As businesses, both small and medium sized, continue to navigate the global pandemic, one thing is certain - the new normal has pushed companies to embrace change and become more agile.
The pandemic has made business leaders rethink their operations, their business strategy and the skills needed to meet the changing demands of their customers. To address the challenges that the change has brought, leaders will need to prepare their workforce with the skills and capabilities needed not only for today, but for the future. But where do you start?
As businesses start to reopen, leaders will have to reconfigure business and operating models for a new reality.
Strategic considerations leadership teams should be thinking about to shape direction:
Exercises such as Porter’s Five Forces and SWOT analysis (S-strengths, W-weaknesses, O-opportunities and T-threats) provide a useful framework to help leaders adapt their value propositions and business models to meet the changing needs of customers. As business goals and priorities evolve, so should your talent strategy.
Once strategic priorities have been re-assessed and critical roles have been identified, employers will need to be prepared to assess the organization’s supply and demand to meet role requirements. This can be achieved by building success profiles that outline the competencies, skills, experiences and traits required of the roles you need filled and then measuring current or new candidates against them.
Talent assessment answers the following questions:
Given how rapidly the workplace is changing, and the extent to which employees value training opportunities, upskilling has become increasingly important to every business.
PwC has been developing and strengthening an innovative learning program called The Digital Accelerators to develop technology leaders to fulfill the talent needs of a rapidly changing digital economy, and Microsoft announced a reskilling effort to help 25 million people worldwide acquire the digital skills needed to fight COVID-19.
There is also a tremendous upside to investing in upskilling employees financially. According to PwC, for every $1 spent on upskilling, businesses typically earn or save $2.6.
Investing in upskilling opportunities can also be beneficial for employee morale. The effort to help people be their best and giving them the tools and ability to acquire new high demand skills shows employees they have a future at the organization – empowering them to make a greater impact.
Learning and development can be a powerful way to engage and empower your workforce. However, in a remote environment, organizations are having to find more creative ways to upskill and train their workforce when people can’t be together in the same room.
The following are a few considerations for navigating a different learning experiences to not only weather the current crisis but also build and accelerate workforce capabilities for the future.
Leaders must navigate unprecedented change and rethink strategic priorities as their business continues to grow. They need to anticipate the right skills needed, shifting from “what we need now” to “what roles and skills will be critical to our success and viability over the next two to three years?” Thinking ahead and planning to resource skills for future needs must be the new normal for business leaders in order to keep pace with change and to build a resilient organization that can weather the storm, now and in the future.
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