Even before the crisis disrupted our lives, the advent of advanced technologies and evolving styles of working, brought forth the need to acquire new skills for employees. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute in 2017 predicted that as many as 375 million workers, or 14 percent of the global workforce, will have to learn new skills by 2030, or even change their profession, due to automation and growth of artificial intelligence. Another recent survey by McKinsey highlighted the need to bridge the skill gaps experienced by employees. A staggering 87% of the executives said they were facing issues with regard to their skills, but only less than half of the participants knew how to address the problem. Besides, 78% of the participants were all set to reskill themselves.
Moreover, a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that 50% of jobs were at the risk of changing drastically, or becoming obsolete after a few years.
This has further accelerated the need to re-skill, especially post the occurrence of Covid-19.
Remote learning was gradually gaining popularity even before the crisis, but the pandemic has fast-forwarded its pace. According to a CFO survey by Gartner, three out of four CFOs plan to
“shift at least 5 percent of previously on-site employees to permanently remote positions post-COVID-19.” Although employees learnt to navigate through remote learning within days, or received some training, what really matters is how they’re going to stay afloat in the times to come. This also highlights the need for upskilling even more in these times. The path is full of challenges, of course.
For instance, managers are struggling to lead in times of remote working. They want to ensure productivity, and at the same time, want fruitful ways to continue office banter and water-cooler conversations, albeit virtually.
If there’s one thing that Covid-19 has taught us, it is the fact that we need to embrace technology head on. It is about creating the most conducive environment through live video and social sharing. This will not just help to scale learning efforts in a more cost-effective manner, but at the end of the day, ensure effective learning for employees through personalisation.
Even as some companies are looking to get back to the physical workplace, the skills needed will not be any different in this transitional phase.