How To Re-Skill For The Workplace Of The Future
Just like tools and technologies, the skills required by employees to undertake specific business processes keep getting upgraded over time. It is always essential for an organization to ensure that its employees have the most relevant and advanced skills to attain the desired goals. It is the skills possessed by your employees that help your organization get more productive and prosperous. The COVID –19 crisis has led to the emergence of several advanced and automated digital platforms to streamline the processes undertaken by organizations. Also, the approach to work has significantly changed over the last few years. As a result, reskilling employees is becoming more and more critical for organizations.
Re-skilling is the process of teaching new and relevant skills to your employees. It can be carried out to help employees take on new roles and responsibilities or to perform the existing tasks better. It allows your employees to expand their skill-set and get trained in skills that are in tune with the latest trends in the industry.
Let’s take the example of a highly proficient software developer communicating with customers and taking an active interest in the sales processes. After a little more assessment, the management discovers that he is a natural salesperson. Now, he has an option to take on a new role as a sales manager. However, simply having a knack for sales cannot make him earn the designation. It is crucial for him to learn the nitty-gritty details about the job and excel in the skills required to take on the new role. This process is known as the re-skilling of an employee.
Here are some of the key reasons why your employees should re-skill themselves in 2021:
- Dealing With The Changing Work Environment
The pandemic crisis brought several changes in the work environment of organizations across the world. A report by the World Economic Forum published in October 2020 had predicted that the acceleration and automation of economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic would lead to a shift in the division of labour between humans and machines. It predicted the likelihood of 85 million jobs being displaced and 97 million new jobs being created by 2025.
Looking at the new trends emerging in all major industries, it seems like the predictions made in the report made sense. As new jobs are being created that require employees to learn skills they do not possess; it naturally becomes important for organizations to re-skill themselves to be in sync with the prevalent trends in the market.
- Avoiding Displacement Due To Automation
In 2021, most business processes across industries can be carried out with the help of automated tools and platforms. Although these platforms have not replaced humans, they need to be handled by them. If employees cannot use the advanced and automated tools, they are likely to be replaced by the ones that are. This leaves most employees with no choice but to re-skill themselves.
Re-skilling allows employees to keep their jobs by taking on new roles or changing the roles they are already assigned.
- Switching jobs
The COVID-19 crisis made several professionals worldwide change their jobs as they could not find work due to excessive demand and limited vacancies. Re-skilling allows people to acquire new skills that help them switch jobs and find work in a different domain from their core expertise.
Here are some of the significant benefits of re-skilling:
- Cost-effective Training
Making new hires often requires an organization to spend a fortune on training and development. If you are making new hires, it is essential to note that training is not limited to technical skills. New employees must be trained in several other aspects, including company processes, software platforms, protocols, and much more.
When you re-skill your employees, there is no need to train them in anything except the skill that needs to be taught. They are already well-versed in working in your organization and do not need to be trained in handling internal matters effectively. This helps you save money in training your employees.
- Building Diverse Skill-sets
Instead of hiring new employees with the required skills, re-skilling existing employees allows you to build a team of employees with diverse skill sets. This increases the value added by your employees to your organization, leading to improved engagement and productivity. Multi-talented employees are experts at multi-tasking and help you undertake several business processes with precision.
Read More: How workplace learning can enhance employee productivity?
- Retaining Valuable Employees
It is never advisable to resort to letting your valuable employee go to hire the ones who possess the required skills. Re-skilling your employees allows you to retain talent by training them in new and relevant skills.
- Facilitating Internal Mobility
Along with helping you retain valuable talent, re-skilling of employees facilitates seamless internal mobility. When you re-skill your employees and provide them with new roles and responsibilities, you create new and dedicated talent opportunities to take up their space. This allows you to leverage your company culture and improve your reputation in the industry.
- Improving The Morale Of Your Employees
When you re-skill your employees, it shows that you care for the professional development of your workers by providing them with better opportunities. This results in boosting the morale of your employees, making them more confident, and motivating them to give their best in what they do.
It is always crucial for a company to organize a re-skilling program conducive and effective for its employees. Here are some of the most critical steps that you should follow to establish an effective re-skilling program for your employees:
- Clearly Define The Potential Roles To Be Assigned
Always start by creating a well-defined list of all potential roles you are willing to assign to your employees by re-skilling them. This forms the base of your re-skilling program and provides the management with a clear sense of direction. It is advisable to focus more on the roles to be filled instead of the ones to be eliminated. Here, it is important to note that some roles require specific training. The management may also be required to group-specific roles for re-skilling to make the program more effective.
For this, it is important to foresee the future of your organization. Are you willing to venture into new markets? Are you willing to develop new products? Questions like these would help you clearly define the opportunities to be created for your employees.
- Identify The Employees To Be Re-skilled
This is arguably the most challenging step involved in organizing a re-skilling program. It is hardly possible for an organization to re-skill all its employees. You need to select the employees you are willing to provide new opportunities as decided in the previous step.
For this, it is important to evaluate every employee working in your company and assess their eligibility to be re-skilled. You can ask the following questions to make your job easier:
- Which departments do you consider for re-skilling?
- What are the criteria for selecting an employee to be re-skilled?
- What are the benefits of re-skilling your employees, and do they outweigh the risks?
- How would you grade the suitability of your employees to be selected for re-skilling?
Answering these questions will help you clearly define the criteria for selecting employees that would be provided with new opportunities for being re-skilled.
- Identify The Areas For Improvement
Once you have selected the employees that need to be re-skilled, it is crucial to identify the areas in which every chosen employee should improve. When you provide an employee with a new role and new responsibilities, they are expected to improve their work.
For example, if an employee is proficient in conducting sales but needs to improve on maintaining records, they need to be specifically trained in the critical area to take on the new role effectively.
- Select The Re-skilling Methods
This step is similar to choosing training methods for new employees. You can choose multiple re-skilled methods based on your needs and preferences, including workshops, group sessions, individual mentoring, microlearning, and many more.
- Discuss The Program With The Employees
It is always advisable for the management to discuss the re-skilling program with the employees who will be a part of the same. Take them through all the processes smoothly without jumping the gun. When your employees understand what is essential for them and the organization, they will take on the new roles with renewed fervour.
The Final Word
These were some of the most important steps to follow to re-skill your employees. In the age of immense competition and seamless technological advancements, keeping your employees trained in the latest and highly relevant skills in the industry you operate in is always advisable.