A Competent and Relevant Workforce Can Drive Industry Leadership
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
In many ways, Charles Dickens’ description of the world in his iconic novel, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ first published in 1859 seems apt to describe our present times too. Our exciting, ever-changing world is undergoing massive transformation, providing us with a plethora of new opportunities. At the same time, these far-reaching changes are altering the very fabric of our society.
Automation is increasing productivity by several orders of magnitude. The rapidly evolving technology landscape has thrown up a multitude of new business models and new products/services. Globalization is driving a multi-cultural and multi-lingual workplace.
Yet, the same technology revolution has rendered a large number of traditional jobs redundant. The World Economic Forum predicts that new technologies could displace 75 million jobs by 2022, yet these technologies are also predicted to create 133 million new jobs. While new and emerging opportunities and diverse job roles have opened up, they often require drastically different skillsets that are not available in the required volumes within organizations. This technology churn has impacted organizational performance because they find the existing skillsets within the organization do not match the changed priorities.
In the future, there will be an increasing emphasis on multidimensional competencies that are very scarce in today’s workforce. Driving this change isn’t easy. There is a dearth of tools and platforms for rapid re-skilling and on-the-go continuous learning and enablement. Besides, most organizations are prone to inertia and actively resist change. This culture unfortunately permeates into the workforce, making them largely unenthusiastic about embracing new realities.
Driving a Change
If organizations and their employees want to survive and thrive in the future, a fundamental shift in the mind-set is absolutely critical.
- Celebrate change
- Clarity and alignment
- Agile learning platforms
- Conducive workplace models
- Collaborative Ecosystem
Most organizations view change with great trepidation. This has to be addressed, such that organizations not only prepare for change, but celebrate it. Such an attitude eventually filters into the organization and helps make change a seamless and enjoyable experience for the workforce.
Many a time, talent re-skilling initiatives happen in an ad-hoc manner. In other cases, organizations might take a formulaic approach that is not aligned with the overall goals and ground realities. Being clear on organizational goals and ensuring that all reskilling efforts are well aligned is key. The effort needs to focus on refactoring to provide new opportunities for the workforce as well as on enhancing new-age competencies.
The ability to learn and adapt to the changing environment will be a major factor in creating a sustainable, future-ready organization. Most traditional models of learning and mentoring are not well-suited to cater to the current pace of change as well as to the millennial mindsets. Agile learning platforms that are designed to drive any-time learning need to replace outdated learning modules. The availability of quality global content matters too. InfyTQ , Infosys’ certification program is an effort in this direction. It is designed to establish talent readiness at an industry-level through certification, online assessments, etc.
Our workplaces are changing. Soon we will have robots (machines), humans and gig workers working side by side. Our workplace models need to be designed to enable seamless collaboration and hyper-productivity. The leadership needs to inspire confidence amongst employees to share their diverse and multi-cultural perspectives besides encouraging innovation and cooperation.
Lastly, the organization needs to function in a collaborative ecosystem of partners across various dimensions – technology providers/leaders, academic community, start-up and innovation ecosystems and lastly, governments.
Even in the age of technological transformation, people will always remain the greatest resource for an organization. Therefore, ensuring that your team is fighting fit and equipped to take on the waves of change could mean the difference between success and failure.