Mastering The Reskilling Revolution
By Michael P. Morris, CEO, Topcoder and global head of crowdsourcing, Wipro.
Between the speed of changing technology and the workplace disruption brought on by COVID-19, a topic on the minds of public/private sector organizations, is employee reskilling.
Traditional reskilling includes investing in retraining and skills development programs for current full-time employees. The philosophy is that many of the new skills they need to stay competitive and productive aren’t currently in-house.
You have good people—yet their skill sets are becoming obsolete, outsourced or overtaken by advances in AI. In fact, the World Economic Forum released a January 2019 study (Towards a Reskilling Revolution) that estimated if the US invested roughly $34 billion in reskilling approximately 1.4 million workers it could result in the up-leveling of those individuals to higher paid roles in areas of predicted need. This traditional vision of reskilling does make sense, but it’s still a linear move, rather than an exponential one.
The Value of Modern Reskilling
Work, technology and global workforce dynamics are changing: modern reskilling accounts for those changes as the evolved approach includes opportunities for retraining and continuous learning, while on the job and working from home. It includes teaching current employees how to wield other people’s skills to get work done using current methodologies such as crowdsourcing, as well as teaches companies how to better match tasks to available resources.
Modern reskilling is a more effective use of training investments for both the individual as well as organizations. Educators and businesses are investing in this strategy to drive the future of work because the technical expertise needed to just “keep up” can be hard to find. Modern reskilling transforms workforces from static collections of skill sets to flexible groups of people empowered to find innovative ways to get work done as quickly and effectively as possible.
People Fuel the Reskilling Revolution
The pandemic has further demonstrated how the passion (or “gig”) economy is the future of work. Instead of a top-down hierarchy that dictates employee tasks, in the gig economy, talented individuals choose the projects they work on and opt-in to the work that matters to them. Gig workers enjoy freedom, flexibility and community, and organizations have intelligently adopted a gig-approach for full and part time employees now working remotely.