Building Future-Proof Skills for The Workforce 2.0 - The Priority for L & D Leaders in 2024

Viren Kapadia February 29, 2024
Building Future-Proof Skills for The Workforce 2.0 - The Priority for L & D Leaders in 2024

The world of work has changed indelibly with the rapid advancements of technologies and accelerated digital adoption. As the world of work gets more ‘appified’, industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, banking, etc. move towards becoming more tech-driven. Over the past few years, technological advancements have changed the way we work and introduced new models of working. This new world also reconfigures the human and machine working relationship and urges industries to be more responsive toward disruption and market volatility. These forces are not only changing the way we work but are also changing the needed job skills. Technologies like artificial intelligence, deep learning, data analytics, cloud computing, etc. are ready to dominate the future of work and organizations need to upskill their workforce to drive competitiveness in a complex, volatile, and global market. The focus of forward-thinking L&D leaders has by default moved to developing future-proof skills that will help their workforce and organization remain competitive in this dynamic time. L&D leaders need to transform their initiatives for this new world of work and focus on:

The change in skill sets

While technical skill sets are undergoing an extensive overhaul, the change in the way work happens renders the development of cognitive skills urgent. With the rise of remote, global teams and a hybrid work environment, organizations across industries have prioritized fortifying their workforces with key skills like critical thinking that help them adapt to change rapidly and strategically. The WEF reports that six in ten workers will need training before 2027. Amongst core skills, the WEF Future of Job Report, 2023 states that apart from cognitive skills, skills like analytical thinking will be a core skill that companies need. Flexibility, resilience, creative thinking, problem-solving, agility, curiosity, continuous learning, etc. are some of the key skills that organizations now need in their workforces. L&D leaders to ensure that their workforce develops these crucial skills to adapt to the constant changes in the workplace.

The increasing need for technology literacy

Technology literacy is another key area to focus on as technology innovations disrupt the way work happens. In healthcare, for example, technology has influenced the dissemination of healthcare delivery. The entire healthcare ecosystem is moving towards becoming increasingly interconnected. Technology has been instrumental in driving disruption across traditional industries like manufacturing. While technology continues to digitize the shop floor operations, it does not stop there. The need for interconnectedness across organizations is now imperative for seamless information flow and deep and clear insights. As such, along with the shopfloor, the entire manufacturing operations are experiencing a digital overhaul for productivity, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and better insights. The workforce needs the support of L&D teams to help organizations drive their innovation agendas. L&D leaders have to develop and disseminate robust technical training programs and create easy-to-access knowledge repositories to support the need for continuous learning and driving technology literacy across the organization.

Experiential learning

Providing skill-based training is not a guarantee for improved skill sets or learning. Apart from completion rates, L&D leaders need to make sure that the learning graph of their employees moves in an upward trajectory. Unfortunately, dated and traditionally disseminated, classroom or blended learning programs, often fail to deliver high learning outcomes. This is mainly because of the change in the workforce dynamic. Learning has to become more experiential to engage a digitally savvy workforce. The priority for L&D leaders is to prioritize delivering new learning experiences and cutting-edge programs using technologies such as AI, AR, or VR. Experiential learning is incomplete without relevance, context, and quality. As such, L&D leaders need to know their workforce’s skill gaps and needs. Clear, data-based need and skill gap analysis become pivotal in delivering contextual and high-quality learning programs that have high completion and better learning outcomes.

Navigating the compliance regulatory minefield

L&D leaders have to look at agile ways to help their workforce navigate the complex and ever-evolving compliance and regulatory ecosystem and accommodate their learning needs. The criticality of comprehensive and robust LMS platforms that pass industry regulations and enable organizations to meet their learning agendas cannot be overstated. LMS for heavily regulated industries such as healthcare and pharma, government bodies, and manufacturing, for example, have to meet specific compliance standards. L&D leaders need LMS systems that help them navigate the continuous changes in the regulatory framework and ensure that their workforce is compliant with current norms. This is especially essential since lacking compliance training hurts the organization’s competitiveness, attracts fines, and causes reputational damage. In some cases, it can impact business continuity. Along with this, in industries like healthcare or manufacturing, ensuring that the workforce complies with the latest norms is critical. The ability to disseminate compliance training such as OSHA, SOX, HIPAA, JCAHO, ISO, FDA, EPA, etc. easily. Simple deployment, ensuring the completion of mandated requirements along with easy tracking and record-keeping are capabilities L&D leaders need from their LMS systems.

Transforming the external enterprise

Not only do organizations need to train their internal workforce, but the future of work demands the external enterprise to be trained to internal organization standards. The external enterprise to that of an ‘extended’ enterprise to meet customer expectations and deliver uniform service experiences. L&D leaders need to address the training and learning needs of their vendors, partners, and third-party ecosystems. They need to give them access to learning repositories such as learning videos, documents, and webinars to deliver specialized learning experiences and ensure that their technical literacy is always up to date.

Enabling Social Learning

The Millennials and Gen Z dominate the workforce demographics today. This workforce demands anywhere-anytime learning and wants to interact and learn from each other. L&D needs to enable learning collaboration so that employees from across the globe can share tips and tricks and increase informal learning. They need collaboration tools that allow them to ask questions and solve doubts through discussion forums after webinars, and employ user-generated content tools to share work-related training content such as sales demos, market research, etc. Today, L&D leaders need to manage their talent pipelines and invest in robust training programs that draw the connection between learning and skills. Both learning and skill building have to become more customizable, automated, and trackable to enhance workforce efficiency and drive data-driven decisions. Effective, AI-driven LMS platforms become critical enablers to build the skills for tomorrow, today. Using this, L&D leaders can ensure that they bridge the crucial skills gap, develop cross-functional teams that meet evolving job requirements, and assist their workforce to purposefully build targeted skills that further business goals. Connect with us to see how Gyrus can help you build future-proof skills for Workforce 2.0