Article: How Gen-AI can Augment Future-ready Skilling Strategies

Skilling

How Gen-AI can Augment Future-ready Skilling Strategies

The new digital age demands a reimagination of learning as new technologies and business methods take over.
How Gen-AI can Augment Future-ready Skilling Strategies

The average half-life of skills is now less than five years. In some technology skills, it’s as low as two and a half years. [1] Building the right capability is no longer a good-to-have, but is a strategic priority for organizations navigating dynamic business environments amid continuous technological changes, and the impending skills gap. It is clear that merely gaining certifications isn’t enough; a robust reskilling strategy is essential to keep people up to date with advancements. 

The digital age demands that individuals and organizations adopt new technologies and ways of doing business. The recent rise of Generative AI (Gen AI) opens immense opportunities in every field, including workforce transformation.

Gen AI and Skilling

The rate of learning new skills must adapt to the evolving pace of technological advancements. Modern learners expect a great learning experience with hyper-personalized content, engaging recommendations, and intelligent career advancement guidance. 

The ability of Gen AI to create original content paves the way for relevant and personalized instructional design. AI-led personalized learning journeys have already been introduced. On an organizational level, conversations around productivity, efficiency, employee experience, upskilling, and reskilling are increasingly linked with AI elements such as Gen AI and AI ethics. 

However, while many HR functions are leveraging digital tools, they aren’t effectively implementing AI-related initiatives. [2]When it comes to digital tools, the proportion of organizations not using any technology has dropped from 15% in 2021 to 9% in 2023. As of February 2023, when ChatGPT was just launched, only 5% of survey respondents were using it, and a further 6% were planning to. [3]

However, one of the top priorities for HR leaders in 2024 is assessing and integrating new HR technologies like Gen AI[4]. HR and business leaders can start by understanding how Gen AI works and its potential. Here’s how:

Leveraging Gen AI for Future-Ready Skilling

  • Continuous Content Creation: Learning content often needs to be updated due to rapidly evolving needs. AI software can help continuously update and adapt training content, allowing for scaling up. Although 69% of L&D professionals are skilled in creating and curating content, only 3% currently harness tools to support curation. [5]

  • Personalized and Adaptive Learning Pathways: AI can use detailed learner data to assess competencies and learning styles and design customized content. However, it is essential to minimize information overload, ensure relevance to the task, and create practice opportunities.

  • Creation of Realistic Simulations: Gen AI can create realistic, highly experiential training simulations and gamification that respond dynamically to user decisions. It can also translate training content to match cultural and language differences.

  • Enabling Real-Time Feedback: Modern AI-based tools offer an interactive approach, providing instant feedback and answering real-time queries by automating assessments.

  • Equipping People with More Time for Creative Work: Gen AI can take over mundane tasks, freeing L&D professionals to focus on more value-adding cognitive work.

  • Predicting Future Skill Gaps: Gen AI can analyze employee data to predict potential skills gaps, helping to future-proof the organization from a skills-readiness perspective.

The Human Element of AI

Despite the numerous possibilities, challenges, and concerns about AI and Gen AI need to be addressed. At the top of these concerns is the fear of losing jobs. For example, what role will today’s instructional designers have if a Gen AI tool starts curating learning interventions? L&D leaders need to find the right mix of skills and technology for the jobs in the function.

Additionally, since Gen AI builds from available data, it raises concerns about data privacy and protection. The ethical aspects of Gen AI are under constant debate, especially regarding the thin line between personal and organizational data. Existing data may contain biases, and there is a risk of perpetuating these biases.

More than over-reliance on technology is required. L&D leaders must retain the human touch, the foundation for future skill-building. L&D professionals must leverage human interventions to empower people.

For example, working closely with line managers is imperative, as they define learning needs and encourage participation in learning. Continuous monitoring and validation of AI outputs through feedback mechanisms are essential to ensure the quality of training content. While Gen AI can create content, L&D must support learners by making this content accessible, available, and relevant for the job to drive learning and AI adoption.

The Way Ahead

Aligning learning with business goals continues to be L&D’s top focus area.[6]This upskilling strategy requires an adequate blend of machine and human intelligence. HR and L&D leaders must embrace digital curiosity to learn, experiment, and lead by example. The L&D toolkit should include both methods and media, combining them to support evidence-informed practices that improve learner engagement, transfer, and impact.[7]

Gen AI-led learning cannot exist in isolation; it must be integrated into the overall ecosystem. L&D is not just about learning; it is a powerful tool to build connection, purpose, and meaning. Companies must embrace both AI skills and career development to energize and retain talent, developing skills agility—harnessing the right skills at the right time for the right work. This is critical to unleashing the skills advantage for a future-ready organization.

Sources:

1. [Reskilling in the Age of AI](https://hbr.org/2023/09/reskilling-in-the-age-of-ai)

2. [Where HR Will Focus in 2024](https://www.gartner.com/en/articles/where-hr-will-focus-in-2024)

3. [How GenAI Could Accelerate Employee Learning and Development](https://hbr.org/2023/12/how-genai-could-accelerate-employee-learning-and-development)

4. [Workplace Learning Report](https://learning.linkedin.com/resources/workplace-learning-report)

[1]  [Reskilling in the Age of AI](https://hbr.org/2023/09/reskilling-in-the-age-of-ai)

[2] [Where HR Will Focus in 2024](https://www.gartner.com/en/articles/where-hr-will-focus-in-2024)

[3] [Learning at Work](https://www.cipd.org/en/knowledge/reports/learning-at-work/)

[4] [Where HR Will Focus in 2024](https://www.gartner.com/en/articles/where-hr-will-focus-in-2024)

[5] [Learning at Work](https://www.cipd.org/en/knowledge/reports/learning-at-work/)

[6] [Workplace Learning Report](https://learning.linkedin.com/resources/workplace-learning-report)

[7] [Learning at Work](https://www.cipd.org/en/knowledge/reports/learning-at-work/)

 

 

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Topics: Skilling, HR Technology, #Artificial Intelligence

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