Reskilling in the 21st Century: Strategies to future-proof your Workforce
“Over 75% of HR executives consider reskilling an imperative in meeting the coming decade’s digital transformation demands”.
Emerging technologies are reinventing global businesses, and this transformation needs to be fueled by people with specialized skills. This sudden need for specialized skills is rendering a large portion of the workforce “obsolete” and is disrupting the global talent pipeline.
Draup’s research shows that 77% of all job roles and functions are bound to undergo some form of disruption.
Reshaping the workforce to mitigate the effects of this disruption is now a defining business problem. The COVID-19 pandemic has further amplified this talent disruption.
The results are already being seen on the ground, with startups resorting to layoffs and VCs hesitant to open their wallets.
In times like these, skilled talent becomes a precious element. One that enterprises can ill afford to squander. But with attrition rates reaching record levels and the cost of hiring fresh talent skyrocketing, talent stakeholders should turn towards reskilling/upskilling to meet their talent demands.
Reskilling is the Answer
Our research shows that reskilling an existing employee is 23% cheaper than hiring a new employee.
Reskilling can prove to be a game-changer for the decade to come infusing specialized skills into quality talent that can propel the growth of any business in this era. If this area of talent management is taken care of, enterprises might never have to face a talent shortage again.
Here, I will break down reskilling into a standardized process and understand the right way to implement it. We will also briefly look at time-tested reskilling strategies enterprises can use to maximize their ROI.
Reskilling Pathway: Four steps to future-proofing your workforce
Like any other talent function, Reskilling goes through an elaborate process involving identification, assessment of, and solving the problem at hand. Let us witness this four-step process in action.
Step 1: Identification of Skills for an In-demand job role
Identifying the skill set of the desired role is the first step to mapping out a reskilling path. For example, in the BFS industry, the role of a Credit Risk Analyst is facing disruption due to the emergence of new-age technologies.
With sufficient insights to this roles skills data, I conclude that they can be reskilling into a Financial Analyst, a Risk Data Scientist or a Treasury Analyst.
Step 2: Assessing the Skills gap between the current role and desired role
Analyzing the skills gap and the time it will take to transform one role into another is crucial to identify points A and B and facilitate the charting of a reskilling path. To do this, you will require data across specific skills overlap between the two roles, the compensation gap, technical & functional proficiency and more.
Step 3: Analyzing feasible transitions
Once the parameters to catalyze the career transition have been identified and mapped, you can now see a clear path to execute the reskilling journey.
Step 4: Charting a suitable reskilling path
Finally, it’s time to prepare a detailed reskilling path that is customized to each individual. This reskilling path can range anywhere from 3 months to 12 months, depending on the learning modules chosen.
Below, I have tried to visually represent the above 4-step process:
Industry-recognized Reskilling Strategies to Maximize Results
Industry analysts estimate that over 40% of reskilling programs developed by organizations ultimately fail to yield satisfactory results. These analysts also agree that the failure is not the result of the shortcomings of reskilling but the errors in how it was implemented.
Hence, it is crucial to take advantage of time-tested reskilling strategies that have worked for enterprises and infuse them into our implementation schedule.
Micro-learning with Personalization
Numerous studies have indicated that the long-term learning curve in theory-based learning can be reduced to a significant extent if Micro-learning is considered. Micro-learning enables learners to finish more topics in a shorter time since each topic feels like leveling up, thus gamifying the experience. Another critical factor to add to the mix is personalization. Employee engagement is a significant concern for enterprises taking up reskilling, and the only way to foster engagement is to personalize the course content to each individual.
The easiest way to master a complex skill is to practice it while learning. Project-based learning enables learners to understand theoretical knowledge from practical experiences. This not only cements the knowledge but also boosts morale to solve real-world problems, a skill that is much-needed today.
Human beings are social, and the element of togetherness keeps us engaged with the world. The same can be applied to reskilling by forming a community of learners. This community can be used for learning together and networking with other individuals, ultimately building more robust and interconnected teams.
Gamification has a proven track record of making learning more inclusive. Gamification can include topic-specific levels, incentive-based quizzes, and resourceful events to add to the knowledge. These elements would develop employee engagement and result in completing chosen courses much faster.
Finally, the most crucial reskilling strategy is tracking the progress. KPIs can include courses completed, time to complete each course, activity participation, and more. Tracking KPIs provides insight into the reskilling program and enables employers to improve these programs powered by analytics.
Reskilling is the need of the hour as the demand-supply gap in global talent keeps widening. Our research indicates that enterprises that choose to move with reskilling might never have to face a talent shortage soon.
In 2022, reskilling employees has turned into a priority for organizations if they intend to win in the current volatile and uncertain business environment. One of the most crucial aspects of today’s talent war is the talent shortage, and reskilling is the way forward in a situation like this.