Preparing the Future Workforce
People are at the heart of any business. Their collective values, principles, behaviours and skills form the culture that is unique to the organisation. In times were technological & methodical advancement is ever more rapid and unpredictable, nurturing a Lifelong Learning culture that embraces change has become a must.Authors: Jens Desmet & Sonja Noben
The Lifelong Learning Challenge
Organisations have a clear societal and economical responsibility. They are the cornerstone for ensuring continuing employability. Sadly, declarations of digital transformations often go hand in hand with job-loss announcements. The logic: outdated skillsets need to make room for new blood.
« Transforming organisations end-to-end implies a massive change in available skills and capabilities. Bridging this gap is one of the 21st century major management challenges. » Jens Desmet
DigitalScaler believes that investing in the current Workforce is a better solution. Having access to the best talent with strong innovation and interpersonal skills is a strategic differentiating strength. Research also indicates that giving employees self-development opportunities drastically improves their motivation. A clear win-win if you ask us.
Improving your Upskilling Strategy
Based on our transformation experience, any organisation can prepare their workforce for the future. These are some of the best practices we have encountered when installing a smart and digitally enhanced upskilling strategy.
Measure your available skills. Start by asking a simple question: “Do we have a good view on the skills available within our organisation?”. Without a holistic view of the lacking key competencies, any upskilling efforts will have suboptimal results. You will be unable to create blended, personalised and contextualised learning experiences that adequately prepare employees to take up new roles, use innovative technologies or create disruptive business models.
Evaluate your Sourcing strategy. Bringing in expertise from too many sources may be counterproductive. Having too many consultants, coaches and trainers on the field holds a serious risk. They all bring their own preferred methods and beliefs, sometimes leading to significant discrepancies. While you want to promote synthesis-forming based on good discussion, you should avoid needlessly confusing your workforce.
Asses and increase your maturity. Investigating your Agile and Digital maturity leads to worthwhile insights. Organisations who score low often work in silos. This hampers the formation of multidisciplinary teams that can independently develop and sustain value creation. Social learning and T-shaping is made near impossible in such a situation.
Setup Traineeships & Talent Tracks. Giving a group of high potentials – a healthy mix of internal and external talent – the opportunity to develop themselves in an accelerated way sends a strong message within the organisation. By means of multiple assignments, the energy and insights acquired via the traineeship will be spread to all corners of the company. In turn, more experienced employees will be able to share their wisdom and historical knowledge.
Review the current upskilling process. The classic classroom training has become unsustainable and unaffordable for most organisations. In order to secure the massive upskilling of new digital skills, a scaleable solution needs to be made available. A digital learning platform can accelerate learning by providing bite-size content in an approachable, anytime and anywhere manner.
Due to the speed of technological & methodical advancement, professionals will need to reinvent themselves multiple times during their career. DigitalScaler strongly recommends an integrated upskilling approach that allows people to learn and adapt to the future employment situation. This will create the elusive Lifelong Learning culture that will strategically differentiate your organisations in the long term.