Building and adapting skills

According to a Mercer survey of 2020, 99% of organisations say they want to embark on transformation, and almost all reporting significant skills gaps in their people with reskilling as the top talent investment capable of driving business success.

Workforce capability and lack of future skills are seen as primary reasons why transformations fail, and reskilling is one of the investments that is critical for the ongoing adaption and growth of any organisation.

Of those surveyed, only 28% identified cutting back on reskilling initiatives as a tactic to mitigate economic softening. This may be more of a short term objective rather than a long term strategy, as we know cutting human capital capability will hurt the company in the long run.

With the significant increase in available workforce due to global trends, it is critical companies do all that they can to retain the top talent they have and reskilling or upskilling in one of the top 5 drivers for employee retention.

However, training for trainings sake does not fill the gap. Although over 1/3 of HR leaders are investing in workforce learning and reskilling as part of their future of work strategy, 40% do not know what skills their workforce possesses, making it near impossible to close the gaps.

In the same survey executives shared their gut feeling that less than half (45%) of their workers are capable of adapting to the future needs of the company.

The concern is that without an integrated approach to strategic workforce planning (which takes account of how skills may change) and limited data on existing skills, companies may inadvertently lose valued talent.

Long-term planning would enable firms to imagine brighter futures for their employees and boost their competitiveness once economic conditions improve.

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