The world is changing at a rapid pace. Regardless of whether change is brought on by technology or societal shifts, learning has become necessary for adapting and coping with it.
A recent PwC study reported that 79% of CEOs are constantly worried about the existing skills of their workforce and its ability to meet challenging workplace needs.
Another report, echoes a similar finding; in the next three years, more than half of employees will need significant reskilling and upskilling. Not just in technical capabilities like understanding emerging technologies like artificial intelligence , but also becoming proficient in soft skills such as communication, attention to detail and listening skills. While technical capabilities are much needed, human skills are invaluable too. So, it comes as no surprise that in a Global CEO Survey, 91% of business leaders reported that they need to develop soft skills along with technical skills.
The biggest challenge in the coming years will be making sure that people have the required skills to adapt and perform in rapidly changing environments. Hence, L&D will take on a growing responsibility to facilitate employees to challenge their capabilities and build their skill sets.
The Role of L&D in Today’s Changing Environment
There would be a lot on the plate for L&D professionals. Although the prospect of it may sound daunting, it is a great opportunity for corporate trainers and L&D teams to upskill and reskill a workforce that can withstand and emerge successful in the ever-evolving landscape.
Why? Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey has identified ‘upskilling and reskilling the workforce’ as one of their top three priorities of most organizations. That means organisations would prefer to upskill and reskill their current workforce than recruit new talent. That also means a massive budget will be set aside for L&D to provide corporate training solutions that are aimed at reskilling and upskilling.
According to a recent World Economic Forum report, 77% of organisations surveyed are planning to increase their learning team’s headcount, making learning the second-fastest-growing role in HR.
Reasons Why Reskilling and Upskilling Are Crucial
Shields the business from market changes
Upskilling and reskilling your workforce helps you develop a squadron of knowledgeable and agile employees who can easily adapt to new skills, get retrained on the job and set your business up for success.
Keeps the existing employees engaged
Millennials make up for the majority of the workforce. 87% of them consider professional development as very important in a job. They want to work at a company that invests in its employees’ career development. Upskilling and reskilling show that you care about your people, their careers and their futures.
So, if through L&D, you can offer a clear career progression within your company, your top talent is more likely to be loyal to you. And you get to take advantage of their growing expertise. So, everybody wins.
Attracts potential talent
Reskilling and upskilling is not only in the interest of your employees; it will attract potential talent as well.
According to a recent survey, college and university students ranked ‘growth opportunities’ as their number one job search priority.
Most of the students leaving a university or college, lack the required soft skills to join a workforce. So, a dedicated reskilling and upskilling program will show the prospective talent how it’s helping your current employees’ careers and if they decide the join the organisation, how it can do the same for theirs.
Gives you a competitive advantage
Through upskilling and reskilling, your employees easily become experts at what they are doing; the more they explore, the more they start seeing things from a different perspective. The training equips them to come up with newer and better ways of doing their core jobs. It stirs up their level of efficiency. The result? Improved business and individual performance.
Improves staff productivity
Upskilling and reskilling give your staff a motivation boost. Their newfound skills enable them to work more effectively with others in the team.
They feel more confident about themselves and their work. This helps them to gain a sense of fulfilment and purpose. When they feel challenged and valued at work, it helps you gain their loyalty.
Increases customer satisfaction
Upskilling and reskilling help your employees stay up to date with the latest industry trends, empowering them with the knowledge to provide excellent customer service to your clients. And when clients are happy, they are willing to pay more and become strong brand advocates for you.
When learning takes centre stage, it acts as a catalyst to unleash innovations to make you stand out in the market. Upskilling and reskilling will eventually be embedded in the DNA of your organisation and will be the leverage you need to succeed in this changing environment.
Corporate trainers and the L&D team as a whole will have to be prepared to upskill, reskill and meet the increasing demand for soft skills. That’s a big task ahead!