Do you have the skills you need for the future?

Do you have the skills you need for the future? Source: Shutterstock

Only 20pc of your workforce has the right skills — study

BUSINESSES are rapidly evolving. Today, the ordinary workplace uses a fair bit of technology even if they’re not a business that’s built on technology.

For example, manufacturers actually use virtual reality (VR) headsets to train new staff and big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to help their supply chain managers make better predictions.

Even industries that rely on the human touch to make the sale, such as retail and hospitality are using robotic process automation and AI to lighten the ‘administrative workload’ for their workforce so they can pay more attention to customers’ needs.

That’s the reality today, and given this pace, businesses are waking up to the reality that they need to start training their workforce to actually understand and make use of technology — today and tomorrow.

If they don’t, not only will their existing workforce fail to support their digital vision, but their digital transformation projects will come to a screeching halt, allowing competitors to catapult themselves far ahead in the market — and in the minds of their customers.

“More than two-thirds of business leaders believe that if their company does not become significantly digitalized by 2020, it will no longer be competitive,” said Brian Kropp, group vice president of Gartner’s HR practice.

According to a recent Gartner study, 70 percent of employees have not mastered the skills they need for their jobs today, and 80 percent of employees do not have the skills needed for their current and future roles. Further, 64 percent of managers don’t think their employees are able to keep pace with future skill needs.

“In order to remain competitive in an increasingly digital world, companies must transform the skills of their workforce, both on a macro level by determining the skills their market and clients are calling for, and on a micro level, by showing employees the personal benefit to upskilling and offering experiences for them to do so,” said Sari Wilde, vice president of Gartner’s HR practice.

Therefore, for companies looking to make sure that they succeed with their digital transformation agenda, assessing the skills gap and creating training programs to bridge that gap is critical.

In addition to technology skills, leaders must help develop some level of management and critical thinking skills as well, since the automation will create efficiencies and free up employees to do more with their time.