Emerging technologies are reshaping industries by automating mundane tasks and developing new work processes. While these advancements will make some jobs redundant, they will also create demand for new skills dependent on data analysis. A recent survey by McKinsey & Company reveals that technological advancement will cause significant skill gaps in high-tech industries, financial services and telecommunication. To harness the benefits of emerging technologies, companies need to reskill their workforce and equip them with knowledge of how to properly utilise them.
Companies sometimes face the dilemma on whether to reskill current workers or hire new talent. While recruitment is the easy way out, it can lead to significant financial losses. Besides, onboarding new employees take time and lead to loss of productivity. Reskilling the existing talent saves time and allows the employer to retain employees phased out by the new technologies. However, an organisation must be willing to invest time and financial resources to retrain employees.
If you want your organisation to remain agile and adaptable to technological advancements, here are steps you can use to reskill your workforce.
Conduct a Skills Gap Analysis
Before reskilling employees, you need a detailed analysis of the skills provided by the current workforce. It is also beneficial to forecast the future skill requirements of staff for continued business growth. The HR department and upper management can determine the new skill trends in the market, evaluate the available talents, and measure their alignment with future trends. After determining your company’s skill needs, you can analyse the gaps on departmental or individual levels.
At organisational/departmental levels, you can evaluate the combined skills of your workforce against the predicted future needs through performance management. On an individual level, you can review an employee’s current skills against the future requirements of their position. Some of the skill gap analysis strategies you can use include performance reviews, interviews and assessments.
A skills gap analysis will also aid a business in determining competency in future skills and succession planning. It will also inform you on the best reskilling strategy for individual career progression and future-proofing the company.
Organise Skills Training for Employees
When you know the skill gaps, you can formulate a plan and determine the exact training that each employee needs to acquire new skills. You can motivate your employees to train for the new skills by providing incentives and rewards to those willing to retrain. For instance, you can link reskilling to new prospects or promotions within the company.
Since your employees already have varied skillsets, you should personalise the training methods to give each employee a chance to learn at their pace. You can also offer a variety of reskilling methods to meet everyone’s learning needs. For instance, you can have internal company boot camps to equip your employees with the right skills to tackle future company problems. If you incorporate artificial intelligence, you need employees who can alter and manipulate how the technologies work to optimise production and achieve business goals. You can leverage internal talent to act as oversight as they understand the business processes. These staff can use the technologies to scale the business.
Encourage Continuous Learning
Organisations can reduce skill gaps by creating a culture of reskilling and upskilling within the current workforce. With regular training, your employees will grow alongside your business, improving job satisfaction and productivity. By creating a learning environment, your workplace will remain agile by developing technical skills and leadership abilities like problem solving and collaboration. Besides, training employees on personal development skills help them evolve as they grow and adopt new technologies.
Since reskilling is a perpetual process, an employer should adopt the right programmes and infrastructure to encourage continued learning. If the top-level management supports the reskilling efforts, it will encourage employees to participate in the training.
Combine a Variety of Reskilling Methods
Everyone has a different learning style, and your reskilling efforts should be flexible to suit each employee’s needs. You can introduce online courses to equip employees with specific skills required in training. While online bite-sized learning is advantageous since it focuses on strengthening specific skills, it may not be an ideal learning method for all employees. Some workers learn better with on-the-job training with exposure to real-world tasks and receiving mentorship from experienced professionals. Social learning also bridges the gap between behaviour change and knowledge when retraining or onboarding new employees.
You can also introduce peer learning and blended learning to promote employees’ interactions as they learn new skills. Technology offers employers various training methods, including virtual or augmented learning, adaptive and micro-learning techniques. Employers need to focus on digital skills to prepare the workforce for upcoming trends like working from home and automated administrative processes.
Measure and Evaluate Success
You should measure the impact of your training efforts by analysing the application of the new skills and the preparedness of employees to transition to the next level. You can evaluate effectiveness by collecting data from surveys and post-training investments. With the evaluation, you can build up on the strengths and improve the training’s weak aspects.
Use Performance Management Software
Identifying training needs requires a thorough evaluation of employees’ performances and skill gaps. Performance Management Software provides relevant data on staff performance reviews in a central location for easy access The scorecards of every worker are securely stored for review during performance appraisals.
With the ever-changing markets and constant technological improvements, reskilling employees is a cost-effective way to remain competitive in your industry. Even if your employees have the required hard skills, you can improve soft skills, which many industries and businesses overlook.