The Importance of Upskilling and Reskilling During COVID-19

When firms struggle to keep floating, it doesn’t seem quite right for employee upskilling and reskilling, right? 

Wrong.

Often it is mistaken that workers have to use their existing abilities to do what they need in difficult times rather than thinking about expanding their skills. This is particularly relevant during the 2020 crisis as it has had highly disparate consequences across various sectors and functions. We have all seen the big shifts in the global environment brought by the Covid 19 pandemic and the demand for new approaches to your talent pool.

The enormous levels of furrowed or dismissed staff and high unemployment rates have perhaps been one of the most serious effects of this pandemic. However, it is important to invest in a workforce adapted to business trends, at a time when even large companies cannot afford new talents.

Current trends are accelerating the need to enhance skills

Remote work had gained currency before the crisis, but the pandemic showed that telecommuting is here to stay. A new Gartner CFO survey found that almost three out of the four CFOs expect to “shift at least 5 percent of previously on-site employees to permanently remote positions post-COVID-19” by at least 5% of previous employees. Whereas many employees are “learned by doing” in the first step of the crisis or are “quick and dirty” educated, ongoing remote activities are likely to continue posing a scaling challenge. For instance, the sales employees would need to move from video meetings to the efficient management of customer relations in remote environments.

Companies often have a learning curve as administrators learn how to direct their teams in building social resources and maintaining harmony without casual coffee, lunch and chat rooms. As companies consider returning to their jobs, there is also expected to be a new range of expertise for the move.

For instance, an organization in West Africa has set a target during the Ebola crisis to quickly improve its results after the crisis. It has carried out a broad skills plan, which has made it easier to return to physical jobs, created new skills and training that have increased efficiency and, last but not least, has aimed to build a more intensely committed workforce. The business differentiated between critical and non-critical return expertise and shifted upset in adjoining areas of skills, finding that its staff needed versatility. Truck drivers, for example, were taught to use excavators. This strategy has provided the company with many advantages.

The learning environment has evolved in ways that encourage people everywhere they are to teach new skills. COVID-19 has accelerated the introduction of fully-digital approaches to recreation through live-video and social broadcasting of the best individual learning. This transition enables learning efforts to be made more cost-effectively and enables learners to be more personalized—and in turn, more productive.

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