“Reskilling as means to a Resilient Workforce” | Ms Ranjita Raman | CEO | Jaro Education
Automation and digital technology have disrupted almost all sectors of the economy. Not from a negative perspective, but it has changed the job dynamics for employers and employees. On top of that, employees’ expectations of their working lives have changed due to the pandemic. Employers used to reskill employees to retain and stay ahead of the curve, but the scenario has changed to survival. It is no longer a choice. Because of global industry volatility and inflation, a well-paying, stable job that promotes long-term career advancement is more important than ever.
Organisations are emphasising more on talent development to keep up with the new norm of remote work, rein in business model disruptions, and accelerate the digital transformation process. Reskilling, which is the acquisition of new skill sets distinct from the ones already possessed, can provide a career lifeline for tomorrow’s emerging workforce. Businesses seem to be less successful at reskilling than at upskilling, as reskilling requires organisations to work seamlessly across separate functional divisions. Like reskilling an accountant into a digital marketer needs coordination between the finance and marketing teams of an organisation, whereas upskilling a social media manager to an SEO specialist would only involve coordination within the marketing division of an organisation.
As a result of the technology’s advent, occupational responsibilities and skill sets are rapidly becoming outmoded, and this is precisely where reskilling comes into the play. The advent of technology means, quite rapidly, job roles and skill-sets are becoming obsolete, and this is precisely where reskilling serves a significant purpose. Reskilling has the potential to promote corporate growth and resilience with the rapidly altering business landscape. Reskilling is flexible and scalable, allowing businesses to address their employees’ current and future skill needs quickly.
Work culture has evolved gradually with time, and so have the needs of the employees from their jobs. Earlier, jobs were need-based. People used to work to provide themselves and their dependents with necessities. The generations after them worked to better their living standards, but now the millennial and Gen Z population are looking for more than a mundane job. They want opportunities that anchor their aspirations.
According to Gallup’s report on How Millennials Want to Work and Live, 87% of millennials seek workplaces that provide opportunities for career growth and professional development opportunities. To win the war for talent, organisations must assist employees in understanding their transferable skills.
Employee reskilling is a successful strategy for lowering turnover. Employers may be able to retain employees looking for learning opportunities and fill open positions internally. Moreover, employees can wear multiple hats while working on the current one, making them feel a lot more able and powerful. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, supported the idea of reskilling warehouse workers as technology replaced them. In 2019, it committed $700 million to assist them in furthering their technical expertise to fill new roles in software engineering and IT support.
Making skill development a top priority can result in measurable business results. It demonstrates the company’s intention to invest in existing employees rather than hiring new ones. Employee retention and engagement definitely witnesses a surge through reskilling, allowing them to learn and grow while remaining in their current position.
Recruiting costs and lost productivity while hiring new candidates can significantly impact the company’s bottom line. Here, reskilling helps the employer to reduce these costs by allowing existing employees to take on new roles within the organisation.
Current employees who understand the importance of a reskilling culture will also help to strengthen the employer’s brand when they share their experience. Their positive feedback may result in a more robust talent pipeline for the organisation.
The dual disruptions of the pandemic and automation have accelerated the use of technology across industries, changing tasks, employment, and skills. Jobs and new-age skill sets are evolving at a breakneck pace. Continuous skill development will be the only safety net in this new information age.