Navigating the changing landscape: How Indian enterprises are embracing upskilling

Navigating the changing landscape: How Indian enterprises are embracing upskilling
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The world is undergoing rapid evolution, driven by cutting-edge technologies and transformative advancements. The recent pandemic had further accelerated the adoption of technology and digitisation, revolutionising the way businesses operate. With remote work becoming the norm, it has become crucial for organisations to utilise the full potential of technology, bridge the skill gap and enable their workforce to adapt to the changing environment.

The digitisation of business operations meant that employees had to familiarise themselves with various technical applications. However, not all employees were equipped for this or possessed the necessary skills to effectively utilise these tools.

Upskilling to adapt

This highlighted the importance of a diverse technological skill set among the workforce, rather than mere specialisation in one area. Rajini Athreya, Sr Director, Kantar Insights Division, aptly compared the post-pandemic upskilling era to Abraham Lincoln's quote, "Give me six hours to cut a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the sword". Athreya emphasised on the need to sharpen one’s skills. "Your sword is your skill," she said, "and sharpening it would be you preparing for the task ahead and upgrading your tools to carry out your mission".

Amidst the uncertainties of today’s world, people strive to adapt and remain ahead of the competition through continuous learning. Technology has played a significant role in making learning more accessible, facilitating experimentation and creativity. "Previously, the narrative was reskilling personnel as technology advanced. Fast forward to now, and everything is role-based with individualised intervention," says Krishnan KS, VP learning and development, ITC Infotech.


Learning in an evolving world

There has been a marked shift towards role based individualised approach when it comes to upskilling or reskilling the employees. This allows organisations to focus on employees’ specific needs and help them advance in their careers. Talent Management at Titan headed by GD Singh, took a proactive approach for their employees, "Titan created a skill maturity matrix, which calculates skills that we needed to invest for the present and future, both at an organisational level, which will later be broken down to a singular level". This approach ensures that employees receive the necessary skills to stay relevant and competitive.

Adding to this, Priya Singh, Associate VP, Technical Learning, Zensar Technologies emphasises the importance of continuous learning, unlearning and relearning. “We’re seeing the Learning & Development function becoming more active and holistic as opposed to the cluster and divide learning that enterprises had employed earlier. The holistic approach encompasses a vast range of domains, ranging from resilience, flexibility, and agility to change management and leadership (among several other critical human skills), and, of course, IT skills, technology awareness, and digital savvy," she says. Krishanan KS immediately chimed in, suggesting that the organisations should leverage both split and cluster learning methods as well as holistic approach as this would benefit the workforce. "Employees will flourish in both small and large ways this manner," he said.

Fostering a learning culture

To ensure the success of a reskilling and upskilling programme, leaders must cultivate a culture and work environment that values learning new skills, nurtures natural curiosity, and promotes ongoing growth. And culture begins with the top management leading by example. When employees witness their superiors’ dedication to learning, they are more likely to take the initiative to upskill themselves. Anupama Nithyanand, MD and Lead, Learning and Knowledge Management, Accenture India concludes that "Employees will take a stance to learn for themselves if they see their superiors striving to learn and stay relevant."

By embracing upskilling and creating a culture of continuous learning, Indian enterprises can navigate the ever-changing landscape, remain competitive and empower their workforce to thrive in the digital age.

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