Why Upskilling Your Current Employees Is A Great Strategy For Filling Key Roles And How Digital Transformation Can Catalyze The Process

Digitally proficient employees are so scarce that re-training and upskilling existing employees have taken priority over-investing in new hires.

COVID-19 has impacted many facets of our lives, particularly the way we work and do businesses. While the organizations are grappling to adapt with the new normal, one thing has become certain that pandemic has accelerated digital transformation like never before. While digital transformation is creating ripple effects across all industries, the impact of it is largely felt on the future of work. As things are changing at lightning speed, it has become imperative for employees to upgrade their skills and technical knowledge to keep up with the momentum.  

As per the World Economic Forum’s report 'The Future of Jobs', it is expected that by 2022, 54% of all employees will require reskilling and upskilling significantly. Also, the global survey by McKinsey states that 87% of executives are expected to experience skill gaps in the coming years. 

As employees fear about job security and the fear of lacking in skills to meet the demands of the roles, it has become indispensable that organizations actively contribute to their employees’ professional development by upskilling employees for the future of the workforce.  

According to the 2019 PWC CEO Survey, 79% of CEOs worldwide are concerned that a lack of essential skills in their workforce is threatening the future growth of their organization. And 46% plan to introduce upskilling to close the skill gap.  

Many of the Learning and Development professionals are of the view that if skill gaps are not addressed in the coming three to five years, it will enormously impact the organization in a variety of ways like future growth, customer satisfaction and experience, product service or quality and ability to innovate.  

This tendency has forced organisations to buckle up and introduce measures to retain their employees. One of the ways in which they are accomplishing this is with upskilling and reskilling.   

Employers can nurture a more engaged and productive workforce with upskilling initiatives like the following:  

  • Get personalized: The organizations can contribute to the successful professional development of an employee by understanding the learning style, current job, career path and current skill set, based that organizations can chart out a learning path for these individuals by providing training which they can take at their own pace based on their unique learning requirements. 

  • Online learning through easily accessible content on mobile can empower an individual to learn wherever and however they want, as very few individuals these days enjoy the traditional method of learning style, hence the intelligent way to upskill employees is by microlearning and warranting them to access learning content on any device of their choice. 

  • Another sure shot way to train employees is by the use of gamification, which can provide them with the right skill sets. Interactive training in the form of podcasts, articles, videos and quizzes can serve as an excellent way of training the employees.   

  • Also, fostering a culture of learning in the organization that begins with leadership training and development can help in achieving professional development by far.  

With the current COVID situation, enterprises are adopting technology and new processes at an unprecedented pace. And the employees have to be upskilled to work in the new reality. If the employees are not upskilled, organizations will have to go and hunt fresh hires to fill the roles created due to change in the way businesses are being run, not a conducive idea for the current situation, hence it is always good to upskill and retain existing employees, who understand business, ethos and culture of the organization. 

With technology accelerating at a rapid pace, no new tool or innovation stays novel for long. However, very few organisations have employees who are capable of responding to this constant change in tech. Digitally proficient employees are so scarce that re-training and upskilling existing employees have taken priority over-investing in new hires.  

It is found that businesses are investing in making meaning out of data which is creating jobs in emerging technologies such as AI/ML, Analytics, Big Data etc. Roles aligned conventional technologies such as java, .net, databases, web technologies etc important, but the pivotal roles will be around emerging technologies. Ergo, better to upskill and retain current employees.   

When it comes to employee training, there’s no question that outsourcing the programs to leading training providers is the way to go. With the renewed focus on digital skills, leading training providers offer enterprise enablement training programs in areas such as machine learning, DevOps, Internet of Things (IoT), Big data & Analytics and other emerging technologies. A hybrid delivery model with flexible modes of learning and e-learning content to supplant classroom learning make for a seamless learning experience, improving learning outcomes significantly.   

Therefore, organizations can go a step ahead by investing in talent development initiatives to help learners succeed in the age of automation and considering non-traditional (but skilled) candidates for new roles, this will help the organizations to position themselves better. Perhaps most importantly, upskilling will not only help employees to grow enormously but also will help the organizations to thrive successfully.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

Tags assigned to this article:
upskilling employees Digital Transformation

Around The World

Our Publications