Manoj Sharma

Future Readiness – Up-skilling to survive growth | Manoj Sharma | Head HR | Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd

Manoj SharmaPredicting future has always been difficult for human beings, except those mathematicians who could easily carryout predictive analysis by their statistical skills computing historical data. It becomes more complex and impossibly difficult, when there is a century old history and no data. This pandemic and the
subsequent lockdown have dealt a severe blow to an already-stressed global economy. Though it is impossible to predict what will happen, but silver linings for businesses is dependent on the events taken place in recent past and undergoing here and now. Many organization during this time may not be able to come back to their original situation and some may be able to do so after making significant
changes in their operating models and few has already seen sun rise from this crises.

Leaders make the difference by their differentiated strategic-thinking and ability to think in future for their businesses to survive and sail through such difficult times. Majority of the next line CXOs/ Leaders/ Professionals from whom it is expected to follow the trailblazer are not able to cascade or bring up the hierarchy in alignment with that vision, which the business leaders are able to see with different future.

Let’s peep through the lens of fastest growing skills, which are seen imperative for the employees to get geared to remain relevant. Udemy for business has published 05 workplace learning trends:

1. Theory to application: AI and data-science adoption is gaining ground in businesses. Marketing is applying AI data-insights on customer behavior to tailor sales offers. HR teams are beginning to use AI to recruit, screen, and interview candidates. Finance teams are applying AI and machine-learning to reduce company travel costs. The list of AI applications is endless.

2. Leveling up people and machines – AI and robotic process automation will read entire types of data in businesses to improve workplace safety, health, customer-behavior, hiring-time, fraudulent transaction, or travel-costs etc. AI adoptions and process automation will ease out manual transactions, and employees will stay focused on unique “human” strengths like creativity, emotional-intelligence, creative-problem-solving, quick decision making and business
a. Process automation tools on the rise – An interesting trend was found in robotic
process automation and business process management.

b. Soft skills like growth mindset, creativity, and communication – An uptick was found in growth-mindset, creativity, and innovation. Employees to adopt a growth-mindset of continuous learning and be open to change in the workplace. Leaders need to build a culture to nurture innovation and creativity. What machines can’t do, human skills of critical-thinking, communication, business narratives, and emotional intelligence.

3. Learning & development teams are starting to tackle reskilling the workforce – While reskilling for future skills requires long-term planning, the cost of disruptive layoffs and hiring can be more expensive than providing continuous training for employees.

4. Data-driven culture – to harness the power of AI and big data, positions of Data-Analyst, Data-Scientist, Data-mining etc. are being created. To create the culture of digitalization, roles are changing fast and becoming more fluid.

a. Marketers are learning digital marketing, Google Analytics and AdWords skills, they are also increasingly acquiring big-data skills like data-science, SQL, Excel, and Tableau.

b. Sales skills like public speaking and negotiation matters, but new data-analytics skills include Excel, R and Statistical tools.

c. Finance skills like Excel, Tableau, financial analysis, and accounting are popular, soft skills like leadership, strategic-thinking, and entrepreneurship.
d. Software engineers are learning Python, Java, AWS, and web frameworks (React, Angular, Spring, Node.js) are the most popular skills for engineers.

e. Businesses are transforming into data-driven organizations – by upskilling on tech skills like deep learning, algorithms, automation, natural language processing, Excel, data analytics, and the cloud. Fastest growing skills in various sectors in 2020 are as below:

i. Business services – like management consulting and marketing & advertising
firms are focusing on IT skills such as cybersecurity and networking as well as
Agile Scrum and CRM tools like Salesforce.

ii. Financial services – learning IT skills like AWS cloud and networking and CRM
tools (e.g. Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics).

iii. Software and technology – skilling on web-development (e.g. Express
Framework, Google Flutter), Agile project management, Microsoft Azure cloud
skills, and digital transformation.

iv. IT Consulting – Skilling on cybersecurity skills, AWS cloud, and IT
automation tools like Chef Software. Emotional intelligence and design thinking.

v. Manufacturing – skilling on artificial-intelligence includes deep learning and
neural networks as well as app development skills (e.g. Android development
and Kubernetes). Soft skills like focus mastery, personal-development, and
business strategy.

vi. Consumer goods – includes artificial-intelligence skills like algorithms
and natural language processing, cybersecurity skills, and soft skills like goal-
setting and business fundamentals.

vii. Retail – upskilling on data skills like Excel and data modeling, app
development like Google Flutter and Dart programming language, and soft skills
such as creativity and employee performance management.

5. Countries across the world are upskilling in highly coveted tech-skills – like Python, React, machine learning, deep learning, Docker, or Amazon AWS.

As new technologies like artificial intelligence disrupt the world of work, L&D teams will need to reinvent themselves to bring up or Talent-Acquisition to buy the workforce for the skills of the future.