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    Essential Tips for Upskilling and Reskilling in the Age of AI

    Ever wondered how your company can keep up with the rapid pace of technological advancements?

    How can your teams stay abreast in a world where artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing every sector?

    Well, the answer lies in two words gaining increasing prominence: upskilling and reskilling.

    The Importance of Upskilling and Reskilling in the Age of AI

    Advancements in AI and other emerging technologies aren't just occurring at shorter intervals; they're also altering the nature of jobs and the skills required to perform them.

    The numbers speak volumes and compel us to ponder: 

    • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that up to 1.1 billion jobs could be transformed by technology in the next decade. As a result of this accelerated technological progress, the shelf life of skills is also diminishing, with information becoming obsolete faster than ever: from about 5 years to just 36 months.

    • Moreover, Deloitte tells us that 90% of companies understand the importance of updating and recycling their employees' skills; however, less than half feel truly prepared for this task.

    • McKinsey points out that 87% of organizations are already facing or anticipating skill gaps in their teams.

    • Additionally, the World Economic Forum anticipates that by 2025, half of the global workforce will require professional retraining.

    This scenario is not just a call to action; it's a race against time. Training leaders are at the forefront of this challenge, seeking effective strategies to prepare their teams for the uncertainties of a future that is already here.

    But how do we tackle this challenge in a less overwhelming and more effective manner?

    In this article, you'll find key tips for driving the upskilling and reskilling of your team in the era of artificial intelligence.

    1- Develop Skills in the Workflow

    Taking employees out of their routines to participate in lengthy formal training, including hour-long e-learning courses, often doesn't fit well with modern work dynamics. While valuable, these formats can pose challenges both in terms of time and immediate applicability in daily work.

    According to a Harvard Business Review article, in a BCG survey in 2021, 65% of the 209,000 participating workers expressed a preference for learning on the job.

    Here are some suggestions to adapt to current needs:

    • Integrate learning into daily activities: To achieve effective upskilling and reskilling, it's crucial that learning is seamlessly integrated into the workday. This means promoting small doses of training, such as microlearning modules, that employees can complete at opportune moments throughout the day. This strategy allows for updating or acquiring new skills without significantly disrupting work activities, thus facilitating the immediate implementation of what's learned.

    • Just-in-Time Learning: Provide access to resources and training that employees can consult just when they need them to complete a specific task, thereby enhancing the immediate application of knowledge.

    • Use of technology and learning platforms: Harness technological tools to offer personalized and adaptable training to each employee's needs and schedules.

    • Use of Practical Scenarios and Simulations: For upskilling and reskilling to be truly effective, they should focus on applicable skills in the real work context. The use of simulations and practical scenarios is an excellent way to prepare employees to face real challenges, promoting the development of critical decision-making and leadership skills. These learning experiences not only make the process more interactive and relevant but also ensure that new competencies can be applied effectively and timely.

    Recommended read: Is Your Company Embracing Just-in-Time Learning?


    2- Ensure the Relevance of Reskilling and Upskilling Programs

    We know the world is changing fast, and according to BCG, nearly 7 out of 10 workers are already awake to these changes. They're ready to learn new things if it means staying relevant in their jobs.

    But here's the catch: it's not enough to tell them "You have to learn this." What really works is showing them how these new learnings will make their work more interesting or how they'll open doors to new opportunities.

    Simple tips to put into practice:

    • Make learning about them: Let's break it down. The first step is to get to know each person on the team well—what they can do, what they'd like to learn, and where they want to go in their careers. With that information, you can craft learning paths that make sense to them and motivate them to do their best.

    • Be clear about the benefits: It's crucial that everyone understands how learning something new not only helps the company but also directly benefits them. Do they want a promotion? To manage larger projects? Show them how what they learn today can get them there.

    • Listen to their input: Nobody wants to feel like something is being imposed on them. That's why asking and really listening to what they think about the courses or skills we're proposing is key. If something doesn't sit right with them or they have an idea for improvement, it's gold for your company.

    • Include them in the design: Right from the start, let them have a say in what they're going to learn. It could be choosing between various courses or deciding on specific topics they want to delve into. This makes the commitment much greater because they feel they're part of the decision.

    By doing things this way, not only will you have teams more prepared for what's coming, but you'll also build an environment where everyone feels their growth matters. And when people feel what they learn has a purpose, they commit much more. That's a win-win.

    Also read: 5 Rules for Future-Proofing Your eLearning Courses


    3- Stay Updated with Industry Trends and Demanded Skills

    Understanding your team's training needs is just the beginning. It's equally important to know which skills are most valued in your sector. This allows you not only to adjust training to current demands but also to anticipate future needs.

    Concrete actions to stay updated:

    • Continuously track industry trends: Dedicate time each month to research and analyze the latest developments in your industry. You can do this through specialized magazines, research reports, online forums, and conferences. This practice will allow you to quickly identify changes in skill demands and proactively adapt your training strategies.

    • Encourage participation in professional networks and industry events: Encourage your team to engage in professional communities and attend relevant events. This is an excellent way to gather insights into emerging trends and disruptive technologies directly from industry experts and colleagues.

    • Adopt emerging technologies: Experiment with new technologies that may have a significant impact on your industry. Provide your team with specific training in these tools, ensuring they are equipped to make the most of their benefits.

    By focusing on these actions, you'll ensure that your company not only remains competitive but also is prepared to lead in an ever-evolving environment. The key lies in anticipation and in preparing your team to adapt and excel amid sectoral changes.

    Also read: Beyond Compliance: 8 Ways to Inspire Continuous Learning Among Employees


    4-Reserve Specific Time for Intensive Training

    Although promoting learning in the workflow is an effective strategy for continuous development, it's essential to recognize that certain training will require dedicated periods and intensive focus.

    These deeper learning sessions are essential for acquiring new skills or updating existing ones in the face of technological advancements.

    Strategies to incorporate intensive learning:

    • Establish dedicated time blocks: Although integrating learning into daily work is crucial, identify and schedule specific time blocks during which employees can disconnect from their usual tasks to focus on learning. This is particularly important for training that requires deep immersion in new knowledge or technical skills.

    • Compensate for learning time: Recognize and treat time dedicated to these intensive training sessions as an integral part of the workday, offering compensation for the time invested in professional development. This underscores the value that the company places on individual growth and maintaining a highly skilled workforce.

    • Facilitate preparation periods for assessments: In the case of programs culminating in assessments or certifications, provide specific days off or reduce the workload leading up to these events, allowing employees to adequately prepare and maximize their chances of success.

    • Adapt planning to operational needs: Collaborate closely with management teams to ensure that the planning of these intensive learning periods does not disrupt critical operations. The key is to strike a balance between maintaining productivity and committing to staff development.

    While continuous learning in the workflow is fundamental, the importance of dedicating specific time and resources to more demanding training should not be underestimated. These sessions not only enrich employees' knowledge and skills but also reflect the organization's commitment to their long-term development, contributing to a corporate culture that values and promotes personal and professional growth.

    Recommended read: The Art of Spaced Learning: 4 Key Tips for Developing Impactful eLearning Courses

    In a world where artificial intelligence transforms everything in its path, upskilling and reskilling become crucial for both companies and employees.

    Is your company ready to adapt and thrive in the age of AI?

    How is your company adapting to these changes?

    Are your employees prepared for the challenges of tomorrow?

    How do you foster a culture of continuous learning?

    Companies that anticipate and prepare themselves not only survive but lead the way to the future.

    shift ai



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