Emerging technologies are entirely reshaping industries and require people with specialized skills. Companies worldwide will face discrepancies with the current expertise pool and necessary in the coming years. Incidentally, the essential skills will be dependent on mathematical and data-analysis abilities.
Preparing for the future of work is a defining business problem, which the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated. It needs two types of changes across the workforce: upskilling, where employees gain new skills to help in their current roles, and reskilling, where employees need to take on different or entirely new roles.
83% of experts say employers in their sectors find it difficult to acquire talent than they did five years ago and 58% of the workforce needs new skills to do their jobs. Let us look at strategies the workforce planning team can consider.
Put the focus on skills
The skills revolution requires people to have the right skills to help companies be productive, innovative, and profitable. Reskilling ensures your employees have the skills to strive and make transitions into new roles smooth. Workforce planning must have an ongoing upskilling and reskilling process resulting in positive outcomes that surpass profit-and-loss statements.
Additionally, companies with the reskilling process can demonstrate commitment to employees, social responsibility through inclusivity and solve skills shortages impacting various industries. It can use data-driven solutions, resulting in a constant renewal of workforce performance.
Customize learning opportunities
94% of the employees say they would stay in a company if they received development opportunities. However, only 15% get access to reskilling opportunities. Workforce planning must revamp the sales training to address continuous learning and knowledge sharing.
The approach is to customize learning to each learner’s preference and make the material accessible through various venues and formats. Cybersecurity organization Fern is making microlearning assets available for their talent to access knowledge at the point of need.
Focusing on user experience, the company has designed the learning to track performance. Sales professionals can learn through an on-demand training course or Zoom webinars, company presentations, or product brochures, with assessments built into the platform.
Additionally, companies must allow the submission of knowledge. However, there needs to be a formal governance model to track knowledge submitted so that only sanctioned reskilling content is on offer.
This approach could demonstrate a blend of knowledge and learning management, including the knowledge-management cycle of creating, capturing, storing, sharing, and applying knowledge.
Reskilling must involve apprenticeships that prepare a pool of nondiverse talent to become dedicated employees with customized skills. Apprenticeships help individuals receive a skills-based education that prepares them for good-paying jobs. It aids workforce planning in recruiting, building, and reskilling a highly-skilled workforce.
Companies like Accenture have reported low attrition rates among those who have gone through the apprenticeship program. Their success stories include a food truck operator retraining in a technical field. Apprenticeships also involve jobs with real-world experience at a sustainable wage on client-facing work.
Partner with universities and colleges
Partnering with educational institutions and universities can assist in acquiring talent with in-demand skills. When corporates partner with educational institutes for student employment, the student-employees can be prepared to be productive future employees.
Case in point, Johns Hopkins University Experiential Learning Center offers students work experiences that enhance their resumes and portfolios while they earn. They developed SMILE, which connects students with work opportunities with employers within or outside the university.
SMILE provides access to all students, establishes employment eligibility, displays paid projects, and allows onboarding with the organizations.
The Path to Closing Skills Gaps
Understanding how current and future workforce architectures relate is essential to building a plan that combines reskilling, upskilling, and acquiring new talent. The roadmap could be as follows:
- Analyzing status quo driven by data – Organizations must build a baseline to understand gaps and skills prevalence, helping them craft a reskilling strategy that includes future skills, diversity and inclusivity, automation risk, and pay gaps. Benchmarking against peer organizations will help close the gaps.
- Designing a framework with clearly defined requirements – Workforce planning teams must assess, define, and structure future needs through a capability model for the entire organization and different business lines. Such an approach enables a clear direction on reskilling and progress tracking.
- Building skill requirements into job architecture – After defining the required skills, workforce planning must build those requirements into the job architecture to provide a sound foundation for human resources solutions and interventions, which will provide insights on the proximity between roles and reskilling potential.
- Reskilling process design – Workforce planning, combined with data and defined models, will help determine the upskilling and reskilling strategy, providing employees with learning and career opportunities.
- Rolling out and engaging employees – Engaging employees while building career pathways and development ensures that the workforce understands critical areas and enables individual ownership of the reskilling path. With rewards coming into the reskilling program, companies can foster engagement.
- Measuring progress – Analyze data and stay abreast of and adapt to talent and workforce changes. Continuous benchmarking analysis based on key performance indicators is needed to track progress, combining data from different sources and HR IT solutions across the employee lifecycle.
Draup has created a list of 20,000+ skills mapped across 2,000+ job roles across technical and non-technical functions. The below image shows the role of the RPA Developer with mapping of the core and soft skills required.
Skills gaps will emerge with the changes in business scenarios. Organizations must act now to address those gaps by understanding the current state of employees’ skills, strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion, and identifying employees with the potential to move into future-focused roles.
Vijay Swaminathan, CEO & Co-Founder, Draup, will add to the workforce planning and reskilling dimension to his keynote on Granular Career Progression Simulations – A Useful Tool for Retention.
What Vijay will cover in his keynote:
- Identifying emerging skills requirements.
- Developing career progressions for your employees.
- Aligning employee aspirations with your future skills demand while reducing costs.
- Improving talent retention and boosting employee satisfaction.
He will cover how stimulating career progression will build employee confidence and reinforce their belief in your workforce planning team’s career growth exercise.
Time: January 18, from 10:55 AM to 11:15 AM PST