2020 taught the corporate world three important
lessons in workforce development – resilience, empathy, and agility. These
three pillars still continue to impact and shape the workforce and the
workplace. As survival became the focal point last year and still continues to
be, workforce development has gained traction more than ever before.
Having a robust workforce development plan allows your employees to thrive in a
challenging environment. It ensures they have the necessary skills to navigate
through tough situations and drive desired results. Besides this, it offers
your talent pool an excellent opportunity to upskill and reskill so that you
can close the skill gaps quickly by harnessing the capabilities of the best
Without having a workforce development plan in place, you may run the risk of losing the competitive edge in the market. So, what measures can you take to build a workforce that is able to excel today, tomorrow, and in the future?
Understand the Power of Reskilling
Before the pandemic hit, employees would ask “What is it that I want to do?’’. However, in 2021, the same question has been replaced with “What else am I capable of doing?’’. This very shift in the capability outlook has put the spotlight on “transferable skills” that job seekers are looking out for. Employees themselves have realized the importance of transferable skills as they may have decided to move on to new jobs or careers. There has been a significant shift in that way recruiters are hiring today. Earlier transferable skills were thought to be required only when entering the technology domain. However, with agility being a key factor for businesses to survive, job seekers nowadays are looking for skills that can be transferred to any domain or industry. The pandemic has forced the recruitment and the L&D fraternity to not only look for the skills that can drive business outcomes but also develop and hone other employee skills that can be used to thrive in a crisis. In order to develop the necessary transferable skills, it’s important to chart out an effective employee development plan and provide the necessary resource towards that effect.
Bridging the Skill Gap
A large chunk of the workforce that was axed due to the pandemic are seeking ‘any job’ to pay the bills or get back into the workforce. When people find themselves in such a scenario, they tend to take a stock of their skills and evaluate how they can apply them to alternate careers. However, people frequently wonder how they can make the best of their existing skills in their alternate careers and seek help to do so. In such a scenario, organizations through a robust workforce development plan can offer effective, crisis-resilient, skill-specific training that address the requirements of the employees. This can help them to quickly identify the skills required to perform at their job and also develop those skills needed to apply in other areas of work.
With a strong workforce development plan in place, you can conduct a skills survey or an assessment to gauge the skills that employees are seeking out to advance their career. This data can help you plan the training course of action to help your employees hone a variety of skills. Organizations need to stretch their comfort zone when it comes to hiring and be open to assisting the candidates to develop skills that go beyond the job description. Recruiters need to understand that the best fit candidates may not always have all the skills required for the job at the expected levels but are willing to push the boundaries to achieve the desired business goals which can help the company in the long-term.
In order to build an agile, future-ready workforce, it’s important to have an effective and innovative workforce development plan for 2021. Along with this, you also need to ensure that you hire the kind of talent who are willing to upskill or reskill to realize the organizational goals.