As tech layoffs lead to strained teams, leaders lean on L&D

Although most managers in tech are facing requests from leadership to trim costs, 72% of team leaders plan to reinvest in upskilling, data from Pluralsight suggests. Why increase spending in this area? Almost 100% of survey-takers told researchers they’re centering existing talent over recruiting new talent, per a March 20 report.

Gary Eimerman, the research company’s chief product officer, underscored tech leaders’ shift to “maximizing employee potential.” 

“Organizations and individuals alike are being asked to do more with less in the face of reduced workforces and larger economic pressures,” Eimerman said in a press release. For longevity, companies will need to emphasize “continuous upskilling” to “sharpen their competitive edge,” Eimerman added.

As Amazon initiates yet another round of large-scale layoffs — in a March 20 blog post, CEO Andy Jassy announced intentions to “eliminate about 9,000 more positions in the next few weeks” — Pluralsight’s reports dive into the rationale behind tech leaders’ upskilling investments. 

In 2022, the narrative of a tech skills gap caught fire. In partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, National Skills Coalition researchers posited that 1 in 3 workers do not have the foundational skills needed to enter most jobs. Now, in addition, 2023’s economic uncertainty is placing a burden on tech team managers. Ongoing tech layoffs — Meta just announced a 10,000-person layoff, after laying off 11,000 workers in Q4 2022 — lead to teams that are palpably strained.  

More managers in data analytics, IT and software engineering are finding that their team members are taking on more responsibilities, Pluralsight data suggested; 67% told researchers as much. Additionally, 47% of survey-takers admitted to performing additional duties outside of their job description. 

As the domino effect of tech layoffs continues, reinvestment in upskilling remains the en vogue method of survival. About half of respondents agreed that uncertain economic times call for new tech skills, according to Pluralsight.

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