Usher in a New Age of Human Potential by Reskilling Talent

When it comes to workforce planning for the future of work, the ability to adapt and be agile is critical. A study by the World Economic Forum found that at least 54% of employees will have to reskill or upskill in order to meet future demands. Upskilling and reskilling can also protect workers against redundancies as industries continue to be disrupted. While some tasks and roles will be replaced by automation and robots, new types of jobs will be created. Getting a head start on reskilling potentially at-risk roles now can help to counteract the impact of declining roles and future-proof your workforce.

Fortunately, more companies are realizing the importance of reskilling their employees. Randstad Sourceright’s 2020 Talent Trends research found that nearly half (48%) of the employers surveyed report they will upskill existing employees to address talent scarcity. At the same time, 38% say upskilling is a crucial measure for deploying at-risk employees to different roles.

The Talent Trends research also revealed the areas in which employers expect to reskill their teams. In addition to technology-related areas, such as artificial intelligence (66%), analytics skills (59%) and cloud computing (54%), developing soft skills was also found as a priority by 60% of respondents.

While companies will be competing for talent that is technologically equipped, they will also need to continue cultivating soft skills within their workforces. Factors like empathy, problem-solving, communication, emotional intelligence and more will always be needed – especially in an increasingly automated world. The companies that strike the balance to develop both sets of skills will be better equipped to handle future challenges and opportunities.

Charting the path forward

While companies recognize the need to reskill their talent, not all are truly ready to deliver. Just 22% of employers say they currently provide training or reskilling to meet business needs, even though 91% believe it is their responsibility to do so. So, what’s the best path forward?

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The first step is to evolve the training and development strategies. Several organizations have addressed the impact of automation and digitalization by ensuring that their employees have the support they need to become more digitally fluent. Just consider how Schneider Electric initiated a “digital citizenship” program to ensure that its employees can keep up as the company transforms.

As the digital transformation continues to create new positions, organizations should consider appointing a chief reskilling officer to guide a strategy that will take both the company and employees into the future. Jason Wingard, Dean of the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University, recently introduced the concept as a way to align future strategy with people.

In any case, your company won’t have to go it alone. More educational institutions are dedicating learning centers and helping companies to advance their workforces. Meanwhile, governments around the globe are offering more incentives for employee training, recognizing the importance of reskilling to avoid job losses and to keep their citizens employed.

5 strategies to reskill your talent

If you’re ready to empower your talent to meet the needs of today and tomorrow, consider the following strategies:

  1. Set milestones for supporting talent.
    Your plan to reskill talent should begin with establishing milestones to determine when and how they will receive development support.
  2. Align with their goals.
    It’s important to understand each employee’s professional goals, so you can identify where their ambitions meet company needs and ensure that reskilling aligns with those objectives.
  3. Keep it focused.
    Use data aggregators and business intelligence to help you identify what future skills are needed for your business. Then you can offer relevant courses to reskill and upskill your employees in the areas that will make the greatest impact.
  4. Seek outside help.
    Partner with a learning institution or nonprofit organization that can provide resources and best practices for preparing your employees for the future. For example, at Randstad, we partner with the London Business School to prepare our executive leaders for the digital age. The program focuses on developing their skills around agility and new concept modeling to optimize business around ever-changing market conditions.
  5. Document your success.
    Keep track of reskilling gains and use these insights to continually improve and strengthen your approach, while adding to your employee value proposition.

To compete in a rapidly evolving market, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve. Rather than playing catch-up later on, now is the time to reskill talent. Determining a plan today will help your organization – and your employees – prepare for the future of work.

Wesley Connor

Wesley Connor
Wesley Connor is VP, global learning & development for Randstad Enterprise Group. With 15 years of leadership expertise and more than 2,000 hours of executive and team coaching experience, Connor has been an influential contributor to the design and execution of Randstad’s world-class learning strategy.

Wesley Connor

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