Things to do when the skills of your workforce become outmoded

The revolution in the technology landscape has changed the way employees across every industry work. From conventional working methods to modern work techniques, technology has played a huge role in the transition.  

If we look a decade back from now, without technology, it wouldn’t have been possible to change the nature of work and the dynamics of the workforce.  

Various technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Robotics, Automation, Blockchain, Cloud have already become mainstream technologies. Due to these advanced technologies, tech workers are getting numerous opportunities to excel in their careers.  

Simultaneously, each one of them is concerned that their current skills will become outdated in a few years. And rightfully so, many of the job skills that they have acquired will not be relevant tomorrow. Organizations are trying to leverage the new technological advancement to stay ahead in the competition. Moreover, without the next-gen skills and skilled workforce, organizations will not be able to adapt the change and create new products or services.  

So, the question then arises, what to do when the skills of your employees become outmoded?  

A possible solution is upskilling and reskilling. 

Upskilling is enhancing employee skills so they can succeed and perform better; reskilling refers to teaching them new and advanced skills to do a different job. 

As per a UiPath’s survey, 86% of employees said they expect that their employer to offer a re-skilling program to acquire new skills. Whereas, 83% of personnel expect the upskilling program to improve their current job skills.  

So, look out for the following four things when the skills of your workforce are on the verge of becoming outmoded. 

Identify the skills gaps:  

The nature of work is changing and staying on top of the change should be each organization’s priority. Identifying skills gaps is the most important and effective way to make your team ready for future opportunities. Identifying what skills need to be taught and what skills your employees currently have will help you and your organization be digital transformation ready.  

If you think your employees are not abreast with the next-gen skills and it’s a major concern for you, conducting the skill gap analysis will help you gain valuable insights on what training and development initiatives are needed.  

You can talk to various leaders from each department to identify employees’ current skills and needs for future skills for greater impact in their roles. The department head can tell you which skill sets are required. Define which soft skill and hard skill employees need to work on. Conduct a skill assessment program to check the current knowledge level of employees.  

 

Design a regular skills enhancement program: 

If you conduct an employee training program once or twice a year, you need to change this to an annual or bi-annual training drive. For effective reskilling and upskilling of employees with current trends, they need continuous opportunities to learn new skills, enhance the existing, and gain knowledge about new technologies.  

To implement a successful training program, you must not consider training as a yearly event and should initiate skills enhancement programs for your employees on a regular basis.  

Annual or bi-annual training programs have a low absorption rate, employees most likely to forget the insights they gained by the time they need for application arises. Moreover, it makes them feel less interested in the training program.  

You can also talk about fostering a culture of continuous learning, which can be done by mentorship/shadowing programs, rewarding people who perform better, filling roles internally, etc.  

This makes regular skills enhancement programs a better way to re-skill or up-skill your employees.  

Avoid one-size development plan: 

If you have been following the same training and development process for all the employees in the organization, your re-skilling or up-skilling initiatives are most likely to go in vain. The reason being, every employee does not learn in the same way.  

To avoid such a situation, you must understand the need for L&D from an employee’s perspective. To do this, first design a skills assessment program for your workforce. Identify their strengths, weaknesses, current knowledge level, and execute training programs for individual team members.  

Provide flexibility to your employees when it comes to the skills development program. Sometimes, due to busy work schedules, they may struggle to find balance. They have to balance these programs with other activities as well. Make sure they chose their own training schedule as per their convenience and select what training format will help them the most. 

 

Adapt new and advance technology: 

The nature of work is changing drastically due to technological advancements. In this tech-driven environment, it is only understandable that employees would want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technology.  

If you continue with outdated working mechanisms, they might feel that their skills will become obsolete soon. This growing concern can lead to an increase in employee turnover.  

So, adapting new and advance technology or training your employees is necessary when and where needed. You can also let your employees come up with a solution, give them the agency to chart their own upskilling and reskilling programs, this way, employees would feel in charge of their future and career progression.  

 

Conclusion The age of the digital revolution has thrown numerous curveballs at all of us, so don’t feel dissuaded if you don’t get everything right from the onset. One characteristic that is symptomatic of a great leader is a willingness to change; so, be ready to reiterate and change, as much as needed, to attain the best possible outcome.  

 

Pankaj is a digital marketing professional at Interview Mocha. He produces highly informative and actionable content for topics ranging from recruitment and social media hiring to candidate assessment. Pankaj believes in continuously learning and being updated with the latest trends in content marketing. 

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