Understanding employee requirements and everyday challenges is the first step to retaining and developing a company’s workforce and increasing productivity. It’s more important than ever for leaders to recognize the need of enhanced workforce development programs, since out-of-date and underdeveloped training could cost them their best employees as well as their bottom line.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses with the technological prowess to manage a digital workforce have had the upper hand. This unexpected and overwhelming dependence on IT has highlighted its crucial role in meeting changing company needs – a critical component of success in the post-COVID-19 landscape.
Technology affects every function from customer service to marketing and innovation. It is critical that businesses build a workforce development programs that foster a culture of learning and upskilling, allowing employees to expand their knowledge and expertise. This will lead to greater agility, drive customer centricity and accelerate digital transformation.
Sixty two percent of C-level executives were uncertain how to use insights to develop their workforce in an increasingly digital environment, according to a 2019 Accenture report “Decoding Organizational DNA.”
Here are three essential actions for CIOs to consider as they build workforce development programs to close this massive knowledge gap.
Leverage rapidly evolving technology
With the pandemic accelerating technological advancement, there is a lucrative potential to leverage digital experiences and adopt more innovative training program channels. When considering workforce education technologies, it’s vital to have a risk-tolerant mindset in light of new digital experiences.
There will be numerous opportunities in the future, for instance, to use and develop metaverse and virtual reality (VR) technology to completely engage employees and users. These technologies have the ability to provide a very appealing and personalised experience that has never been available to businesses before.
Upskilling activities should be prioritized
The need for a skilled workforce is at an all-time high, due to technological advancements. With only few employees with specialized skills available, there is fierce rivalry among companies to hire the right candidate with the desired skill sets, especially in industries such as software development, AI, machine learning, IoT, and so on.
According to PwC’s 25th Annual Global CEO Survey, 79 percent of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills in their workforce, making it one of the top three concerns. Upskilling employees in this situation can be a game-changer for the company.
Employee upskilling is an investment that many businesses may be unwilling to make. However, when done correctly, it can produce excellent long-term advantages for the company. While it is critical to upskill the team in order to stay ahead of the competition, it is also critical to keep the team motivated, since a better engagement rate translates into a higher retention rate.
Promote change management and transformation initiatives
Identifying those with the skills and interest in helping drive program uptake and active participation is an important aspect of change management and transformation. Employees should be given the freedom to take the initiative and recommend changes that benefit the company.
Employees can serve as internal champions, demonstrating the value of learning programs and promoting the use of new systems and platforms. They can mentor others in upskilling initiatives and offer support outside of formal training sessions.
Investing in internal change agents has a ripple effect throughout the organization, creating tech-savvy skills that help the company grow. Organizational transformation can occur more quickly if teams become more efficient and encourage other colleagues in upskilling and embracing new technologies and processes.
This dynamic fosters a need for knowledge and continuous progress, as well as the development of a leadership network.