The need for businesses to have collaborative upskilling and training programs

Publication: Dataquest
May 5, 2021

Advancements in emerging technologies and the advent of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 have been transforming various facets of businesses across industries even before the COVID-19 crisis. The ongoing pandemic has only accelerated the adoption of emerging technologies by several years. Organisations have been under intense pressure to adapt to massive digitization in order to survive the crisis. According to a news report, “Cloud adoption by organisations rose 80% during the first half of the financial year 2021 compared with the second half of the financial year 2020.”

Although emerging technologies offer a competitive edge by opening up new revenue streams, by transforming business strategies of organisations, they also act as a catalyst in widening the skill gaps faced by industries. The latest India Skill Report (2021) by Wheebox, in collaboration with Taggd, CII, AICTE, AIU and UNDP, revealed that only 45.9% of the youth were considered as highly employable resources. The primary reason behind this is the broadened mismatch between skill, academic training, and employment requirements. On the one hand, organisations are unable to discover suitably skilled professionals while, on the other, young professionals are finding it difficult to acquire the kind of job roles they are aspiring to be in.

The sudden outbreak of the pandemic had disrupted economies, which resulted in massive unemployment and job losses. This economic recession has given the business landscape a formidable challenge. Regardless of existing skills, organisations now need the digital transformation process to be expedited. Last year, we witnessed unprecedented scenarios emerge as organisations shifted to remote working conditions and virtual collaborations. As technology becomes part of almost every aspect of our lives, we leap towards a brand-new digital panorama post-pandemic with technologies like Machine Learning, AI, Cloud Computing, and IoT becoming a dominant part of our daily lives. And businesses are compelled to build a digitally agile workforce while preparing for the evolving landscape.

Here’s why upskilling workforces in emerging technologies has become the need of the hour for businesses.

  1. Ensures agility: Upskilling existing professionals in emerging technologies like Data Science, Business Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, to name a few, will allow them to swiftly adapt to the changing needs of the business. They will be competent to meet market demands and assist in driving the change, which not only improves their careers but also enhances the company’s profitability.
  2. Enhances strategies and operations: Emerging technologies provide a host of new opportunities to businesses. Upskilling your workforce in these technologies will equip them to build future-proof strategies. Newer technologies are already revamping almost every aspect of businesses’ interactions with their consumers, from sales and marketing to after-sales support. Thus, upskilling the workforce will improve the operational performance and offer a significant competitive advantage.
  3. Improves employee retention: One of the greatest challenges every other organisation faces is retaining their best talent. An organisation that enhances an employee’s career by allowing them to hone their skill sets, with relevant skills through training, is a step towards developing a healthy employer-employee relationship. This also in turn improves the employee retention rate.

Having an agile and adaptable workforce is the most significant asset of a successful organisation. The market is constantly evolving and on the cusp of unprecedented growth, and professionals must adapt to it in order to help businesses achieve their goals. This is where upskilling plays a pivotal role. Expanding technological capabilities involve developing new and relevant skills, and organisations should take steps to enable their employees to upgrade their competencies. Companies are actively entering into strategic synergies to upskill their workforce. As per a survey by Skill Today, a global report by talent mobility provider Randstad RiseSmart, states, “Human Resource Managers at 77% of companies surveyed in India said they implemented programs for employees to either upskill or reskill themselves to meet changing business needs.”

While companies are focusing on upskilling their employees, they should also take into consideration the time they have in hand, their interests, learning objectives and future plans for effective implementation and employee’s 360-degree development. Thus, it becomes crucial for organisations to select the right corporate talent transformation partner to best meet the organisation’s needs. Upskilling employees is the most significant weapon in an organisation’s arsenal, while navigating through the dynamic technological transformation where the competitive market is rapidly evolving.