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Right-Skilling Revolution: How To Prepare Your Remote Employees For Emerging Challenges

Is Right-Skilling A Wise Investment For Your Organization?

In five years, 20-40% of your workforce will have to be replaced or made redundant due to automation, as we’re currently experiencing a widening skills gap, with as many as 375 million workers globally at risk of being displaced by 2030 [1]. This gets even trickier when we consider that current workers’ preferences have shifted towards flexible, remote jobs, so organizations must also adapt and create training opportunities catered to their needs.

Since outsourcing all new skills and job roles is not a realistic scenario, on the one hand, some specialists suggest upskilling employees as a long-term investment in their current careers [2]. On the other hand, reskilling means teaching them new skills to apply in a different job within the same organization.

Both strategies have their merits, and yet they don’t do enough to address the problem of business value. This is where right-skilling steps in to fill that gap.

What Is Right-Skilling?

Right-skilling is identifying and teaching the right skills that will enable productivity and relevance in a dynamic business environment. Remote employees don’t need to change careers, but they will need to do the right things.

Take training automation, for example. L&D teams no longer have to manually add employees to online courses since a learning platform can suggest the best content to employees based on their job profiles. Does this mean that trainers are obsolete? No. However, they will need to learn the right skills: content curation, working with AI, and learning experience optimization – to name just a few.

Honing these skills enables L&D specialists to add more value to the business, increasing productivity and training ROI.

4 Steps To A Successful Right-Skilling Program For Remote Employees

Here is what companies should do to carry out right-skilling training successfully:

1. Focus On Skills Development

Skills development means identifying learning gaps and closing them with the help of various training methods (formal and informal). This is the L&D’s chance to truly make an impact by mapping the skills (hard and soft) needed in the next 5-10 years.

This requires a deep understanding of the industry, the technology, and the workforce. For instance, if the industry is heavily impacted by AI and the technology is improving in this area, this could create skills redundancies but also demand for new ones.

Then, L&D teams can create learning paths based on these skills and make them accessible to employees, especially those whose current skills will most likely be obsolete.

And with the help of an intelligent learning platform, this process is made easier. You can build training plans that support right-skilling by setting skills as learning goals. Then, employees get automated recommendations based on goals and skills gaps, so you’ll know they are engaged in continuous learning.

2. Enable Continuous Learning Opportunities

Training has seen a major digital transformation in the last few years. Yet, this doesn’t mean that training online equals continuous learning.

Instead, the focus should be on making training as engaging, flexible, and relevant as possible. The automated learning recommendations mentioned in step one are only as good as the content is.

Incorporating video learning, gamification, and taking accessibility and inclusivity into account is just the beginning. Offering access to a variety of self-paced courses that cater to different learning preferences and personalizing training will motivate remote learners to invest time into their development.

3. Build The Right Training Environment

You need the right training infrastructure to support remote employees and their development. More importantly, right-skilling initiatives need a balanced ecosystem of people, technology, culture, content, and strategy that offers the same learning opportunities to all employees.

Your learning platform should be able to handle all of these activities. For example, it should have common virtual spaces, such as forums and groups, that make it easy for them to collaborate.

It should also support transparency and help you promote your right-skilling initiatives across the organization, making it clear why they should take these opportunities. Another important factor is training data, which allows all stakeholders to understand what skills are needed and what they need to do to get there.

4. Prepare The L&D Team

The L&D team’s skill needs are just as important as the other employees’. However, they tend to take a backseat, as these support functions are always in a rush to get things done.

As mentioned above, the L&D team also needs the right skills to be able to plan, implement and assess right-skilling training programs. Working with data, learning more about AI, choosing the right third-party content providers, enabling mentorship opportunities, and creating a remote learning community — all of these take time and preparation.

Additionally, they need leadership buy-in and collaboration with other departments (cross-functional teams) to make right-skilling a success.

Conclusion

Right-skilling means focusing on the skills that truly matter, aligned with the company’s long-term goals and vision. It’s only a matter of time before current skills become obsolete, and the skills gap won’t be easy to patch up through recruitment and outsourcing. At the same time, remote work is here to stay, meaning that companies need to leverage technology to create right-skilling programs that look toward the future.

References

[1] Jobs lost, jobs gained: What the future of work will mean for jobs, skills, and wages

[2] How to Build a Successful Upskilling Program

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