Upskilling has no doubt become a buzzword in recent years, and with good reason. Especially over the past 18 months, the workplace, and the workforce as we knew it, has changed radically, alongside the accelerated technology adoption. Organizations today are constantly on the lookout for candidates who are not just technically qualified for the current job role but also display a willingness to upskill to be a part of the future-ready workforce. Although the pandemic has led to a massive shift in working norms with the majority of the global workforce working remotely, organizations are gradually beginning to either reopen the workplace or switch to a hybrid model.
Now, to help employees cope with the fast-changing work environment powered by digital transformation, organizations have begun to incorporate upskilling programs in collaboration with professional education firms. CHROs (Chief Human Resource Officers) in nearly every organization across industries are keen on hiring talent that possesses diverse skills and is workplace ready. Given the current dynamic working landscape, upskilling is perhaps the one solution that will help in ensuring employees are equipped to tackle the changes and thrive in the business environment.
The ‘Human vs Automation’ debate
Ever since smart technologies began to gain traction and revolutionize the world, people have been having a ‘tug of war’ on humans vs automation. But this is perhaps a never-ending debate since some believe that automation such as AI, ML, Robotics, etc., will take over their jobs, while the rest believe that there is no comparison for the human workforce. Interestingly, both sides are right. Although the human mind cannot be matched by machines, some jobs can be taken over by automation given its cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and error-free working. This is precisely why it’s important to strike a balance.
Humans and machines working together will result in unimaginable progress for humankind. However, for this to happen, upskilling is the key. Today, companies are rapidly automating several functions, making it essential for employees to upgrade their technical skills to avoid becoming redundant amidst the cut-throat competition.
The pandemic effect
While every industry and its workforce are bound to face disruptions from various factors, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major, unprecedented force that has hastened the need for change and adaptation. With global economic volatility and organizations racing to adopt cutting-edge technology, a significant part of the workforce bore the brunt. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), over 10 million people have faced job losses just during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This alarming number coupled with rapid digitization has made upskilling imperative. A significant number of future jobs will require different skillsets than those that the current workforce has – a shift in the mindset, from being market-ready to being talent ready, is necessary. Besides this, with employees now being asked to return to the workplace gradually, organizations need to ensure they can adapt efficiently.
The gradual return of employees to the workplace means that organizations not only need to consider upskilling but also increase connectivity and a sense of belonging, especially since several companies are adopting a hybrid model of working. A growing skill gap will not only render jobs redundant but also hinder companies’ ability to harness technology’s potential to its fullest. Understanding how technology can help the business and accordingly availing the help of professional education firms that can provide employees with the skillsets required in the future will be a major step in the right direction to shape the workforce into a workplace and future-ready one.