While the nearly overnight change to how many employees were working from home in 2020 due to the pandemic was initially nerve-wracking, many businesses are discovering that this new way of working could be a blueprint for the long term. Digital platforms made remote work with teams spread across neighborhoods and counties nearly as easy as when they all sat in the same building. As restrictions ease, many companies will never return to a 100 percent on-site workforce.
Interestingly enough, new ways of working due to evolving technologies were already disrupting jobs and employee skill sets, even before the pandemic crisis. Three years prior to the novel coronavirus, McKinsey Global Institute estimated that 14 percent of the global workforce—nearly 375 million employees—would need to change their occupations or acquire new skills by 2030 due to automation and artificial intelligence.
From a more recent McKinsey Global Survey, however, it’s clear that while the majority of executives have either already identified skill gaps in their workforces or can see them coming, less than half had any idea how to address the issue. Now, of course, we’re finding this issue to be more urgent as the pandemic has changed many working conditions. To prep for emerging into the post-pandemic era, leaders will need to upskill (or reskill) their workforce.
Three Tips for Upskilling
Many organizations have been pushed into digital transformation and remote work sooner than expected due to COVID-19. No matter what the path to reopening is in your geographical area, digitalization will continue as businesses examine how best to continue operating. This push to digitalization requires every business to upskill employees to be adept at using new technologies, following digital business models for achieving business goals, and adapting to new and evolving methods and approaches that contribute to business growth. Effective use of technology is critical.
Using technology well involves having the right skill set, or teaching new skills where knowledge gaps exist. McKinsey offers these three tips for successful upskilling:
- Identify the skills gaps between the current status and what will be needed in the new digital future. As you decide on the strategies you’ll need for the business’ future, map out the skill pools that will affect the future and drive it forward.
- Look at how work will need to change for the digital future. Specify exact contributions of each role—including needed skills and behaviors—and how day-to-day work may change.
- Plan how to implement training at scale, focusing on both training and how internal policies and practice will need to change. Upskill the most critical workforce pools first, focusing on digital, higher cognitive, social and emotional, and adaptability and resilience skills. These will be useful skills no matter how a role evolves.
Digitalization is not just limited to how employees will work going forward, but also how they will learn. As you add more digital solutions, look for those that include online access to comprehensive training libraries, featuring resources in a variety of formats that can accommodate multiple learning styles.
As tempting as it may be as budgets get tighter, resist the urge to cut employee training budgets. While a cut may save you money now, it will only delay your investment in the long run and cost you. Developing efficiency and resiliency now can help your business rapidly adapt to whatever the next normal may be.
Upskill With Technology and Training From PositiveVision
Using the right technology can certainly help you pandemic-proof your business. A business continuity plan is powered by technology, which in turn is fed by organizational transition that provides employees with the right technological tools and knowledge.
With the help of PositiveVision, you can give your workforce access to a variety of solutions that can be customized for your digital interaction needs. These user-friendly tools—including ERP, CRM, BI, manufacturing software, and warehouse management systems—can streamline processes and help protect and grow revenue streams. Plus, our team supports you with training and support at all levels, from in-depth training to refresher courses that can help upskill your employees to new and changing roles.
Take a step toward preparing your technology infrastructure and workforce for whatever the future holds. Connect with a PositiveVision consultant today.