Reasons digital upskilling becoming popular with mid- & senior-level professionals

Publication: CiOL
September 8, 2021

According to TalentLMS, 74% of employees think their managers need reskilling and upskilling training.

Outdated beliefs and strategies are bound to greatly stifle the progress of an enterprise if its leaders are not on top of ‘what’s next’ and ‘what’s new’. Contrary to popular belief, experience is not the only factor that fuels the vision a strategic leader holds for the growth of a company. The key role of people belonging to C-suite levels of the management is to facilitate innovation and then align them to the organisational objectives.

According to research by IBM, 56% of CEOs emphasise the need to aggressively pursue operational agility and flexibility.

In an era where technology and skills are interdependent, we are witnessing mid- and senior-level professionals quickly identify the importance and actively get involved in the process of upskilling. Being directly responsible for the active growth of an organisation, leaders today have realised that they need to understand all the complexities and interconnections of their business areas. And this requires them to be digital savvy and up to date with the latest trends and technologies.

Here are the three Ds that are driving the C-suite professionals to become active champions of upskilling in today’s fast-evolving, competitive market:

Deal with the digital revolution

The 2020 Gartner Shifting Skills Survey for HR executives reveals that 60% of HR leaders report pressure from the CEO to ensure employees have the skills needed in the future. As much as employers are concerned with the upskilling of their existing workforce, it is necessary for them to also be involved in a conscious upskilling process. If they focus only on reskilling their workforce, they run a risk of lagging behind in the rat race as new-age technologies go about imposing irrevocable changes across all industries. Gartner’s research recently showed that only 44% of employees say they trust their organisation’s leaders and managers to navigate a crisis well. Forecasting trends and leveraging the latest technology to develop new strategies to adapt to the same are the biggest and the most prominent challenges faced by senior executives today. The most ideal way to tackle this challenge is to become accustomed to, if not master, the emerging technologies like analytics, data science, etc. and their adaptive applications. This is of prime importance as companies today no longer compete only on the basis of their quality service or goods. They also focus on adaptive advantage for a further competitive edge.

Direct focus towards constant learning

By 2022, 54% of all employees will require significant upskilling, according to the World Economic Forum. Owing to the sky-high competition and the pandemic-hit economy, most companies are in a constant state of struggle for existence. The process involved in the battle to stay afloat is completely focused on adapting. However, the operative word here is to ‘learn’. According to a recent report from Citrix, 82% of employees and 62% of HR directors said they believe that workers will need to reskill or upskill at least once a year to maintain a competitive advantage in a global job market. An organisation’s capability to adapt is directly dependent on its inclination to learn which will eventually increase its chances of survival way into the future. Therefore, it is necessary for an organisation’s mid- and senior-level professionals to be involved in the upskilling process as it will provide them with an accurate picture of the market’s upskilling needs.

Develop overall productivity

The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is primarily fuelled by the rapid rate of digitization of all aspects of the business. The pandemic only worked towards accelerating the adoption of these changes bringing to the forefront an acute skills gap. To overcome these hurdles the most primary requirement was for the growth leaders to identify and utilise technologies that would enable the easy flow of work. A report by LinkedIn states that to enhance their personal leadership, executives turned to online learning (29%), management consultants (25%), and executive coaches (23%) for help. Having identified and understood the gap in their digital knowledge, mid- and senior-level professionals today are actively engaged in increasing their emerging technology related competencies to become new-age digital leaders.

With advanced technology designing the market landscape, the need to upskill with emerging technology and stay relevant has never been higher. As more aspects of business continue to be influenced and undertaken by new-age technologies, we see more mid- and senior-level professionals being actively inclined towards upskilling themselves to obtain relevant progressive outcomes. Adopting operational agility and digital flexibility can only be achieved through skilled employees who are led by digitally intelligent executives.

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