Retraining And Re-Skilling Workers For The Imminent Age Of Automation


Ever since the break of digital dawn, the world has been changing relentlessly by leaps and bounds. And even as people and organizations are adopting avant-garde technologies to keep up with evolving trends, the rate of digital adoption, which involves acquiring not only the new-age infrastructure but also the skills required to operate them, is far outpaced by the rate of digital evolution.

This difference manifests itself in the corporate landscape as a yawning chasm between prerequisite skill-sets accompanying automation and skill-sets currently possessed by the workforce, or their lack thereof. It is no wonder then that 64 percent of organizations consider digital skill gap as the most critical challenge faced by them in their digital journeys, while 49 percent of employees believe their current skill sets will become outdated in the coming half-decade – as revealed in a recent survey conducted among businesses in India.

It is no secret that organizations today are in need of technologically-proficient individuals to thrive in a highly competitive marketplace. However, to seamlessly merge into the corporate workforce, individuals are required to possess not only digital expertise but also professional qualities like good strategic planning and management skills and the ability to work with cross-functional teams. Thus, what organizations are truly looking for are professionals who are able to combine excellent technical skills with deep industry knowledge. And, as the same survey also reveals, Indian organizations are especially fortunate when it comes to leveraging learning opportunities to adapt to the technological evolution owing to the fact that India hosts the largest talent pool with digital skills.

This is where retraining and re-skilling programs enter the picture. These programs facilitate both amateurs and professionals to become job-ready for the emerging job roles that are in demand, thanks to the technological revolution in the corporate arena. Further, in light of several governmental initiatives like the Skill India program looking to harness the raw talent pool in the country by equipping it in various trade and industrial skills, both the demand and the market for such training programs have only risen, and for good.

On the other hand, employees are also expecting to flourish in an ever-evolving corporate sphere which is becoming increasingly difficult in the wake of disruptive digital transformations. Therefore, from an employee point of view, it also becomes the responsibility of an organization to provide their HR with relevant and effective retraining, re-skilling and career development tools and resources to enable them to safely and fruitfully navigate through the rapidly changing business landscape.

In the face of such challenges, the following are a few pointers on how companies can engage their workforce in re-training and re-skilling:

1. By facilitating a culture of continuous learning for their employees

A major reason for an increased employee turnover rate is generally attributed to a lack of access to learning opportunities the employees within an organization, especially mentoring and coaching from their managers. Thus, by way of ensuring trust with the HR, organizations can provide them with on-demand learning tools and resources, and by enabling the workforce across all verticals.

2. By leveraging advanced technologies to enable learning and development

Using a combination of cutting-edge technologies like AI, Big Data, Deep Learning, and algorithms, companies can effectively map the learning journeys of individual employees. After analyzing the employees’ profile and history, companies can leverage data-driven solutions to come up with relevant and personalized plans, courses and activities for individual workers as would suit them best. The data-mined insights will enable the training programs designed for the employees to be more engaging and responsive.

3. By providing an immersive and incentive-driven learning experience

One way of improving employee participation and engagement in development programs is by gamifying them. The impact of reskilling and retraining tools can be enhanced by tying the programs with peer-supported social groups and by incentivizing reward-based positive actions.

4. By extending facilities for on-demand learning

Eliminating the imposition quotient from the training and development programs can go a long way in enhancing their effectiveness. By facilitating the option of accessing skill development tools and resources any time of the day to the HR, and allowing them to engage with the program as per their convenience at their own pace instead of forcing them to adhere to a pre-planned schedule, can ensure more participation of employees with respect to such initiatives. Organizations can further enhance the element of convenience by providing employees with tools like mobile learning apps to access the development resources and track their learning progress.

Although the technological revolution has disrupted the corporate landscape, it has simultaneously also opened up several avenues for competent professionals. By ensuring that the organizations get the capacity building tools and resources they deserve, companies can forge a long-term and mutually-beneficial association with their employees in the face of rapid, and increasing digital transformations.


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