Skills are undoubtedly one of the most valuable assets in the modern workplace. In the pre-pandemic world, a survey report highlighted the fact that as many as 87% of surveyed executives said their organizations were either experiencing skill gaps or were expecting them to happen within the next few years. On the other hand, a research report captured the fact that 74% of CEOs were worried about lack of essential skills among employees. Owing to the ongoing pandemic, professionals are keen to up their skill sets to be more productive. Employees are sharpening their professional capabilities indoors. It is quite evident that we have headed towards a new work reality, and many organizations have navigated well through this unfamiliar terrain.
Harnessing the power of an existing workforce by reskilling and upskilling has indeed become one of the hallmarks of a successful company as we march forward in the new normal. In today’s ever-evolving and highly competitive business environment, enhancing employees’ skill sets are critical components of an effective business strategy. Therefore, employers should provide dedicated time to their workforce so that they can self-skill and engage in activities that will further amplify their capabilities.
E-learning has ascended as a key enabler for professionals considering self-development as a means to stay ahead of the curve. Workplaces are already getting tech-savvy with employees working across geographies and time zones. Corporates are facing unforeseen challenges every now and then and people are gearing up to solve these with the help of innovative and out-of-the-box thinking.
Upsurge in digital learning platforms
The work from home and remote working protocol has given individuals a new direction to avail online training and grow themselves with a wide array of courses. A clutch of Edtech players and e-career companies have witnessed a jump in new registrations since the outbreak of the virus. The programs offered are not only facilitating working professionals with highly advanced skills but also helping them keep pace with the changing times. The technology advancements have considerably simplified the learning experience with most studying material made available online and interactive live coaching sessions. The use of cloud ensures that all the data is saved securely and AI & ML ensures that the recipient gets a holistic personalized training.
Corporates re-engineering their operations to aid the workforce
Businesses are constantly on their feet to facilitate smarter ways to ensure business continuity and securing employees at the same time. With virtual learning surfacing as one of the top practices in self-learn, e-learning has encouraged corporate learners to create a tailor made up-skilling plan with emphasis on job-specific skills. Companies are introducing tie-ups with premium institutes to offer customized courses for their employees. In the interest of creating a robust up-skilling environment, organizations have given the liberty to their employees to recognize new skills that resonate well with them.
Sharpening skill sets can open various career avenues for individuals
We are in a phase where people are becoming increasingly entrepreneurial. The notion of ‘Be Your Own Boss’ resonates with many millennials. Working professionals and youth are keen to explore and learn to be self-sufficient and independent. The executive MBA courses are also fanning the flames of up-skilling in order to have an edge. This appeals to the employees who could not pursue higher studies in the beginning of their careers. Apart from helping people jump a few steps in their professional ladder, up-skilling courses also become a means for people to pursue alternate careers. There are specialized industry players who are adept at analyzing prospects of a particular educational course and design a personalized financing solution that can aid the learning.
Growing relevance of cross functional work strategies
We have witnessed that there are some people who excel in a particular division but after a point want to shift into a different kind of role. This could either be due to a liking for another division or more prospects that are exciting. The trend of cross-function is now getting more and more common and people are pursuing new skills for it, if required. Equipped with extra-departmental knowledge, up-skilling in this manner will only help one develop managerial and administrative skills. This is precisely the advantage that cross functioning offers. This kind of work strategy has initiated a new generation of ideas via brainstorming, and thus, the inception of innovative business solutions. Additionally, forming cross-functional teams will help employees gain new skills through knowledge sharing. This will result in boosting employee engagement by embedding new behaviors and building team spirit.
In times when the onus of skill development largely lies with professionals, an organization which promotes a self-learning environment will go a long way to motivate the workforce and ensure that top talent is abreast with relevant knowledge. As the world is realigning as per the new normal rules, talent will be the key differentiator in supporting economies worldwide. The ability of people to be self-reliant will drive their confidence to be efficient contributors towards a brighter future.