The race to reskill amid COVID-19

The race to reskill amid COVID-19

According to the Mercer 2020 Global Talent Trends Study, although 78% of employees say they are ready to reskill, executives believe only 45% of their current workforce can adapt to the change.

Companies that can unlock reskilling at speed and scale will be able to leave competitors in the dust with the sheer pace of their transformation. And indeed, today’s unpredictability and disruptions are redefining the norm we know, setting brand new standards for the way we live, work and do business. 

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Adaptation is no longer just a choice, it’s do or die for businesses to build a workforce that can thrive in a world of change.

Six tips for successful reskilling/upskilling program

Most businesses are now aware of the need to convert themselves to a dynamic and adaptive organization to future-proof their operations, but many are at a loss of where to begin. To set them on the right track, Talentnet has drawn up a list of three steps to help you identify a workforce plan and three more to help implement it.

Identify what business recovery will rely on

At all times business leaders need to be clear on what the key value drivers and who the key employee groups are. Reviewing all the assets and skills at employees’ disposal and comparing those to what businesses will need during and after recovery, will help leaders map out what skill sets for employees to pick up to meet customer expectations.

Knowing what are needed is the key to build meaningful employee development plans. A solid skills development plan should ensure a solid knowledge base shared by all employees, while involving additional training customized for individuals.

Launch tailored learning journeys to fill critical skill gaps

When making changes to adapt with the new normal, company may face with expertise gaps. Leaders need a detailed view of not only the key tasks that key groups will undertake over the next 12 to 18 months but also which skills each of these groups will need to launch various reskilling and upskilling programs.

For instance, after making radical changes to their strategic planning to better deal with the immediate effects of the pandemic, a Chinese conglomerate went out of its way to revise its individual employee development plans. Based on the expertise gaps created by its new strategy, the company launched various reskilling and upskilling programs to help workers in mission-critical positions develop the skills needed to achieve their objectives. Once key personnel was up-to-date, the corporation extended focus to the rest of the organization on increasing core sales capabilities while enhancing virtual working methods.

Take action now

Reskilling initiatives help companies stay ahead of the curve and ready to take on new tasks instead of waiting for the need to arise to begin training. Developing your very own approach by capturing what works and what doesn’t will provide valuable experiences during moments of disruption where quick action and flexibility are of the essence. 

Act like a small business to have major influence

This could confuse others, as bigger enterprises usually have more capital available. But much to our belief, according to a McKinsey survey, the reskilling programs at small organizations (fewer than 1,000 employees) are often more successful than those at large ones.

The small businesses do not have so many layers to run through as big corporations do, thus easier to make big moves towards reskilling. They may be more willing to fail, and sometimes have a clearer picture of the prioritized capabilities, so they can rapidly address the skill gaps. This does not mean that bigger organizations cannot be flexible in terms of reskilling, yet it can be more difficult for them. 

Reserve budgets for L&D

According to Talentnet, the leading HR consulting firm in Vietnam, L&D plays a primary role in the strategy to overcome crisis for businesses. Therefore, companies should refrain from cutting down expenses on employees development. Restricting L&D budgets is only postponing inevitable investment, rather than saving it since the time will come when the skills need to be learned, and the pandemic is constantly bring new changes to the way we work. 

Don’t scoff at ready-made learning plans and materials

Instead of planning or developing something new, you should focus on building the resilience for your learning ecosystem: make it both more digital and more accessible to your employees. Furthermore, you should empower your employees to take in new knowledge that doesn’t exist within your organization by adapting new learning tools. A typical example is English speaking application ELSA Speak,  which uses AI technology to help employees improve their English communication skills. This application can also design learning content based on industries, and help businesses track their employees’ learning progress, calculate ROI & investment efficiency.

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Those are some instructions to build up reskilling programs amid the current crisis. Most businesses turn to professionals for advices since tried and tested materials prepared by personnel with years of experience in the field can be a valuable starting point. Thus, seeking for help from a consulting firm might be a good idea for businesses in the race to reskill employees during the COVID-19 period.

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