The COVID-19 pandemic did more than disrupt our way of working. Along with changing the very concept of the workplace, it has brought the discrepancy between the skills people have and those needed for jobs in the digital world to the fore. In short, the capabilities that employers are looking for today are no longer the capabilities of yesterday. Now, more than ever before, employees and leaders alike need to upskill themselves for the future of work.

In the debut episode of L&D Insights, a brand new LIVE interview series with the who’s who of Learning and Development, Kavery NJ, Lead – Digital and Analytics at Strides Arcolab, addressed critical questions on workforce development and skilling in 2021 and beyond.  

Key takeaways:

1.The changing world of work demands employees to adopt and adjust at many levels

In the last one year alone, employees across regions and industries have had to adapt and adjust to the virtual environment and its subsequent manifestations, which have created significant skill gaps.

Job roles are now:

  • Evolving – meaning new skills are now needed for the same job
  • Not relevant – the use of technology is now making some jobs irrelevant
  • Being created – Changing socio-economic conditions, evolving technology are leading to the creation of new job roles that were not pre-existing

Employees need to:

  • convert travel time to learning time
  • develop learning agility
  • leverage available resources to learn and upskill

But even with organizations providing the necessary tools and resources for capability development, the onus is on employees to be in the driver’s seat of their learning journey.

2.Businesses need to invest in a Learning Management Platform

For many companies thriving or even surviving in the new normal has been a struggle. In such a situation, making investments in employee capability development has been a tightrope walk. But yet, the need for upskilling has never been graver.

So organizations need to invest in a modern Learning Management System that enables them to:

3.Transitioning from ILT to VILT has been a bumpy ride

Even with learning technology being the game changer for companies, the shift has not been easy, especially for the ones with traditional training modalities. You can link this to the human brain that tries to keep us in the familiar zone at all times or our natural affinity to learn in social settings. Either ways, the ILT to VILT shift has met multiple roadblocks leading to low adoption.

While classroom training continues to be the preferred mode of training for some skills, organizations with remote, dispersed workforce has found value in VILT.

Some best practices to transition from ILT to Virtual Instructor Led Training successfully are:

  • Providing hands-on and immersive approach
  • Accepting VILT as the new way of training
  • Designing intelligent curriculums (through relevant content curation, remodeling existing ILT-specific content)
  • Making learners comfortable with the platform (through product demonstrations, handholding)
  • Providing flipped classroom approach
4.Compliance training and upskilling, both have their time and place

In times where employees are stretched on all fronts, prioritizing learning and training seems like an uphill task. Further, the need to stay compliant, given its mandatory nature, leads to the deprioritization of upskilling interventions.

However, we need to understand and accept that work, worker and workplace are constantly evolving. And skills for tomorrow are not just compliance-related. Further, cross-pollination of employees across different teams gives rise to the need for skill diversity, all of which can be accomplished by making room for learning new skills and relearning existing ones.

Watch the LIVE interview:

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