Re-skilling personnel to reduce the internal skill gap

Re-skilling personnel to reduce the internal skill gap

The concern about disparity in employees’ qualification increases as businesses promote the diversification of human resources. In particular, re-skill is a solution for business to untangle the dual issues of diversification and integration.

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Identify new business challenges

McKinsey’s 2018 survey revealed that 62% of CEOs will have to retrain or replace more than a quarter of their employees by 2023. Instead of waiting for 3 more years, McKinsey recently released a new study that confirm that companies should start re-skilling employees now to become stronger after Covid-19.

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16 months of the pandemic has disrupted business models, requiring businesses to change strategies constantly, employees are forced to learn many new skills to adapt to the changes. For example, a pharmaceutical company has 10,000 sales representatives, before they were proficient in working offline, but now each person must know how to work – sales – marketing – conduct customer care online.

However, in fact, not all employees can keep up with this transition, as the internal skill gap appears to be a major challenge. According to a global survey by McKinsey, 9 out of 10 CEO say they are facing a skill gap issue when develop diversification in the workforce. Moreover, only 41% of CEOs clearly understand how to solve problems, the remaining 59% are still struggling to find solutions.

To close the internal skill gap, 56% CEO said they would choose re-skilling strategy to improve competencies of the existing team.

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Opportunities come from HR re-skilling strategies

While the wave of layoffs is a waste of time and money to recruit new people, focusing capital on re-skilling existing teams to fill the required position is the less costly and fastest way to adapt to the new business model.

“The old staff already have specialized knowledge, understand business culture, just need to add some new necessary skills which can be learnt during work, instead of having to train newcomers everything from the start for at least 2 months of probation, not to mention the time to engage with new environment”, Ms Tiêu Yến TrinhCEO of Talentnet assesses the opportunity of re-skilling for businesses.

The unexpected impact of re-skilling has been confirmed by recent research by TalentLMS, Training Journal and Workable. Accordingly, 80% of employees say that they are more confident after being retrained and improving their skills. Data also shows that 91% of companies and 81% of employees said such program has increased work productivity. Re-skilling has helped businesses fill skill gaps with employees who are active, productive, dedicated and ready to adapt to change. 

Re-skilling also protects the corporate brand against the crisis of massive personnel displacement. Through being equipped with new skills by the company, employees will have more opportunity to maximize their potential, as well as strengthen their relationship with business.

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How to start re-skilling personnel?

In fact, many large corporations have begun upgrading their employee’s skills long before the pandemic hit. For example, Amazon has invested $700 million in re-skilling programs; MasterCard has done the same in 2016 to strengthen its human resources, and gain a competitive advantage over startups.

According to Talentnet, to re-skill effectively, businesses need to promptly identify the skills that the new business model is lacking, even skills that need to be included in the long-term development strategy 5-10 years from now. Then refine it into employee-specific skills sets, focusing four skill categories: digital, cognitive, social and emotional.

At the same time enterprises need to analyze the adaptability index of each employee, build a roadmap and re-skilling program in accordance with the actual capacity of each individual. In particular, it is crucial to constantly empower, rotate position, evaluate, modify for employees so that they can actively improve their skills.

A trend that many businesses are applying today is to use technology to serve the learning and skill development of employees. Technology make the employee learning experience richer and more enjoyable. For example, fast food chain KFC applied Virtual Reality (VR) games to simulate kitchen operations to train food processing staff. Similarly, the English learning application ELSA Speak with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology helps to point out mistakes in pronunciation and guide correction by syllable. This software is being used by many businesses in Vietnam to improve their employee’s foreign languages skills, thanks to the ability to create customized learning paths for each learner level, and integrate a comprehensive management tool to effectively control the learning progress of employees.

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