Why skilling, reskilling is key for next generation of employees

As a result of the pandemic, the employment scenario has undergone a sea change

John KallelilUpdated: Thursday, June 02, 2022, 10:50 PM IST
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The days when professionals and recent graduates could secure a job and advance their careers purely based on technical skills are long gone. /Representative image | www.freepik.com

With rapid digital transformation, firms are in a race to rethink their people, processes and technology to meet future demand. One of the key factors in organizational success is human capital and the workforce serves as the backbone of every organization. Employees are the engine that propels the organization forward. This is why businesses want talent that evolves with time to meet the dynamic work landscape of today.

To meet this shifting paradigm, there are many platforms and executive education specialists that offer a plethora of courses and certificate programs to support professional skill development. As a result of the pandemic, the employment scenario has undergone a sea change. There is a great economic boom and promise of growth for organizations that embrace a highly motivated and learning-oriented culture.

Professionals at all rungs of the enterprise are now rethinking their career roadmap and planning for a future that is equal parts exciting and uncertain.

In addition, there is rapid digitalization (not to be confused with digital transformation). Companies are simply more reliant on new technologies, software and hardware to run their business and processes irrespective of their industry or sector. This has led to the emergence of new jobs and positions that did not exist 10 years ago. From social media to cloud computing, AI experts to customer experience managers, there is a deluge of jobs that have been enabled by technology.

Whether you are in tech or have your core competence in sales, finance or any other function, developing a cross-functional skillset to understand the nuances of these changes has become imperative in any job.

Technology innovation, increasing need for new competencies, shifting labor demographics and inclusion/diversity policies, new workforce models, and the dynamic corporate environment with all of its regulatory changes have all contributed to changes in the nature of work. The COVID-19 pandemic has recently triggered a reassessment of the role of learning and development (L&D) in businesses, as well as how learning might be delivered in the short term. Many chief learning officers and learning and development teams have recognized that reskilling and upskilling are the solutions to these problems, and traditional learning is insufficient.

Upskilling and Reskilling

Staff upskilling means offering them the tools and training that allows them to perform better in their current position. This can help a company stay competitive and adaptable as the industry advances. Furthermore, talent requires developing new abilities that complement and strengthen existing ones.

Reskilling is the process of teaching people to do jobs that are unrelated to their current job. This means that the organization will train the employee for a new position within the corporation. During the pandemic, many businesses began reskilling efforts in order to keep operations running with fewer staff and supply chain disruptions.

Upskill and reskill workforce

According to McKinsey researchers, there has never been a bigger demand for firms to reskill and upskill their workers. Companies that want to recover faster from the COVID-19 outbreak will need to reskill their staff. Furthermore, according to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, more than half of all employees worldwide will need to reskill or upskill in order to remain competitive.

There is a labor shortage in almost every industry, and the situation is unlikely to change very soon. The days of hiring new staff that were knowledgeable and ready to take on new duties are long gone. According to the SHRM's skills gap research, 83% of HR professionals reported difficulty obtaining suitable candidates. The report further states that 75% of respondents polled believed there was a shortage of suitable persons for job openings. Because corporations are unable to find the talent they require, they must look within and develop it.

Additionally, hiring an employee is one of the most critical success factors for an organization. It is a big investment, from the expense of hiring to training and onboarding. It's only logical to keep maximizing that investment by upskilling or reskilling the present personnel. Even if the organization could locate a suitable candidate, reskilling would probably cost a lot less than hiring and training someone new.

New era of work culture

Most business leaders recognize that upskilling and reskilling will be crucial in the new world of work. However, there is still much discussion over the best technique to build abilities. The most effective skill strategies aren't just for a select few. Instead, they give everyone an equal opportunity to progress in their careers by identifying and participating in learning activities that correspond with both personal and business goals.

This is where career planning comes in. This approach introduces employees to relevant opportunities within the firm. The most effective tools provide people with more than one possible path; they show them numerous other options for where their careers could go, allowing them to choose the one that best matches their needs. Ideally, these technologies will help employees find employment within the firm that they were previously unaware of, giving them new reasons to stay. Customised training programs that address organisational needs and open programs have a huge role to play in talent building.

The best career mapping solutions go even further by giving individuals the choice to start reimagining their professional goals right away. AI-powered solutions can identify skill gaps that employees must fill in order to advance in their professions and provide them with learning and development resources to help them catch up.

Conclusion

With the fourth industrial revolution, the workforce of businesses is changing rapidly due to the expansion of new-age capabilities. Both upskilling and reskilling processes require learning new skills and working with personnel to improve future generations. Executive education becomes the need of the hour to help high-performing professionals achieve their career objectives through upskilling and reskilling. It also provides cross-functional skills to help businesses thrive in the dynamic landscape.

(John Kallelil is Founder & CEO, XED-edtech firm. Views are personal)

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