3 Ways to Master Reskilling Your Workforce in 2020: Insights from Anthony Goonetilleke
This article first appeared in HR Technologist.
Across the board, we are seeing a shift as employees change their mindsets and adopt a mentality of continuous learning. As a result, in 2020, we’ll see an accelerated pace of change in reskilling primarily driven by the digitization of our society. This shift will force organizations to implement tools, managerial support and new technology and business platforms to create an environment that embraces this change.
Looking to next year, those that make the pivot will be the companies that make reskilling priorities a reality for employees. Reskilling a workforce does not happen overnight, but kicking off your game plan in a few key areas can help you reach your goals. To educate and connect with your employees and prospects, consider these three areas in 2020.
Create a culture-aware workforce
A McKinsey study found that the likelihood of financial performance above the national industry median could increase by up to 35 percent if you have a diverse organization, so it’s a critical focus area not only to be a good corporate citizen, but for the top line. Workplace diversity programs should be holistic and include a variety of inclusion-focused initiatives and activities to build and maintain an inclusive organization. Each of these individual threads must be treated as part of a program that is managed on an ongoing basis. It is no longer enough to schedule meetings every so often or attend diversity-oriented events twice a year. Leaders must start by creating a working environment that drives meaningful dialogue between coworkers who share different backgrounds.
For example, Amdocs offers, ‘Inspire’ diversity training program, which focuses on women in leadership. During it, employees dive into gender-and-culture-diverse workshops and training, hear from inspirational speakers, and attend off-site engagements over the course of one year. It is important that the employees overcome their own subconscious bias and share their own set of experiences that have shaped them as a person and colleague. Programs like this have been instituted to foster those values.
Planning for your next-generation workforce
As another year goes by, companies anticipate the welcoming of new prospective employees from the soon-to-be graduating class of 2020. To prepare for those recruits, we need to understand that their focus will not be based on loyalty or tenure like previous generations, but more around, “Why am I here? What am I contributing? How am I valued and making a difference?” We need a more holistic view compared to areas like salary increases and promotions, which don’t necessarily attract next-generation talent.
Use new technologies to your advantage
Technology is helping organizations target stronger candidates and initiate more effective conversations than in years past. Technology as a resource can be used in hiring to analyze the language in our job descriptions to better appeal to a more gender-balanced population. This can help accelerate the hiring of candidates we’re passionate about and create a more diverse candidate pool.
But beyond this, there is something to be said about the democratization of technology. Every industry is driven to grow and disrupt by the intertwining of technology and strategy. In the past, people typically focused on one vertical (pharma, for example), but the next generation will span multiple, contributing unique insights across areas due to their experience. These cross-vertical insights will help disrupt and drive growth as this workforce will start to be more horizontal focused (skill/function-based) versus vertical focus (industry-based).
A challenge for us all
The most valuable investment an individual can make is investing in their growth, whether that be learning a new skillset or discovering the unique cultures, personalities, and expertise represented by their colleagues. We’ve lost confidence in Moore’s Law at the pace of technology changing. To keep up in an ever-changing world, continuous learning is a vital tenant of the next luminary employee. Let’s all accept the challenge to help each other reskill our talents to blend with the expertise of others in the coming year.