We all know from our own experience that re-skilling isn’t always easy. Most of us are creatures of habit and the workplace is no different. Training for new roles is rewarding, but it can also be stressful and difficult.
But the likelihood is we’re all going to have to do a lot more of it over the coming years. Over the last 12 months we’ve already had to learn new ways of working. Thanks to the pandemic, we’ve had to cope with working remotely, adopting new processes and procedures. We’ve faced the stress of balancing our home lives with our professional lives. And we’ve seen the line between the two begin to blur.
And yet it’s clear that the changes forced on us are only a part of a far greater transformation. One that will require most of us to re-skill and to work in increasingly diverse ways in the future.
What’s driving the growing need to re-skill?
Many different factors are driving this. The fear of the expected economic downturn. Rapidly developing technologies such as AI. Climate change.
Some of us had planned for our businesses to evolve to meet these challenges over the coming years anyway. But COVID-19 has accelerated this process. It’s forced businesses to re-think the way ahead, long before many were ready to do so.
And it’s hard to think of a time when the stakes were higher. Take the World Economic Forum’s recent prediction that half of the world’s employees will need to re-skill over the next five years alone. That’s an enormous number of employees facing a potentially transformative change in their current career trajectory. And that, in turn, represents a huge training investment challenge for employers too.
A challenge or an opportunity?
So how does that make you feel? Are you worried, or do you see it as an opportunity for your business? Your answer likely depends on how confident you are about your team’s ability to learn and retain knowledge.
To get more of an insight into how your teams might cope with these changes to come, it’s worth looking more deeply at the kind of skills that the World Economic Forum believe will become increasingly important.
Here at Cognito, we’re struck by their insight that shows there will be more of a focus on skills like active learning, stress tolerance, flexibility and resilience in the coming years. This feels significant, especially when you consider that a lot of learning is now likely to be delivered virtually.
More independent learners
The report shows that increasingly, employees are going to be left to themselves to manage their learning. And while we’re firm believers in giving employees more power to define their own learning journeys, we know this also increases the pressure on them. Those skills – of active learning, stress tolerance, flexibility and resilience – are going to be tested to the limit in the coming years.
Why? Because more and more, employees will be learning on the job, absorbing and applying training as they go. We’ve posted before about how learning platforms are becoming easier to use – but also that too often many still have the same age-old challenges.
How can employees be sure that they’re learning what they need to, that they understand it fully and are applying it correctly in their roles? And crucially, how can employers be sure that all this new knowledge is sticking across their organisation? How do they identify gaps in learning and move to fill them?
To add to the challenge, the timescales for learning these new skills are getting shorter – generally around six months – and training budgets are under pressure.
The work we’re doing here at Cognito aims to relieve some of this pressure on both employees and managers. As the amount of re-skilling required within your organisation increases, Cognito’s technology will help you to see exactly how ready your people are.
Cognito helps your people to see where they need to focus their learning. It supports remote learners, helping them to build and embed new knowledge. And it gives managers the oversight they need to understand what kind of shape their workforce is in as they re-skill.
To find out how Cognito can help you in your own business, give us a call today on 01423 203 733.