Today’s world business realities live completely immersed in a universe of real and digital ecosystems in profound change and evolution. In fact, it is common now to talk about interreality as an integrated system of relationships between different partners and shareholders who interact with the aim of generating greater value for the end customer. In an extremely dynamic and competitive context like this, the ability to evolve and transform products and services, to seize new business opportunities which are at times diametrically opposite to what has already been created, becomes fundamental for companies.
This capacity for “transformation” compressed in a more limited and shorter period of time also implies an ability to acquire or develop skills in an extremely short period of time. The updating of skills is therefore something fundamental for any employee, even more so for those occupying the position of manager. Keeping up to speed with current trends allows us to adapt for the future. For this reason, we talk about reskilling, an increasingly topical issue nowadays.
WHAT IS RESKILLING AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR THE FUTURE?
More and more people are asking what reskilling means. It should be noted that for some time now the need for companies and entrepreneurs of all types to adapt their staff to these historical moments that we are living has become evident. At the same time, training of employees to bridge the skill gap and avoid falling behind the competition, always with an eye to the skills needed for the future, is a huge investment. When we talk about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we mean a series of technological transformations that enable us to not only work more but at the same time more efficiently.
Consequently, increasing productivity today can only be done by reskilling. It is a fundamental tool for those who want to actively participate in the world of business also in the near future. The desire to test oneself and the desire to increase one’s knowledge are two fundamental thrusts to highly motivate one’s productivity and employability.
That is why when you ask what reskilling is, it should be noted that the term refers to the development of new skills, very different from those that the employee already possesses. This is an element of no small importance and that can really make a difference in today’s world of business. The main goal of reskilling is also to allow each manager to fill new roles. This is important when you consider that in many business settings some roles can become obsolete with the advances of technology over time.
To better understand this, let’s take a look at the Future of Jobs 2018 report. This study highlighted that in the space of a few years there could be over 70 million job roles that will undergo radical changes or even replacement / automation. Which inevitably means that each manager or worker of various kinds will have to dive completely into reskilling in order to adapt perfectly to the new needs of the labour market. Translated into more concrete terms, it can be said that reskilling allows for the expansion of skills to a greater number of workers who will be more easily able to place themselves in various business contexts.
But be careful to define this practice only as a tool related to technological innovation. This could be reductive, as with reskilling every worker is able to face the future of work thanks to a specific knowledge that can be targeted in a certain area. That is why, before delving into this very useful practice, it is very important to firstly start with a careful monitoring of what the real skills are and where there are gaps to fully understand where an implementation that can lead to effective growth is actually needed. As far as the company’s point of view is concerned, it is fair to say that reskilling employees and managers who have been in the company for a long time is something very profitable. In fact, the tendency, not always productive, of constant new additions to the workforce is limited.
However, the practice of hiring new staff (obviously a specific valuation of skills in the company and therefore key to accompanying any business transformations) does not always prove to be the winning solution. Being able to invest in the professional retraining of one’s collaborators often involves an important outlay in value terms but limited when compared with the costs of external selection, and above all it carries with it a very high impact of engagement, often on company populations with several years of work behind them and who do not see other job opportunities. With reskilling, on the other hand, it becomes possible to encourage the acquisition of new skills even in the same business context in which it already exists.
RESKILLING: THE SECRET OF A FUTURE-PROOF BUSINESS
Once the benefits of reskilling are understood, it is also important to evaluate its adaptability to the current context. The key to success of corporate retraining paths is how this can be applied on a global scale. This means that both companies and managers and employees of various kinds can adapt to all those changes taking place. Therefore, it is essential that both employees and managers have access to all the tools necessary so that they can keep up with the digital changes taking place.
Over time, scholars have also highlighted some limitations to reskilling processes in various business contexts. Starting, for example, with an economic aspect, many companies have well understood what reskilling is and above all the level of its scope. Yet, despite this being the ideal solution to really adapt the skills of the workers to what the market demands are, the costs are considered high. In fact, to date, even with clear advantages and understanding by all managerial categories, Reskilling remains very “preached” but little “practised”. The preconceptions and stereotypes of a working life that during the twentieth century only wanted to give prestige and value to the concepts of Talent as a young resource that can be used without physical and cognitive limits, certainly clips the wings of what instead represents growth and the success of the company through its resources, all of them, indistinct and indiscriminate.
The realignment of a person can be considered as a real investment that gives a series of benefits over time that are certainly not negligible. Obviously, as noted by industry experts, the approach to reskilling changes from country to country. and this represents an element of disparity which is a major obstacle to change. But the awareness of this seems to be starting to make a difference and thus pushing towards new business practices aimed at increasing the skills of managers, and beyond.
Without forgetting that there are companies that can cope with such expenses, there are also other companies that prefer to look to other ways to update staff skills. Think of those who, from time to time, hire new managers who already have those necessary skills.
However, it should never be forgotten that the need for professional updates and new skills also affects younger groups of workers. In fact, changes in the digital world and in technology, are part of daily life. To keep up with the sudden changes it is essential to keep oneself updated and to have the necessary skills to be able to do your job to the best of your ability.
A targeted reskilling program is therefore something that is worth having constantly active so as to fully exploit the benefits both for your professional career and for the company you work for. Based on statistics reported by industry experts, it seems that awareness of the importance of reskilling is becoming increasingly crucial. Many companies have learned to understand how important it is to focus on constant staff training even in times of economic crisis and difficulty.
It can therefore be said that the prospects that the technological revolution offers us are less frightening than we think, opening up new opportunities. Through digitalization, the need to keep up with current trends for the future is increasingly highlighted and are undoubtedly positive, as the ever-increasing digitalization highlights the need to keep up with the times. Reskilling can be the winning weapon on an international scale so as to be sure of getting the most out of your employees, provided that digital transformation and growth opportunities are fully made available to employees and that the latter become increasingly aware of the importance of seizing new opportunities and embracing change.