Upskill, reskill to survive digital era

Upskill, reskill to survive digital era

Digitisation has revolutionised work lives in recent years. Employers and employees have incorporated developing technologies into their workplaces. However, frequent enhancement in these technologies is now leading to digital disruption. Software is occupying the throne in each workstation but are employees keeping up with it in the same pace? The answer is unclear. 

Proactive approach in businesses through upskilling and reskilling of personnel is a must. It is cost and time effective than hiring a new set of employees through a peripheral network. It also caters practice towards retaining staff. According to a Nasscom study, approximately 40% of the estimated four million people in India will need to re-skill themselves in upcoming years by coping with new-fangled technologies like cloud computing, Artificial intelligence, Big Data analytics etc. Employees will need to upgrade themselves and try to engage with new policies and amendments for their future growth and long-lasting careers.

Another finding from a McKinsey Global Institute study also states that between 400 million and 800 million jobs will be mechanised by 2030. The only way the business industry can grow is by constantly reskilling the workforce.

Today, the work process is undergoing a drastic change due to technology enhancement, demographic shifts and globalisation. Reskilling, then, becomes necessary to deal with the impact on IT and startup industry which is expanding rapidly with the new technology cycle. 

The rapid digitisation of businesses makes upskilling more important than ever to avoid a gap between the skills and the organisation's needs. Some studies indicate the short shelf life of skills and go on to reiterate the importance of upskilling at regular intervals to stay relevant. For instance, a World Economic Forum report titled ‘The future of jobs’, stated that on an average, by 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today.

The IT industry, in particular, is struggling to find quality professionals who can demonstrate the skills they need. However, as technology continues its inevitable march, companies will need to pull out all stops to ensure they possess the skills needed to thrive in this ever-changing environment.

Why it matters?

We live in a fast-changing world where new practices are being developed, new technologies are being invented and new discoveries are being made. In an era of changing business priorities, upskilling is taking on new urgency. Here’s why.

Amplifying efficiency: If the employer reskills and upskills within the same organisation, chances of increase in work productivity becomes higher. Organisations which have cohesive education system result in more efficiency since the employees become more confident and aware towards their task.

Changing nature of jobs: Innovations in technology affect every employee and every single company. While automation has taken away jobs, it has also replaced them with new roles and new skills required to adapt to those roles. Finding talent with digital business skills is not just a priority in IT, but across the organisation.

Employee retention: Upgrading of internal staff motivates the process of retaining employees which not only strengthens the count but also helps in faster growth of the company.

Training programmes help motivate employees: Training programmes help boost the morale and satisfaction of employees, making them feel more valued by the company. In turn, they tend to express greater loyalty towards the company. Further, when employees learn new skills, they become ready to take the next step in their career path with the company and that translates into a win-win situation for both.

In the current economic scenario, upskilling and reskilling of employees is critical if they are not to be replaced. Companies and employees need to back each other for the betterment of tomorrow.

(The writer is Senior Vice President, Digital Services, Maveric Systems)