The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every facet individual and business life in some or the other way. The widening of the skills gap is clearly evident, thus reskilling strategy becomes crucial. There is one thing that is driving businesses across the world in the midst of the chaos – the growing resilience of people. Without people, it is still remarkably hard to imagine things getting done the way they are used to. Human capital continues to be the most important resource for businesses. If anyone could turn the disruption caused by the pandemic to their advantage and narrow down the skill gap, it is the human capital.
Technology is growing and overtaking all the other things businesses need to function at a rapid pace. On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly hard for educational institutions across the world to manage the growing need of new skills and immediate attention that this need requires. The cost involved and the pace with which it functions makes higher education a non-viable candidate for reskilling people in the short-term.
In order to deal with the changes that are happening and with the pace they are happening, organizations need to devise a reskilling strategy that can help them overcome challenges. The reskilling strategy first and foremost, needs to feature the importance of benefits of looking internally to fill the ever-widening skills gap. The approach that companies take to formulate and implement their reskilling strategy will control how successful it is in helping them address the skills gap challenge. What most companies usually do is go all out on training their employees and expecting them to be productive at the same time. Companies never meet their talent development objectives when they choose to go this way. Moreover, this approach won’t work considering the new challenges that employees are facing due to the pandemic.
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The reskilling strategy designed for the normal should be a holistic one that targets development of people from every possible angle. The strategy needs to make use of the available technology to provide them with the tools to not only help them excel in the organizational scheme of things but also fulfil their needs at the individual level. This will empower the employees to not only reskill themselves in a better way but also prove to be a valuable asset for their respective employers in the long run.
The most important thing for organizations, even before they put together a reskilling strategy and plan for its implementation, is to find out areas or roles or positions that need a skill upgrade. If a company doesn’t know that it has an existing skills gap that it needs to fill or will have one in the future to contend with, how can it be expected to prepare to deal with the same.
But you won’t be able to do anything about the skills gap just by knowing that it exists. You need to have the right tools within your reach to deal with it. In most cases, organizations choose to take the easy route and start to look outside the organization to fill the skills gap. However, that is not the right thing to do considering the cost involved in hiring, on-boarding, and training new talent. Aside from the cost, hiring someone who fits right into your way of working is a big enough challenge in itself. Keeping these things in mind, organizations should start looking internally and upskill their existing employees to meet the skills needs.
Good leaders are those that make their own network worthy of dealing with the challenges of the present as well as the future. They should evaluate the current needs as well as those that will befall them in the coming time, in order to ready their staff accordingly. A skills gap analysis is necessary to understand the extent of the problem – the difference in existing skills and those required to complete a job. Once this is done, all an organization needs to do is to invest in tools and technology that can ensure the holistic development of their employees.
Another important aspect that a reskilling strategy should focus on is keeping all the employees, no matter where they are, engaged and connected. Due to the pandemic, many companies have turned to the hybrid model of working. So they have some of their employees that are working from the office and others who are working remotely. Connecting both the groups and ensuring that they are collaborating on a regular basis can be a challenge. It is important that organizations put more thought into increasing interaction amongst employees and leaders. Putting tools into the mix won’t do much good. There needs to be a strategy to support the use of technology.
It is also time to revamp mentorship programs. To do it, organizations first need to understand that one program can’t be used across different teams and departments. Mentorship needs to be an ongoing process based on the professional development needs of different employees.
Engagement is important but it shouldn’t be mistaken for micromanagement. So having tools in place to enable employees to communicate with each other and their leaders is great, but expecting them to be available for meetings at short notice and odd hours is not at all required. This can do more harm than good to the endeavour of providing a unique work experience to employees.
A reskilling strategy is of no use if there is nothing available to measure its impact on a company’s development strategy. Is it doing any good to close the skills gap? So it becomes all the more important for organizations to have access to a data-driven performance management technology. This will allow them to see if reskilling or upskilling programs are helping employees to make progress or not. Organizations should also make sure that technology is used to make things easier for managers and employees, and not the other way round.
- Conquer the Skills Gap: How to Quickly Upgrade Your Reskilling Strategy | Talent Culture | Srikant Chellappa | January 6, 2021
- 5 Ways to Close the Widening Skills Gap in Corporate America | Wiley Beyond | April 20, 2021
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