According to a survey complied by Go-Globe, up to 1.4 million workers will require reskilling by 2026. As many as 70% of these employees will require reskilling because their type of job is replaced by automation. At least 54% of all employees will require significant re-skilling and up-skilling. Of these, about 35% are expected to require additional training of up to six months, 9% will require reskilling lasting six to 12 months, while 10% will require additional skills training of more than a year.
Covid19’s Mandate for Change
Imagine a crisis that forces your company’s employees to change the way they work almost overnight. Despite initial fears that the pressure would be too great, you discover that this new way of working could be a blueprint for the long term. That’s what leaders of many companies around the globe are finding as they respond to the Covid19 crisis.
Consider the experience of one pharma company with more than 10,000 sales reps. In February, it switched from an offline model to a 100% remote-working one. As the containment phase of the crisis gradually recedes, you might expect remote working to fade as well. However, the company now plans to make a 30% online and 70% offline working model permanent, thus leveraging the freshly developed skills of its sales reps.
Even before the current crisis, changing technologies and new ways of working were disrupting jobs and the skills employees need to do them. In 2017, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that as many as 375 million workers—or 14% of the global workforce—would have to switch occupations or acquire new skills by 2030 because of automation and artificial intelligence. In a recent McKinsey Global Survey, 87% of executives said they were experiencing skill gaps in the workforce or expected them within a few years. But less than half of respondents had a clear sense of how to address the problem.
The Covid19 pandemic has made this question more urgent. Workers across industries must figure out how they can adapt to rapidly changing conditions, and companies have to learn how to match those workers to new roles and activities. This dynamic is about more than remote working—or the role of automation and AI. It’s about how leaders can re-skill and up-skill the workforce to deliver new business models in the post-pandemic era.
To meet this challenge, companies should craft a talent strategy that develops employees’ critical digital and cognitive capabilities, their social and emotional skills, and their adaptability and resilience. Now is the time for companies to double down on their learning budgets and commit to reskilling. Developing this muscle will also strengthen companies for future disruptions.
Re-Skilling & Up-Skilling
Today’s evolving world of digitization and automation is keeping companies on their toes when it comes to finding the right talent to meet the challenges of the new decade. But as the battle for talent wages on, companies are overlooking a prime source for growth: their existing employees. According to a Josh Bersin report, it can cost as much as six times more to hire from the outside than to build from within. With this in mind, industry leaders should be looking for better ways to reskill their current workforce.
Rather than turning to layoffs and buyouts to make way for the new skills needed in their industry, some organizations are turning to this new or renewed development focus. Last year, 59% of L&D leaders reskilled 10 to 20% of their workforce, according to Udemy’s 2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report: The Skills of the Future. As companies prepare to tackle the challenges of automation, reskilling workers becomes an opportunity to upcycle talent while creating a more open mind toward innovation within the workplace. The report calls out that a reskilling strategy allows “employees to see automation in a positive light” and likewise view their employer’s investment in the workforce as a favorable step for the future and development of existing employees.
As with any form of education, there are still pitfalls to watch out for when it comes to reskilling. Without the right structure and reinforcement, reskilling can become scrap learning just like anything else. Scrap learning – learning that is not applied back to the business — can make up 45% of training budgets. To combat scrap learning, reskilling must be supportive and experiential and hold employees accountable. To build this, progressive companies are turning to modern mentoring.
Mentoring supplements training programs to better support employees in retaining the knowledge and skills needed to meet new objectives. Mentoring connects people, allowing them to learn from each other. This connection creates accountability by providing mentors and mentees with an opportunity to enact a plan for implementing training into their work routines. This ongoing connection also provides consistent reinforcement needed to ensure new skills stick with employees.
Connecting and Capturing Knowledge with Mentorly
Mentorly can help your company facilitate the value of a people strategy that includes re-skilling and up-skilling your people. Within remotely distributed teams, most especially in companies with geographically dispersed office hubs, it can be difficult to match the appropriate mentors with mentees to begin disseminating best practices and skill knowledge. Moreover, it can be very difficult to manage this program centrally, and also provide a central platform for these meetings to take place. Finally, making sense of the outcomes and the data that’s collected is equally challenging, especially if there are gaps, or if this data exists in silos.
All of these components should work in unison and be centrally managed – and it can be, with the adoption of a Mentorly software license. Harness internal talent, and avoid the high cost of scrap learning and outsourcing.