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Workforce Planning: Gearing Up for Industry 4.0 with Reskilling
Workforce Planning: Gearing Up for Industry 4.0 with Reskilling
Ananya K S

Consultant Psychologist , Draup

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Workforce Planning: Gearing Up for Industry 4.0 with Reskilling

27 Feb 2020

With Industry 4.0 disrupting the professional sphere, workforce planning, management and reskilling have become the largest challenges faced by the enterprise world. The only way to champion this challenge and stay ahead of the pack is to redesign your approach to Industry 4.0.

Creating an HR team that embraces change and excels at driving change in the organization is one way to get there. So is harvesting an academic culture or nourishing the soft skill repertoire of the workforce. Such approaches to better workforce planning that organizations need to open themselves up to are not limited to these.

More such insights with examples await to gear you up for this transformation. Read on!

Resistance to change and an innate desire to maintain the status-quo is a common phenomenon seen among humans across centuries. Paradoxically, the desire to disrupt, invent, differ, grow and innovate, to address their necessities, is also the hallmark of human beings. Like all the other times in history, today we have once again reached a point where the status-quo is to be challenged in terms of workforce planning. The change to be embraced now is in the form of Industry 4.0, which is the reflection of the technological megatrends of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

How is the world going to change with Industry 4.0?

We have seen the world progress from Mechanization to Mass Production and Automation in the earlier three revolutions. Industry 4.0 has set the pitch for a larger impact, in terms of Digitalization.

The upcoming technological revolution is expected to drive a quantum leap in our abilities to organize human life, including business and trade. Developments such as High-Speed Broadband Networks (5G), Predictive Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Advanced Robotic Processing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have already set the stage for our future shores.

The distinguishing fact being, unlike the previous revolutions, Industry 4.0 has not given us time to brace ourselves for this ride, rather it is here already, as we speak of it!

What difference is Industry 4.0 driving into the world of work?

Industry 4.0 has already rolled out larger levels of disruption and has brought countless industries together. With the introduction of AI and digitalization, the production is largely dematerialized, making manual work and existing skills obsolete. It has also set in higher levels of competitions within the domestic product, capital and labour markets, also among the nations adopting various investment and trade strategies. With offshoring practices that have given a boost to automation, it is also going to give a new shape to the world of white-collar and service-industry jobs and their workforce planning.

introduction of AI and digitalization

However, the myth that machines put men out of work remains a myth with this revolution too. Organizations are already sounding the alarm that there are not enough skilled employees to meet the expectations of the new economy.

While 4th Industrial Revolution is frequently addressed as an issue, in reality it offers an extraordinary opportunity to move onto to a better plain by rethinking on the following lines and addressing them at the earliest:

  • To what extent the existing employee aptitudes are aligned to their occupations?
  • How can potential representatives exhibit these skills?
  • How to make new and increasingly comprehensive pipelines for the untapped opportunities all around?

Investing time and resources on these areas can enable the business network too can realign itself as an influential and a chief impetus for change, making employments skill based and increasingly effective.

How should organizations prepare themselves for this new beginning? 

“Globalization 4.0 has only just begun, but we are already vastly underprepared for it. Clinging to an outdated mindset and tinkering with our existing processes and institutions will not do.”

– Klaus Schwab

Founder, The World Economic Forum

Like Schwab rightly says, ready or not, the new world is already upon us. Be it legendary organizations or the budding start-ups, the need to scale oneself to meet the requirements of the new economy has left none behind. Hence, this scenario calls for efforts on this front to help the organizations stay in the race at this marathon for change and development and even champion the same, in the era of Industry 4.0:

  1. Collaborate for a better transition: The shift from the familiar practices to a whole new plain can be the most turbulent one. In order to cushion its effects, plan wisely and scale your resources in a way to sustain your workforce. Adopting open innovation cultures and fostering an ecosystem that is cross-functional is the way to bridge this gap efficiently.
  2. On board people who can create change: The ability to alter the DNA of an organization and keep the employees aligned to the upcoming changes, lies in the hands of an able HR Executive. Hence, create an HR team that excels in change management and are enthusiastic about embracing Industry 4.0 by accelerating and spreading change. This would help you disseminate the burden of change from the root level and will keep your workforce prepared for it.
  3. Invest in your existing workforce: The requirements for highly skilled workforce in the new economy does not necessarily convey the need for a new and younger workforce. Create the best of both worlds by reskilling and upskilling your existing workforce and there by address your globalization demands. You could enroll them on various practical and virtual learning platforms and monitor their progress closely with robotic mentoring and other such advanced methods.
    Industry 4.0
  4.  Inculcate a lifelong learning culture: Being constantly updated with the newest technology not only addresses your concerns of embracing Industry 4.0 but also keeps you braced up for Industry 5.0 and its series, as and when they take shape. You could hence make ‘learning’ a part of your organizational culture and knowledge seeking, sharing and upgradation a part of your KRA. Focus on building a sturdy L&D environment with new-age offline/online learning courses etc. that keeps your workforce change-ready.
  5.  Nurture and nourish the soft skills: Nurture and nourish the soft skills: While technical skills provides you with the knowledge and means to keep up with the new-age revolution, working upon your soft skills strengthens the foundation from within you to build upon your technical and job-related skills. Hence, invest your resources on developing human soft skills such as thinking, creativity, curiosity, flexibility, problem solving, decision making, analytical thinking, communication, service orientation, negotiation and so on.

Embracing Industry 4.0 is certainly going to be a challenge, but like mentioned before, to challenge our abilities and status-quo to move above and beyond is the hallmark of human nature. Hence, even though we are not left with many choices in welcoming the new economy, but we are provided with many ways to do so. The better we manage this change, the greater the benefits will be and training our future workforce is the vital way organizations can provide thought leadership and decisive actions.

We, at Draup, having embraced AI and Digitalization much before time, believe in facilitating other organizations’ growth equally with our reskilling and path predictor models. Our AI-based talent intelligence platform helps HR leaders with strategic insights on talent trends and evolving new-age skills in the ecosystem. Data-driven decisions assist in building workforce planning solutions, comprising hiring and reskilling programs to generate a diverse workforce.

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