Author: Deepshikha Kumar, Founder, SpeakIn
Technology has changed the way we do business. In this rapidly growing environment, there is a constant need for employees to consistently acquire new skills and technical knowledge to keep pace with the world. Keeping up with the evolving technological advancement is a challenge for companies irrespective of their size. Even though technology creates powerful business opportunities, it also highlights skill gaps in sectors where the demand for skilled workers is high.
COVID has forced organizations to digitize at an unprecedented rate which has caused an immediate need of workers who can engage with customers across virtual touchpoints, and understand data and its associated tools. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, automation has already impacted numerous organizations across industries and is predicted to do so even more in the future.
A company’s ability to upskill and its capacity for training and developing its employees to expand their skillsets creates a competitive advantage in the market. As all employees don’t have the skills needed to sustain the business, organizations should hence take an active role in their employees’ professional development by upskilling them for the future. As technology evolves, new skills are required, and job requirements change, and upskilling fills this skill gap.
Due to the economic condition and the consequent layoffs, the remaining workforce must be upskilled and reskilled to adapt to new ways of working while having cross-functional knowledge to deliver on multiple aspects of the business. Workforce upskilling has become a top priority for organizations. As it is extremely challenging and difficult to recruit suitable talent to fill-in skill gaps, companies can upskill the existing workforce to address this problem. It is an economical investment and better than hiring and training a new worker. Upskilling employees can help to create an efficient workforce and increase the company’s effectiveness.
The traditional skilling methods of corporates have too much noise in their content that is not engaging leading to low completion rates. The content is not customized to the current Indian context leading to no impact or results in learning and access to the best experts is not easily available to everyone. Companies can, in such cases, provide training and development through effective upskilling strategies.
From the employees’ perspective, those who receive training and development opportunities are more content with the company resulting in improved retention as the employees are encouraged to work at a company that invests in their career development. As the workforce is content with the company and motivated to work, it also results in better customer experience. Providing employees with the resources to upskill will encourage and motivate them to learn new skills. Upskilling keeps the employees up to date on industry trends which allows them to offer the best recommendations and insights to clients, thus enabling the growth of the organization.
Every company is different and has its strengths and weaknesses in terms of organizational learning. To ensure successful upskilling it is important to identify your organizational skill shortcomings and to align the upskilling efforts along with the needs of the workforce.
The situation is changing so rapidly that it is essential to adapt quickly to a culture of learning that will help learners develop a skill set for the future. For a successful business, we have to help attract and upskill the workforce today. By investing in talent development initiatives to help learners succeed, organizations can position themselves for success. Upskilling not only helps employees thrive in the future of work but helps the organization thrive as well.
About the Author
Deepshikha Kumar is a TEDx speaker and founder of SpeakIn. She is an author and an avid guide on building excellence in speech,
Deepshikha recently finished her first book titled ‘101 Lessons to be a Damn Good Speaker!’ – the official SpeakIn guide to becoming a five-star speaker.
Deepshikha is the winner of 2020 Top 100 Women
Entrepreneurs by the Ministry of MSME Government of India, and 2019 and 2017 Asia Women Icon Award Singapore,