Future Look |

Reskilling Opportunities a Must Have in Evolving Work Environment

There has been plenty in the way of research that suggests work as we know it today will be drastically different in 10 years.


To wit, the World Economic Forum estimates that artificial intelligence (AI) will displace 75 million jobs across the world by 2022 — and that pace will continue to increase. A PwC report predicts that 38% of jobs in the United States could be gone by 2030. The figures were 30% for the United Kingdom, 35% in Germany and 21% in Japan.

Thus, the onus lies on organizations to prepare their workforce for the coming tide by upskilling and reskilling them. This very topic was discussed at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland earlier this year. The “Reskilling Revolution” was launched as a global priority and its objectives were outlined.

As noted by Gallup, laying off unqualified workers and hiring new ones produces an ever-accelerating cycle of recruiting and firing, which is expensive, builds inefficiencies into the system and drains organizational knowledge. Gallup added that “a chronic labor shortage from layoffs puts a business behind its competition and it also weakens its position in the labor market, given the toll that mass firings have on an employer’s brand.”

There are a few ancillary benefits that reskilling and upskilling have on an organization as well.

“At a baseline, it just offers more engagement to employees,” said Ashley Jordan, senior customer success manager at Docebo, a provider of AI-powered learning technology. “It signals to the employee that their employer cares about their development and wants them to not only succeed in their current position by giving them the tools necessary to do so, but they’re also offering them the opportunity for movement within that company. So, you’ll see greater engagement within that job role, but also more productivity overall.”

Jordan noted that most organizations are trying to assess and determine what the return on investment (ROI) is for each business process. When it comes to reskilling your workforce, the roadmap to the ROI is fairly easy to track, she said.

“If you offer more training opportunities, they’re probably more likely to stay in your organization,” Jordan said. “You’ll notice less turnover, less attrition and more ROI in the long-term by developing existing talent rather than going to market and finding new talent.”

The first step of this process is employers identifying the areas where they need to reskill their workforce to be more equipped for the future. The second part, Jordan said, is establishing what outcomes the business is trying to achieve and determining whether they have the tools to achieve these desired outcomes.

“Do you have the tools necessary to achieve this engagement? If not, then you probably need to go to market to evaluate what you need,” Jordan said. “The process of implementing a new platform can be lengthy, but if you have the right stakeholders and the right buy-in with incentive for employees, then you can get that done pretty efficiently.”

As noted by Gallup, another variable is that leaders need to know the practical difference between talent and skills. That understanding, it said, can have a major impact on profitability and the capacity to compete in an evolving business environment.

Aside from the obvious business case for organizations to invest in upskilling and reskilling to better secure their future, the younger generations are also forcing their hands, Jordan said.

“Organizations need to provide those opportunities if they want to be successful as business and technology changes,” Jordan said. “Technology is changing exponentially and that’s changing the nature of the work that we do every day, so adaptability and agility on the job is going to be everything moving forward.”



Identifying Workers to Reskill

In this piece for Fast Company, Jeff Mazur provides three ways for organizations to identify workers that are best qualified for reskilling. Mazur, the executive director for a nonprofit, draws on his own personal experience in finding the right workers to reskill to provide employers with some quality tips on how they can do the same.

IT Roles Prime for Reskilling

Bob Violino pegs six different roles in the information technology industry that are good candidates for reskilling in this article for CIO. Violino writes that developments such as the growth of cloud computing and the rise of enterprise mobility and edge computing have greatly broadened the scope of IT in recent years, which in turn has given new meaning and scope to a number of technology jobs.

Upskilling and Reskilling Your Workforce

Although workers appear to be more excited than fearful about technology, employers cannot rest on their laurels when it comes to training their existing employees, writes David Mills in this piece for Forbes. Mills breaks down the reasons why organizations should be reskilling and upskilling their workforce and strategies for how to do so. 

Reskilling in India

Ronnie Screwvala uses “The Future of Jobs Report 2018” by the World Economic Forum to discuss the need for the Indian workforce to reskill to stay relevant in the fast-changing global workplace in an article for LiveMint.

About the Author

Brett Christie Bio Image

Brett Christie is a staff writer at WorldatWork.

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