The Challenges of Workforce Engagement and Adaptation In Current Times

The law of nature makes it difficult to go backwards once forward force is applied. There’s a similar analogy with Covid-19; many industries may not return to their original form as we saw them pre-Covid and the last few months of confinement have also made us rethink the way we operate.

Meanwhile, we’re faced with a skills gap between the skills we possess and the skills we need amid remote work conditions or distributed teams.

And then there’s the struggle organizations have with a disengaged workforce. The new, digital-savvy generation are more ambivalent when it comes to commitment. The traditional connect at the workplace has new definitions.

These complexities are massive for both organizations and workforces amid the new dominance of gig and remote work. Stakeholders will be defining and managing the challenges of maintaining a cohesive and purposeful team to enable their organizations to emerge stronger and more sensible than before.

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The need of the hour is to adapt to sweeping changes and foster a culture where each individual contributor is

  • A dreamer who takes hands-on responsibility to foster innovation as a workforce.
  • A conceptualizer who has ability to gauge the gap between current and desired,
  • An intrapreneur,who takes risks in effort to solve any given problem.
  • Able to connect and engage with the organization in order to co-evolve.
  • Ready to transfer knowledge and acquired skills to co-worker.
  • Agile enough to promote and support safe changes in dynamic environments.
  • Able to take personal stewardship and own processes.
  • A truthful learner.

What that calls for is role-preparedness in modern times.

So, how we prepare for this? The Industrial Revolution 4.0 will not allow for any gap between expected roles and acquired competencies. Role requirements until now had been created through a window to the past; but now we need to see these from the window of future possibilities.

Let contemporary workforces future-proof their careers to acquire processed wisdom, dynamic competency, and the ability to comprehend and decide pragmatically when problems arise. Those are the core skill sets for a winning formula.

Staying effective as an individual contributor is the consolidation of years of knowledge, linear progression, processed learning, continual practice, and the ability to accelerate the possibilities to acquire new skills. The hours of practice, both at work and at home, lead to practical insights and the ability to deal with problems quickly. It’s like velocity—one reaches a critical stage of expertise in a chosen domain after hours of practice and days of dedication. There’s a geometric progression of knowledge, which happens in professional settings only when one is able to execute with confidence and precision and set success levers.

My learnings through years of practicing people management have taught me that each one of us needs learning through multi-channels. Peer-to-peer learning, with an emphasis on self-learning, builds a seamless and transformational upskilling model. This method would not only stimulate individual growth, but would also encourage thought-provoking opportunities to develop a personal vision.

The current zeitgeist is a wakeup call to reset an entire mindset, not merely revamp the rules of the game. There’s a chance to do things differently, not solely in order to survive, but to thrive as well.

As multidimensional as employees are, there’s no dismissing the distress and loneliness workplaces face when operating remotely. Increasing effectiveness, retention and, most importantly, brand values requires attracting valuable talent. When it comes to giving employees the best, most engaging work experience, there is no room for error. The ecosystem would be required to teach all to take stewardship and be purposeful and to garner collective wisdom to manage uncertainties. Being adaptable is simply a must.

For companies looking ahead to 2021, it’s worth remembering the words of Vincent Van Gogh: “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

Sanjay Verma

Sanjay Verma
Sanjay Verma is founder and CEO of LrnEd, a career accelerator to help engineers upscale their skills to be more employable in a competitive job market.

Sanjay Verma

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