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Technology -- it’s that double-edged sword that is, on the one hand, changing the world for the better, but yet creating what some say is a global reskilling emergency.
The reality is that new technologies are transforming the workplace at lightning speed. So fast and pervasive in fact that, by 2030, organizations will need to reskill more than 1 billion people, according to the World Economic Forum. That is one-third of all jobs worldwide.
And it isn’t just tech skills that are falling behind. The World Economic Forum says, “While it will be necessary for people to work with technology, we’re also seeing a growing need for people to develop specialized skills for how they interact with each other. These include creativity, collaboration and interpersonal dynamics, as well as skills related to specialized sales, human resources, care and education roles.”
Tackling the reskilling crisis will take nothing short of a revolution in how organizations approach training, retraining and lifelong learning for their employees. Here are some ways to get started.
It may be no wonder that many companies feel their teams are falling behind in critical skill sets. In Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends Survey, only 11 percent of global executives could give their learning cultures an “excellent” rating. Yet, 86 percent agree that reinventing learning opportunities that enhance their employees’ skills is a top priority.
Organizations must be willing to devote the funding and leadership muscle to close that gap. An example is U.K.-based Lloyds Banking Group, writes M. Dianne McCormick in the February issue of Mobility magazine. Its $3 billion strategic investment plan now includes a pillar focused solely on transforming operations and ensuring its people have the right skills. “A majority of its employees will need new skills in only three years, to be delivered through an additional 4.4 million hours of learning and development,” she says.
Leveraging automation is only as good as the skills of the people interacting with it. For many global companies, automation has not yet translated into greater productivity. The numbers might be surprising. Nearly two-thirds of executives in both the U.S. and Sweden – and at least half in other countries surveyed – say automation is not improving their employees’ productivity.
Why? Because many companies have not adjusted their skills training to account for these new so-called super jobs. Those are jobs that integrate components of multiple jobs into one, enhanced by technology. According to Capgemini’s Upskilling Your People in the Age of the Machine, only 16 percent of companies plan to upskill their employees. Businesses that pair upskilling with automation can reap dramatic productivity savings, and are less likely to lose employees to other organizations that are prioritizing lifelong learning opportunities.
If you want to retain employees in this tight labor market, give them opportunities to learn and grow. A whopping 94 percent of employees say they would stay longer at a company if it invested in their career. And while reskilling to stay technologically current is part of that growth, it’s not the whole story.
Leaders need to be continually groomed. Teams at all levels need opportunities to hone their knowledge of international culture, working with diverse teams, and even mastering foreign languages that enhance their work-life communication. Upskilling employees with training in emotional intelligence, critical thinking, creative problem solving and other soft skills ensures they have a well-rounded toolkit of knowledge for the fast-changing, competitive business world we operate in.
Dive deeper into reskilling, upskilling and how to reinvent learning in the February issue of Mobility magazine. Be sure to also check out Worldwide ERC®’s Learning Portal when thinking about your own and your team’s upskilling needs.
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