Future-Proof Your Workforce: How to Implement a People-Centric L&D Strategy
COVID-19 has been the catalyst for change in the world of work. The pandemic has accelerated us years beyond schedule.
Now more than ever, employers need to view workforce training as an opportunity to future-proof our economy.
People-centric learning and development offer organisations a solution to the growing skills shortage. This strategic approach to organisation-wide training enables employers to nurture internal talent to fill the gaps created by emerging roles and industries.
What is the skills crisis?
The skills crisis is the disparity between the skills employees hold and the skills employers and industry demand.
The emergence of artificial intelligence and automation technology is only beginning to affect our modern workforce. As we migrate from a traditional to a digital-first workforce, this difference will only grow. The World Economic Forum estimates 85 million jobs will be lost by 2025 due to out-of-date skills and redundant roles.
In more recent months, we witnessed an influx of employers begin to embed these new technologies into their organisations. Because of this, more employers are searching for workers with the right skills to deploy these new technologies. Yet, our current workforce is struggling to meet this demand.
This disproportionate skills shortage is alarming. However, there are opportunities for workers and employers alike to address this shortage, starting with people-centric training.
The role people-centric training plays in workforce learning and development
Technology may be the future of work but so are the people.
A turbulent year has caused an influx of enquiries from employers seeking to future-proof their organisation and upskill their workers in 2021.
Having delivered workforce training for the past 12 years, online education provider Upskilled has noticed this recent surge in demand.
Sadiq Merchant, Chief Executive Officer at Upskilled, is an advocate for professional upskilling and reskilling. He strongly believes that people-centric training is integral to maintaining the credentials of the global workforce.
“A successful company is built from the efforts of hardworking and valued employees. It’s important for employers to recognise the value of upskilling their workforce so that their employees are well-prepared and have the skillset to adapt to the changes in their line of work.”
– Sadiq Merchant, Chief Executive Officer at Upskilled
People-centric training prioritises the learning and development of individual workers. It’s an approach that requires businesses to actively encourage and better support workers as they balance professional development against the responsibilities of their current role.
We have witnessed people-centric training become a growth imperative for many organisations post-pandemic. Employers are recognising the value of human capital investment in future-fitting their organisation. The World Economic Forum reports that employers will push to offer reskilling and upskilling to 70% of their workforce by 2025.
As more workers face career transitions and redundancies, the growing demand for new skills will skyrocket. Employers must facilitate the training and education of their workforce so workers can acquire the skills necessary to perform their new roles.
The three guiding principles to developing a people-centric training program
To stay ahead of the curve, organisations must be innovative in how they approach learning and development. We recommend three key resolutions to help employers develop a growth mindset to people-centric training.
Analyse the market.
Industry reports are reputable sources for data and insights. Reports help with any current and future trends, like skill gaps or changing technologies. This data can help employers seek training solutions to get ahead of the curve.
For example, the World Economic Forum predicted the demand for hard skills such as digital marketing, web development and programming will increase post-pandemic. Education providers have begun to see this trend in the volume of education enquiries – the demand for Upskilled’s Social Media and Programming qualifications skyrocketed in December 2020.
Identify the current capabilities of employees.
Employers must identify the skills present within their organisation and assess this alignment against the industry. Critical reflection on a team’s skills enables organisations to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances. This exercise helps to recognise where they might be falling short.
“It’s important to identify whether employees are lacking any tactical or soft skills. Employers must not underestimate the balance of these skills – tactical skills help employees develop capabilities for new technologies while soft skills are crucial in building employee confidence, productivity and engagement.”
– Sadiq Merchant, Chief Executive Officer at Upskilled
Instil a culture of lifelong learning.
An organisation with a culture of learning is a workplace that is highly informed and motivated.
Leading education providers can play an important role in building a culture of employee learning. It’s important to innovate how employees learn. External partners can work with employers to identify the learning needs of their employees and deliver better-informed training programs.
Proactive measures must be taken to support workers as they adapt to the economic shocks post-pandemic. It’s critical that employees and employers do not get complacent around learning and development.
Now more than ever, workforce training plays an important role in future fitting our workforce. An investment in the training of today’s workers is an investment in the longevity and success of our workforce.