Are your employees equipped to learn on their own?
The world’s workforce is facing an upskilling and re-skilling crisis – and it’s been happening long before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Today, the crisis is exacerbating the skills gap despite employers and HR leaders placing learning & development programmes at the top of their agenda, a new global study shows.
The crisis has ushered in years’ worth of digital transformation just in the past 12 months as employers began introducing new tools and processes to cope with work during the pandemic. However, this level of transformation has also left organisations struggling to find people with the skills to match changing business demands. Employers are thus prioritising upskilling and re-skilling more than ever in the digital economy.
Read more: How to prove the ROI on L&D
In fact, 68% of HR professionals whose companies launched L&D initiatives during the pandemic said they now “request or require” employees to continue developing their competencies in a bid to keep up. Meanwhile, 72% of employers offer skills training as part of their career development initiatives, according to a global report from Randstad RiseSmart.
Indeed, upskilling can add value to an organisation. Almost all employers polled (98%) said learners have either “fully or partially put their new or refreshed skills to use in a meaningful way,” said researchers. However, the absence of expert human guidance, typically seen in a face-to-face learning set-up, has also rendered the upskilling process less effective than it would have been if L&D activities were guided and a skills gap analysis were held.
Only nine per cent of HR leaders believed their workers were equipped to map out their learning journeys independently. Asked which factors might have helped learners make better choices in their L&D programmes, respondents said:
- Assessments of skills, career interests and possible career paths (57%)
- Access to a broad view of learning opportunities, including courses, certifications, academic degrees and experiential learning (50%)
- Guidance with selecting the best-fit skilling options (43%)
- Insights into in-demand skills (41%)
Read more: How to improve digital learning post-COVID
“Globalisation, the rise of automation and other disruptions have put significant pressure on employers and employees to take a continuous approach to learning and skilling – and the pandemic has only accelerated the need for employees to develop new skills,” said Dan Davenport, president of Randstad RiseSmart.
“To achieve long-term business success, it isn’t enough for organisations to simply provide employees with a list of training and skilling opportunities to consider. Leading employers will instead seek out expert career development and talent mobility partners to help their employees develop strategic skilling roadmaps that incorporate actionable data, analysis and coaching throughout the skilling journey.”