-skilling had to be a primary focus. The intent was to enable associates to apply their learnings and have more hands-on experience to increase the level of engagement, as well as gain more experience and expertise.

Although Tavant had a range of reskilling, upskilling, and cross-skilling programs, we concentrated on the following key areas designed to give associates the training they needed:

  • Angular courses to help associates create web applications and deploy Angular tools and components.
  • React JS courses, teaching the fundamentals of the React web framework for developing user interfaces.
  • Docker and Kubernetes courses, where associates were taught to build, test, and deploy Docker applications within the Kubernetes orchestration system.
  • Cloud technologies courses for AWS and Azure.

The Competency Nexus program isn’t limited to technical knowledge, of course, but is designed to help associates perform better in all areas and aspects of their jobs. The program includes the following L&D focus areas:

  • Build expertise in Domain Knowledge to enable associates to appreciate and understand customers’ businesses more deeply. Associates will be able to speak the language of customers based on the industries they are in, create a strong rapport and working relationship, design and deliver solutions to address the problem areas, and quickly respond to change. Subject matter experts (SMEs) within Tavant also provide guidance, consulting, and best practices.
  • Build skill, competency, and capability with technology, tools, platforms, methodology, and processes through a structured and systematic approach required by all associates. The format is adaptable in anticipation of changing requirements and personalized choice of learning styles.
  • Deepen the learning culture through a balance of formal and informal learning opportunities while also providing a knowledge ecosystem that incorporates newer methods such as Social Learning, Hyper Learning, Immersive Learning, and Adaptive Learning.
  • Cocreate content with SMEs to strengthen the sharing of experienced-based learning.
  • Provide role-based and personalized learning opportunities so learners can upskill, re-skill, cross-skill, and future-skill based on industry and changing customer needs, remaining competitive in the solutions they offer.
  • Set standards and systematically review the progress of all associates and evaluate their impact in the workplace.
  • Ensure associates develop leadership skills at every level for holistic growth. This requires programs targeted at specific audiences and roles, as well as open programs based on requirements from business units, project teams, and leaders.

Tailoring the Program to Meet Associates’ Needs

We used the O’Reilly platform to support the learning programs with curated videos, reference books, interactive online materials, and other resources. Associates had open access to the platform so they could go back and learn—and even engage in small debates. We created a next-level program, Flywheel, to add value, create differentiators, and fast-track the creation of company leaders.

After identifying technology areas where we needed training, we curated content from the platform and mapped it to four levels—Basic, Intermediate, Intermediate-Advanced, and Advanced-Expert. We provide the curriculum, along with timelines for completion, to the identified associates. SMEs were aligned with cohorts to provide assistance, while interactive labs and sandboxes supported hands-on learning.

Measuring the Benefits

The Competency Nexus program demonstrated clearly measurable benefits. The initial goal was to increase learning and engagement by 50 percent in 2022 over the previous year. In 2021, 259 associates took part in reskilling and upskilling programs; in 2022, a total of 1,046 associates took part, an increase of 403 percent. And significant increases were shown across all areas of training.

On meeting other goals, the program saw a significant increase in the percentage of people in the Tavant Bootcamp for Fresh Grads meeting readiness for billability within three months. The program saw 100 percent completion in its 30-60-90-day plan for all major projects recommended by the business. All lateral hires and associates who changed roles due to promotions underwent training to smooth their transitions.

By committing to a comprehensive reskilling, upskilling, and cross-skilling program featuring custom training for each role, the necessary technology, and a strong emphasis on career advancement for our associates, we emerged in 2023 with a more prepared and skilled workforce. In the face of a tumultuous economy, a severe talent shortage, and ever-increasing technological disruption, businesses can no longer afford to ignore the critical importance of reskilling and upskilling to stay competitive, productive, and efficient in the marketplace.