The need for digital upskilling in a post-pandemic environment

 

Almost two years ago, no one thought that the world would be faced with such a situation that requires a major transformation in the social and economic aspects of our life. Organizations, long before the pandemic were already considering workforce development strategies. With the rapid pace of technological advancement, organizations have already been subject to a new normal that involves job automation, AI and data analytics integration and remote work proliferation.  

However, with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reshaping of the workforce has moved beyond any imaginable scenario. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) “Future of Work Report 2020”, around 85 million jobs may be disrupted from the divisional shift of labor between humans and machines by 2025. While this may look discouraging, the report highlights that 97 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms. 

While technological innovation brings new opportunities, some jobs are becoming redundant while others are emerging. Hence, there is a constant need to reskill and upskill employees to gain a competitive advantage. The WEF report further adds that around 40 per cent of workers will require reskilling every six months. Employee skills must be enhanced to be able to perform better, interact and collaborate more effectively with customers, colleagues and partners. With a tech-savvy workforce, organizations can be more agile and adaptable to marketplace dynamics. Moreover, as daily tasks are becoming reliant on new advanced tools, significant training will be needed to bridge the gap, especially for non-tech professionals. Organizations must foster an environment and culture that expedites digital transformation and promotes continuous learning to tackle future digital challenges. ACCESS project is the facilitator in Kosovo, helping local small and medium enterprises digitally transform and gain a competitive advantage. The project is being implemented in cooperation with local institutions, namely the Ministry of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade and funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation. 

Reskilling employees may seem quite time-consuming and may require a lot of investment, however, the whole process brings multiple benefits to the organization. The mere process of hiring and training new staff, may prove to be more costly, especially if you are looking for specialized professionals in the field. While training them, a lot more effort goes with new employees as they have to get on board with the organization’s procedures, protocols and existing software. 

The existing employees are already familiar with the company’s goals and past performance. If that employee leaves the company, it means that the knowledge and experience are gone as well. This is valuable information that companies are not quite fond of letting go of.  

Establishing a reskilling program can also help the organization attract new dedicated and professional employees. These are the employees who are looking for an organization that values the current employees and it shows that by expanding their learning horizons and their roles in the company. In the long run, this may help the company to improve its reputation.  

One of the main goals of organizations is to remain competitive. To do so, companies must have adequate resources with the right skill that enable the organization to be productive, innovative, and profitable. By reskilling, the organization can fill skill gaps and provide a mutually beneficial endeavor that provides stronger job security for employees and stronger retention for the business. 

 

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