Reskilling Workforce: When & Why

3 min read

The world has changed drastically over the last two decades & is sure to show exponential transformation over the coming ones. In fact, recent industry reports by the World Economic Forum (WEF) suggest that over 54% of professionals would require to upgrade & update their skillsets so as to keep pace with the rising industry standards. Moreover, machines are expected to spend more time working than us humans while the number of emerging professionals’ surges to 13.5%. This is not to say that robots would take over human jobs, but future proofing employees is a must. Reskilling which is a strategic response to changing skills demand is the answer to this colossal challenge.

The Requisite & The Resource

Reskilling in layman’s words refers to training individuals to take on relatively newer jobs or even execute their current roles in new-fangled ways. An efficient & effective scheme to combat perennial skills shortage, it focuses on core competencies suchlike adaptability, communication, collaboration, and creativity apart from job-specific technical skills to procure future-ready resources.

However, researches reveal & industries validate that considerable funding apart from the consistent endeavour is vital to its’ bearing fruit. In fact, a joint study conducted by WEF and Boston Consulting Group reveals the average cost of reskilling in the US to be $ 24,800 per person! Money matters aside, renowned psychologist K. Anders Ericsson asserts that deliberate practice to the tune of 10,000 hours is essential to achieve expertise.

Self-starters, professionals who run an extra mile to achieve targets are any company’s propellers. Powerhouses, these individuals drive the firm ahead, push it beyond. Ergo, holding on to such resources indeed is important. Punctual & organized staff come next in line when it comes to hand-picking employees for Reskilling. Capable of balancing the demands of learning new skills along with day-to-day responsibilities, these folks prove to be a valuable addition to any team.

Also, harnessing this motivation proves to have dual benefits. On one hand, while this opens new avenues to begin a different career path for employees; managers & supervisors benefit from a reduced skill gap which aids in accomplishing company missions with ease. Firms too gain from increased employee loyalty & retention, team strengthening, and easier succession planning. Employees’ personal & career aspirations which serve as a huge driving force in their productivity, engagement and loyalty to their organizations can be efficiently harnessed through personalized career pathing.

The Reskilling Roadmap

Career pathing in a nutshell is a process employees implement to map out courses within their organization for their career path and career development. A critical factor of performance development planning, this involves understanding the knowledge, skills, personal characteristics, and experience needed for employees to progress in their career.

Encompassing both an employees’ desired destination and the steps, a career path provides them with a sense of direction. Many see it as a way to assess career progress and an opportunity to achieve career goals and milestones along the way. Thereby, a thoughtful career path plan has emerged as a key factor in employee engagement and employee retention.

So, what goes into the making of a robust Reskilling program? Uncovering skill gaps, identifying essential critical skills & skill adjacencies, plus promoting job shadowing are the top concerns whilst developing any Reskilling scheme. In reality, building connected learners through focusing on digital skills, measuring & evaluating success, and encouraging lifelong learning could potentially result in an eight-fold increase in employee engagement!

Evidently, as individuals have different capabilities & limitations, picking proficient professionals with promising prospects becomes inevitable. The HR thus is at the hot seat of skill development programs for employees. As it happens, 95% of HR leaders and 77% of L&D executives are investing more time & effort in training employees for digital opportunities by helping them learn continuously.

Coming to Reskilling methodologies, endeavours suchlike – on-job training, industry courses & certifications, mentoring/coaching, eLearning, and even blended learning are put into force in order to enable propitious personnel to bridge the gap between contemporary & futuristic requisites. A culture of learning has become the desideratum. Skill development in consequence needs to be the part & parcel of each employee’s routine.

The Time is Now

The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedence. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Acceleration of innovation and the velocity of disruption are hard to comprehend or anticipate. Disruptive technologies like AI, IoT, Genetic Engineering, and Quantum Computing have brought a paradigm shift in the concept of learning in the world of work. Evidently, continuous/lifelong learning has gained paramount significance, the right time to indulge in which is now!

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