The global workforce today is set for change. Automation in manual workflows continues to push outdated business processes towards the end of their lifecycle. Rapid enhancements in intelligent technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and machine learning continue to disrupt workflows and business strategies. In fact, a McKinsey Global Survey of executives revealed that “their companies have accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years.” The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital tools and many of these changes are here to stay.
For businesses to remain resilient and agile in the constantly evolving workplace, there is a need to prepare the workforce for permanent change. According to the World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report 2020, an estimated 85 million jobs would be displaced. This includes jobs such as data entry clerks, secretaries, and accountants. On the other hand, an estimated 95 million new jobs such as data analysts and scientists, AI and machine learning specialists and Big Data specialists would be created. To address the problem of talent shortage, business leaders need to optimise their current workforce by creating opportunities for them to develop their skill sets, ensuring that they are well-prepared for the future of work.
Ongoing enhancement of employees’ talent and skills
Reskilling and upskilling employees’ talent and skills may seem like a daunting task for business leaders. However, it is an investment that organisations have to take in order to remain relevant in the future. It first starts with identifying new and emerging skills while looking at the existing gaps within the organisation’s workforce. Organisations can bridge these existing skills gaps by encouraging employees to take initiative in growing into the skills that the organisation needs to facilitate internal mobility when the time comes for a change in skill sets. This provides organisations with the necessary competitive edge within their industries with an agile workforce that is well-equipped and comfortable with the latest technologies.
Self-led skills development opportunities
Creating opportunities for employees is critical in strengthening the organisation’s competitive positioning in the industry. This means allowing employees to take charge of their careers by providing plenty of opportunities for employees to enhance their existing skills, pick up complementary skills, and develop new skills. This route helps employees to excel in their current roles while preparing them for other in-demand roles within the organisation. By creating a culture where employees are responsible for their own upskilling, this employment opportunity creation contributes to a better-prepared and engaged workforce.
Integrating digital tools into existing training schemes
Capitalising on digital tools to enhance employees’ learning journeys is a great way to reinforce the effectiveness of technology while moving away from traditional workplace learning. After all, there is no better way to emphasize the importance of upskilling to adapt to new technologies than by investing in technology itself. According to eLearning Industry, the 70-20-10 rule for training will likely become standard: 70% experiential, 20% collaborative, and 10% formalized training. At Continental AG, for example, the company provides a digital learning platform that allows employees to manage, document, and share relevant content across the globe. The platform also allows employees to search for learning content and programs and select and complete individual learning programs on their own time. This comprehensive learning arrangement model allows employees to take charge of their learning on the go and maximise knowledge transfer.
Future-proof your workforce by being cognizant of these trends and taking steps to restructure traditional learning programmes. While organisations may want to focus on making up profits and consider dedicating less time and resources to upskilling the workforce, it is important to consider the financial repercussions of a workforce that fails to keep up with technological advancements.