Skilling technology workforce in the post-pandemic era
Digital acceleration has taken a quantum leap post-apocalypse making the technology workforce the protagonist of the digital world. I am not referring to any science fiction movie here but stating a real-life scenario of the post COVID era.
This technical workforce is facing a gamut of challenges at an unprecedented scale with the digital surge. They are surrounded by high expectations to compete in the technological innovation landscape. Moreover, remote working has added to their challenges.
The challenge as an L&D and HR is to upskill and make this remote technical workforce ready for the digital-first world. Most companies are signing up with tech training platforms and solutions. These initiatives can surely help in improving tech skills. But is that enough?
It is imperative to look at the modern tech workers through the post-covid lens and understand what they require.
Modern tech workers require new-age technical skills. They need opportunities to solve problems, practice what they’ve learned, and collaborate with various teams like sales, business development, customer success, etc to create innovative technical products.
Along with tech skills, employees need to have the right set of behavioral skills, leadership skills, soft skills, and a human-centric approach for finding effective solutions to complex user needs. HR and L&D teams need to walk the extra mile to make tech skilling and development impactful in the post covid era.
Rethinking skilling and development in the post-COVID era
Digital disruption and the pandemic have called for higher use of AI, automation, robotics, and the Internet of Things. There have been radical shifts in customer requirements and purchasing behavior.
The technical teams of the post COVID era have a tremendous responsibility of meeting digital requirements and building forward-looking products while working remotely. Companies need to be more creative and optimize their valuable technical resource by re-thinking skilling and development.
Create micro experiences
Drip information through micro-learning helps in breaking the cycle of learning and forgetting especially in the complex technical field. Microlearning easily fits into the flow of work of a technical team. The tech workers can grow their knowledge while being focused on the work routines.
For instance, a Pythonista is trying to learn Golang. So, instead of sharing an eBook on How to learn Golang, you can share learning nuggets on how to make a struct type incomparable in Go with an example or a short video tutorial on how to clone slices in Go.
Practice makes a man perfect. After watching a short video the learner can take a quick assignment to practice what they have learned. To ensure the tech worker performs well, you need to give them ample opportunities to practice and apply what they’ve learned to work.
Tap into social learning
The siloed approach to learning isn’t effective in the modern technical world. The chances of technical innovations are higher when smart minds meet. Techies have always been very community-driven. They like to learn from their communities. Social learning is a much better option for them than listening to a course alone.
Social learning opens doors to more opportunities; the tech team can listen to new ideas, absorb and experiment together. They can share information and get their queries resolved instantly. Disprz, a learning solution offers a social platform like Buzz where learners can start a discussion thread on a particular topic. For instance, a developer is facing an issue while developing an app, he can instantly post the issue on the social wall and the teammates or trainer can respond to it.
Focus on multiple skills
To be relevant in the post COVID era, tech teams need to move beyond technical boundaries and have a more human-centric approach. They need to explore a wider set of holistic skills like behavioral and soft skills to address some bigger challenges that people face.
For instance, a UI/UX designer might have the best of technical abilities but without deep listening skills and empathy, he will fail to cater to the specific needs of the new-age customer. To align technology with the user’s pain points and requirements, honing multiple skills is pivotal.
But how to do that?
A holistic skilling stack that not only identifies the tech skills your technologist needs but also predicts and recommends what other behavioral, leadership, and soft skills they’ll require, depending on the role they play in the organization. For example, a data scientist might need a learning agility skill because algorithms around data science are changing rapidly.
A few changes in your learning strategies can help in making your tech workforce ready for the digital-first world. Learning programs are effective when the formats are customized to what best suits an individual tech worker. A visual learner will prefer a video and an avid reader might be interested in a blog. So choose a learning platform that caters to individual needs. The more effort you put into creating a hyper-adaptive learning journey the better outcomes you will see.