Given the unprecedented situation in the recent past, organizations worldwide are struggling with a pressing need to plug skill gaps that have occurred due to a change in business priorities and work culture. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report points out that half of all employees around the world will need reskilling by 2025. As per a Mckinsey Global Survey, skill building is the best way to fill the skill gaps, before companies go ahead with hiring, contracting, or deploying employees.
Yet, it’s understandable that companies find it overwhelming to suddenly take corrective actions to fill in the skills gaps and design effective programs to do so on a large scale. This article presents some steps and best practices that will help L&D nail the right strategy to get their skills development program on track.
Step 1: Identifying Possible Skill Gaps
The first step is to undertake a planning strategy to identify what sort of skills gaps exist in the workforce. This involves taking a look at the company’s current skills sets and comparing it with the overall demand for skills required to deliver on business goals, digital transformation agenda, and organizational needs.
The best way is to use data and metrics instead of relying on guesswork so that you can target areas that are critical to achieve business results and generate ROI. One way is to consider acquiring feedback from employees on their performance and where they feel they are lacking and could do with support to perform better.
Step 2: Developing an Effective Strategy to Plug Skills Gaps
The next step is to focus on how the organization can shape the skills strategy to close projected gaps and ensure that the workforce is future-ready. There has to be specific planning that goes into understanding the skill-building elements of the strategy to create a comprehensive training and development program.
There are several important decisions in this step including what kind of learning formats to focus upon, how to curate and deliver learning and development plans to benefit employees, and what kind of delivery platforms and infrastructure to use in the process.
Step 3: Designing Personalized Learning Journeys for Employees
While skills gaps are a real issue, the fact also remains that employees have too much lined up for them especially at a time when remote working is the norm. As the lines between personal and professional lives are blurred, employees are finding it difficult to dedicate time especially for learning amidst their busy schedules.
They appreciate learning programs that are personalized to their needs, job roles and aspirations, so that they can focus on only what’s relevant to them without wasting their time over learning that may not benefit them.
Step 4: Leveraging Right Learning Platforms to Skill at Scale
The final stage involves the actual execution and implementation of the skill-building exercise at scale. This involves ensuring that there is a proper skill building exercise in place for the workforce, that there are proper programs within the organization that encourage learning, and that there is a system in place for measuring the impact.
This phase mainly involves activities like setting up a skilling arena or other platforms dedicated to learning, delivering an overall skills transformation program at scale while focusing on employee capability-development, implementing robust measuring metrics to track the impact of the program and so on.
Now is a critical time for organizations to strengthen their skill-building initiatives. There have to be some drastic measures in workforce development and skill building if they wish to survive and thrive in the future while adapting to constant disruptions. The need of the hour is a well-designed holistic approach to skills transformation that will help companies stay ahead and eliminate the gaps.