7 Tactics to Upskill Your Workforce
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Disruptive technology is re-shaping the present-day work environment. Technological advances are making long-standing job roles superfluous.
Digital Disruption being faced by many companies is exacerbating the gap between what employers want their employees to be able to do and what they can actually do. This skills gap needs to be bridged rapidly but with due consideration to the course taken to fill it.
A change in job roles with the help of Upskilling has become necessary in light of the evolving Disruption. Upskilling comprises of acquisition of new and pertinent competencies, made necessary because of the current or emerging work environment. Upskilling adds to the skills the employee already possesses. It is a key component to robust Talent Management and can be a source of Competitive Advantage.
Having a robust Upskilling Strategy in place is the first step towards a successful Upskilling effort. Upskilling Strategy can create new roles for existing employees leveraging their experience.
However, the brass tacks of an effective program to bridge the talent gap are the following 7 tactics to Upskilling which can help employers Upskill their workforce:
- Learning and Development
- Job Rotation
- Job Enlargement
- Job Enrichment
- Peer Coaching
- Peer Mentoring
- Hire External Experts/Specialists
Contingent on the organization’s requirements, based on a skills gap analysis, one or more tactics in combination may be needed to fill the skills gap.
Let us look at some of the tactics in a little more detail.
Learning and Development (L&D)
L&D programs are a common approach to Upskilling and foundational to becoming a true Learning Organization. These programs are dependent on a number of factors. One of the key factors is L&D Strategy, which can be developed based on a number of models. Depending on the model chosen, L&D Strategy development will generally go through the following 4 phases:
- Training Needs Analysis
- Learning objective stipulation
- Training material and approach design
- Monitoring and Evaluation
Methods chosen for Upskilling will naturally vary for every organization due to the variation in L&D strategy and program, for e.g., online courses, online courses along with live lectures, peer coaching with an Upskill track on Learning Management System.
Job Rotation is another first-rate technique to Upskill. New skills, knowledge, and competencies can be learnt by moving employees between jobs. Employees learn skills, knowledge, competencies of a specific job other than their own.
Purpose of Job Rotation can be preparing backups for a job, exposing future managers to all types of jobs, exposing HR employees to other jobs for better understanding. Job Rotations are generally at the same level and are temporary in nature.
Job Enlargement comprises of adding more activities within the same level to a current role. It expands the ambit of a job by spreading the breadth of duties and responsibilities usually within the same level.
Purpose of Job Enlargement is to encourage employees to expand their skill set by intensifying their performances and exposure. Job Enlargement imparts diverse skills to employees and aids their career growth. Added job responsibilities necessitate training and assist in gaining further experience.
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The purpose of Human Resources (HR) is to ensure our organization achieves success through our people. Without the right people in place — at all levels of the organization — we will never be able to execute our Strategy effectively.
This begs the question: Does your organization view HR as a support function or a strategic one? Research shows leading organizations leverage HR as a strategic function, one that both supports and drives the organization’s Strategy. In fact, having strong HRM capabilities is a source of Competitive Advantage.
This has never been more true than right now in the Digital Age, as organizations must compete for specialized talent to drive forward their Digital Transformation Strategies. Beyond just hiring and selection, HR also plays the critical role in retaining talent — by keeping people engaged, motivated, and happy.
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