Upskilling your Workforce: The Why and How

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Learning is never a finite process. The renowned maestro in painting, Michelangelo, at the age of 87, said: “I am still learning.” The global pandemic that hit the world made it only more apparent. While a few organizations chose the thorny path to lay off a part of their workforce, several progressive ones understood the true potential of upskilling their workforce during these trying times.

Organizations are asking more and more employees to not stop with the skillset they possess but to keep upgrading it, paving the way to enrich themselves from a technical and domain standpoint.

While leaders have been discussing several approaches to endure this global pandemic and move forward, upskilling has been one of those strategies that resonated in every boardroom discussion, every conference and every other webinar. Let’s see why and how organizations are upskilling their workforce.

Why you need to take upskilling seriously

Research says that 68% of organizations invest in reskilling/upskilling training to manage changes within the organization, and another 65% say that they are investing in training employees on new, emerging technologies. The corporate agenda across organizations see a paradigmatic shift. Companies are making significant investments towards upskilling their workforce, and this need has taken centre stage this year.

Both companies and employees are seeing large-scale, accelerated workforce upskilling as a window, to stay relevant/advance further in the race. They believe failing in this area will make them obsolete and fall behind. We are witnessing a renaissance at the confluence of education and corporate training, which ultimately benefits both the organizations and their workforce.

3 proven ways to effectively upskill your workforce

1.  Microlearning

Admit it. Long training courses are uninteresting. Rather than packing everything into one long online course, microlearning operates based on an agile learning strategy. A well-designed microlearning material is not just shrunken content from an overly long training session but also a reinvented wheel that transforms how people receive and interact with content. Microlearning leverages different forms of content that present scenario-based learning challenges. These content forms induce active thinking and present learners with challenges to solve, instead of dumping enormous information at one go. Ultimately, this creates an engaging learning experience for employees.

2.  Building a learning culture

HR leaders need to emphasize the importance of creating a learning culture across their organization. They need to help employees understand that upskilling is a benefit to the organization and the organization’s investment in the employees’ professional future. This is where rewards and recognition play a paramount role. Simple actions like appreciating employees for spending valuable time learning something new can go a long way in creating a positive learning culture.

3.  Continuous performance management

The best learning & development strategy happens at the intersection of competency mapping and continuous performance management. As business processes continue to be disrupted, employees who passionately upskill themselves will excel in their area. Monitoring performance at regular, frequent intervals enables managers to create such employees and helps tackle technology-led redundancies.

An aging workforce, complacent with the existing skillset, weighs an organization down, particularly in today’s business ecosystem. That said, while we have seen how upskilling benefits organizations and how to maneuver it right, the value of any strategy lies in the ROI companies can realize. Organizations need to set the right expectations on these investments and quantify value with great precision. In the end, it’s all about business resilience. Those who implement a future-proof learning & development framework will rise above others.

To learn about several other nuances in the future’s workforce management, join us at the global HR Evolution Summit – Rise Above 2020. Neeyamo, in collaboration with a cohort of global industry associations, offers an exclusive opportunity to witness 50+ renowned HR influential leaders, 38+ engaging sessions, and 2 days of immersive activities – all in one place. Pre-book now for the summit here.

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