Even as major tech companies lay off workers and we continue to see headlines around hiring freezes and budget concerns, the recent jobs report shows us that the job market is unexpectedly healthy, with a surge in hiring and dropping unemployment. That said, mixed signals and fluctuating economic conditions certainly add stress and concern to workers and employers who are trying to stay afloat amid uncertainty.

In light of this, I spoke to the chief human officers and learning and development (L&D) leaders of some of the world’s biggest employers to gain a deeper understanding of how companies are thinking about their current workforces and what they’ve learned from navigating previous economic shifts. These are the strategies they agreed on:

1.  Spark a Learning Revolution To Enable Growth From Within

To truly build a future-proof workforce, leaders must instill a company-wide learning culture that permeates across levels and job functions. Workers need to know their company is investing in their professional success by setting up new models of L&D, while management requires access to targeted, professional coaching to ensure they can lead through uncertainty.

Bank of America (BofA) is a leader in providing professional development opportunities through its learning initiative, The Academy, a skills training program that creates opportunities for existing employees to reskill or upskill to fill key job openings by providing immersive training programs and personalized learning support at any point in their careers. “We wanted to move from an organization that was really more of a free agency model, where if we lost an underwriter or financial center manager we had to go find one from a competitor, to one where we’re building from a draft, growing them through the company and creating a long term career here in the bank,” said John Jordan, head of The Academy at Bank of America.

Thanks to The Academy, BofA is successful at filling many job openings with internal candidates, especially for senior and strategically important positions. The program not only makes BofA more self-sufficient when it comes to skilled talent, but it boosts engagement and retention.

At EZRA Coaching, a professional coaching platform provider, I have seen the transformational power of coaching first-hand and know that today’s leaders need it more than ever as they navigate a rapidly changing world of work. Organizations like Prudential, Google and IBM are increasingly looking to professional coaching to help employees adapt to new work environments and step into new skill sets, such as those required for management. According to Brian Glaser, vice president and chief talent and learning officer at Google, the company has doubled down on investing in its managers to ensure they are well-equipped with basic leadership skills, such as setting clear expectations and providing feedback, as well as more nuanced coaching required to lead teams through complexity.

2.  Ensure Leaders Deliver on Their Commitments to DEI Targets

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)-focused programs and professionals are often among the first to be cut when organizations navigate financial difficulty, and there is indication that this is true amid the current wave of mass layoffs. Even when bold promises are made, they are often delayed, with a recent report from General Assembly finding that 87% of companies have made no changes in the hiring process to meet their diversity objectives this year.

Despite constricting budgets, it is important that organizations don’t renege on DEI commitments during challenging times, and as workplace technology evolves, there are an increasing number of ways to ensure companies are staying accountable to their targets. For instance, financial management and insurance giant Voya created the a real-time dashboard that allows the CHRO and chief financial officer (CFO) to see every job opening in the company, and the steps being taken to fill it. The dashboard also allows the e-team to see whether hiring managers are meeting DEI expectations and internal hiring targets.

3. Redefine the Criteria for Success — Put Emphasis on Agility, Adaptability and Resilience Over Credentials and Business Results

Traditional hiring criteria, based primarily on formal education and hard experience, is outdated when considering the needs of today’s workforce and can result in companies leaving qualified talent on the table.

To expand talent pools and strengthen pathways to skill development, companies should look to programs like IBM’s P-TECH, which allows high school students to obtain a certificate in STEM skills along with their diploma. “We soon realized that IBM as one company can’t scale global talent at the rate and pace needed to make an impact in our generation, and so we decided to partner with schools directly for the PTECH program,” explained Nickle LaMoreaux, IBM’s CHRO. As higher education becomes increasingly costly and out of reach for a large sector of our population, programs like these not only improve the employment opportunities of under-served groups but also build a larger pool of skilled talent both for the company’s own needs and the global talent market.

Organizational performance reviews should be similarly holistic and consider skills like adaptability and resilience that are key to navigating a work environment rife with uncertainty. To account for this complexity, IBM updated their performance evaluation process in 2015 to not only include business results but to rate employees on a variety of soft skills. This is where they identified that the most valued employees were those that could demonstrate continuous learning.

The last few years of unprecedented change have revealed how interlinked employee satisfaction and performance are, making it essential for organizations to invest in their people first, even when budgets are shrinking. To reap the rewards of long-term success, be intentional in putting systems in place that empower and engage your workforce. This is not just my advice — it’s a message echoed by the top companies in the world.