Bringing learning to all levels of the organization

The Learning Revolution – Reskilling

Posted June 22, 2020

Cultivating the good life appears increasingly difficult to achieve for a growing number of people across our global community. The everchanging nature of work and the extent to which opportunities for finding stable, rewarding roles that provide financial security, have become fractured and polarised.

The Pandemic has created a humanitarian crisis on a scale that has not been experienced before, with companies struggling to regain their footing from the vast human and economic toll and employees grappling with an uncertain future trying make sense of it all.

The necessity to adapt and adopt has been magnified and reskilling and future-capability frameworks must ensure solutions truly augment employees’ efforts.  The ability to stimulate ingenuity, confidence and flexibility to continually adapt as the next normal begins to reveal itself, has become a critical imperative.

Whilst the pandemic has put the spotlight on the importance of skills that nurture a fragile and virtual workforce, technology before this was the primary impetus for the realisation and need to evolve the talent pool and bring new skills to the table.

Economic value creation is increasingly based on the use of ever-higher levels of specialised skills and knowledge. Efforts around reskilling and people development to fill gaps has doubled since 2015, yet companies continue to report difficulties finding skilled talent. Disruptive technology and socio-economic forces appear to be swiftly outdating the shelf life of people’s skillsets and the relevance of what they thought they knew about the path to social mobility and rewarding employment.

How can we better anticipate and proactively manage the current realignment and transition of the workforce to shape a future of work?

We start by considering a more holistic approach which supports the development of an employee’s resilience for both short- and long-term change and development. The dynamic nature of jobs and the potential for people to reinvent themselves is often underestimated. Perhaps ’employer lead implementation’ has a place to create ownership and increase a sense of empowerment.

How do we continuously reskill our workforce to become a source of lasting change and growth?

There are several schools of thought and a debate already underway which questions whether reskilling is a necessary path forward. In the absence of significant investment, the current rapid pace of change creates a substantial skill shortage.  Reskilling efforts are a tactical measure to reduce the risk of redundancy.

How can we create transition pathways for new roles that are both viable and desirable?

The need to be increasingly agile in facilitating a shift towards more cross-functional teams, role convergence as opposed to role elimination and the emergence of new skills required for human expertise is gaining unprecedented momentum. The choice to buy, build or co-create skills and expertise will depend on the level of urgency and complexity. 

How do we support a worker’s strategy for moving from a declining role and navigating with confidence the ambiguity of the future of work?

Whether you’re buying, building or co-creating your skills and expertise, companies are seeing evidence that certain individual characteristics accelerate the pace at which change is embraced and the agility of the individual to adapt and adopt. They consistently exhibit five unique traits. They:

  1. are innovative thinkers
  2. keep abreast of the market (customers and competitors)
  3. are proactive
  4. exhibit political acumen
  5. are intrinsically motivated to change and grow

How do we establish a dynamic learning ecosystem that empowers employees to make their ideas and aspirations a reality?

Agile individuals recognise that learning is a key lever to maintaining purpose-driven employment. Hiring talent who already have the aforementioned traits is a sound and strategic approach; however, you can cultivate these traits through your organisational culture. Cultural values such as, autonomy and risk-taking, will reinforce these attributes and ensure that the right talent persist with the right behaviours.

Do your recruiting practices and company culture encourage innovative thinking, autonomy and proactivity, market awareness, and risk-taking?

To develop a response might mean creating something different, some companies are using ‘future state design’ and ‘workforce planning’ with short and long-term goals to support course correction.

Short Term:

  1. Demographic and Predictive Analysis for Workforce Areas to be
  2. Pre-emptive Skills Matching to Growth and High Attrition Areas
  3. Attrition Management

Long Term:

  1. Strategic Workforce Planning that models Business Unit Strategies, Productivity, People Transformation and Market Analyses that results in positive workforce
  2. A Framework and methodology to imbed Strategic Workforce
  3. A Framework to address attrition problems which incorporates leader metrics for

Irrespective of your experience to date, the learning revolution will need to be pre-emptive, creating something different in the future from what is operational in the present.


Author: Karen Faehndrich

CEO Audrey Page and Associates

A member of The Career Insight Group, a CPI Firm.

Join us on July 2nd for a complimentary webinar on Reskilling in response to COVID-19.


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