Employers who do not focus on upskilling/reskilling their employees may face redundancy or vulnerabilities, according to a recent global survey.
By Sunil Dahiya
Covid-19 has changed the world forever, and the future workplace will be different. No doubt about that! Therefore, new ways of thinking, creativity and innovation will rule the redefined work-culture. With Work from Home (WFH) and remote operations becoming a reality, companies have started focusing on reskilling their workforce to meet the new requirements. This clearly signals a lasting employment-landscape shift.
It is not that reskilling is a new idea. Even before the Covid pandemic struck, new technologies and newly emerging jobs were disrupting the talent landscape. However, the significance of upskilling and reskilling employees has increased manifold in the unprecedented Covid-19 times. Employers who do not focus on upskilling/reskilling their employees may face redundancy or vulnerabilities as clearly shown by a recent global survey of 282 training and hiring managers, C-level executives, decision-makers and 400 full-time employees by TalentLMS, Training Journal, and Workable. As per the survey findings, 42% of companies stepped up their upskilling/reskilling efforts after the coronavirus outbreak, 68% invested in reskilling/upskilling training and 91% confirmed that upskilling/reskilling training has boosted productivity at work.
As life will slowly return to normalcy, the various works will be defined by cross-functional expertise and high-level of competencies. This, in turn, will determine not just the survival of employees but also their new avatars in the organisational setup. Roles which may have existed earlier may not hold good anymore. It is, therefore, but natural for existing employees to learn new skills to maintain their relevance.
One of the key fallouts of the pandemic is the increasing reliance on the Distance Economy. It is now almost certain that most corporates will continue with remote operations, at least in the near future and may incorporate a hybrid work culture in the long run. This will result in accelerated digitization and new emerging skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility as pointed out by Future of Jobs Report 2020 by the World Economic Forum. The report also states that Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving top the list of skills that employers believe will become most pertinent in the near future.
Currently, the world is in the middle of one of the worst recessions ever, and most companies are stressed due to a lacklustre business period over the past few months, trimming of the workforce will be a grim reality and the employers will expect the toned-down workforce to improve productivity by acquiring new skills for leaner/restructured business models and to adapt to emerging technologies as enablers to scale operations.
Reskilling will be absolutely essential to stay ahead of the game – both for employees and employers. From an employer angle, reskilling is cost-efficient, saves on resources spent in the hiring process and gives organisations a serious competitive edge. Over the long term, reskilling will also help employers to motivate and retain talent, attract the best candidates and foster innovation. On the other hand, employees at all levels and across industries can enjoy professional development and career growth. This can also enable professionals to hone their entrepreneurial skills and embark upon a journey of self-reliance. The base motive of upskilling is to equip individuals with current knowledge and skillsets in emerging technologies and prepare them to be resilient and to withstand new challenges in an ultra-competitive post-pandemic world.
Putting the skills landscape in perspective, we should not forget one important fact – both in the pre-pandemic and post-pandemic scenarios, the skills gap remains a big issue with a high demand for talent. Reskilling maybe that magic potion that addresses talent shortage as well as closes new skill gaps.
Source: HR World – Economic Times