Future Skilling Current Employees to Meet Your Workforce Needs
Research Question: How do corporations plan ahead to train and develop groups of their current employees for new skills and roles so that both the business and employee are well-prepared for future global workforce requirements?
It is now a corporate imperative to plan strategically several years ahead for the skills needed for a workforce to contribute to the success of the company, and often there is a gaping hole of capable workers ahead. As companies integrate better data into their workforce planning, they are coming to recognize a growing skills disparity between their needs in the medium term and their existing workforce. This is especially true as they move to eliminate outdated roles and ramp up hiring workers with new technology skills; but this could happen anywhere from warehouse to call center to design facility and headquarters. The big trends of globalization, the fast pace of technology and the changing dynamics in customer demands, all are fundamentally challenging companies in how they are going to change their business models and go to market strategy.
This organizational readiness issue will require a strategic approach to have a workforce ready to respond to these shifting demands. Companies no longer have the luxury of long start up times to train employees in fill new roles. Whether you are looking to avoid the expense of involuntary attrition, or prepare a group of workers to replace a large retirement class, “future skilling” can help address the accelerated pace of training implementation and prepare groups of employees to quickly contribute to the company success.
The Conference Board is launching a Research Working Group to partner with forward thinking corporate workforce planners and learning and development professionals to accelerate how companies can implement group training initiatives that transform their workforce of today. We will examine how to best train existing employees across all geographies to be the well-prepared worker with the expertise that will be in demand in just a few short years. This is an opportunity for talent and learning professionals to develop a capability to contribute to the ever tighter financial margins required today, and help their companies have the agility to respond to changing labor force needs.
We will convene a group of 12-20 companies ready to step back and look strategically at how to address this problem and ultimately identify the best solutions collaboratively across their organizations. We will look at the ecosystems partners and players that can and need to come together to rethink current approaches to capability planning and organizational learning. We will investigate up-skilling in emerging markets; re-skilling for scaled efficiency and new-skilling to create new ways to respond to the market. Each company will send two staff members from across divisions to develop a holistic approach that will incorporate the perspective of people from Operations, Learning and Development, Community Programs, and Strategic Workforce Planning.
The group will investigate the following themes:
• Your organizational readiness: How do senior HR leaders design and develop organizations that are prepared for scaled learning? What are best in class companies doing organizationally to support their strategic reskilling initiatives in the next 5 years? What is the horizon and timing in which we need to plan for?
• Which employees: How do you best select the employee populations or roles/jobs to reskill in a given organization? Do you continually train up? Can your employees become lifelong learners and not just rely on the next training program? What lessons can be applied to leadership development?
• Your culture and partners: What departments need to partner to make these often massive capability shifts? How do you address that in some parts of the world these shifts need to happen at an accelerated pace that often exceeds a) what HR can conceptualize; b) what Learning is resourced to deliver; and c) what amount of change can people can consume and absorb?
• What are the benefits: How can the ROI of reskilling programs be assessed in the short-term and over time? In which group training endeavors should organizations invest their limited resources? What are the key measures of short and long-term success, and how do they contribute to the bottom line?
• What programs are most effective: What learning methods are best incorporated? On-site, or with an educational partner? What is the role of social-learning and games to reskill? How does the shift to gamification and social learning get applied across generations and global populations? What can we learn from existing college-company partnerships? Can we increase their effectiveness?
The Conference Board is well positioned to launch this Research Working Group. In recent years, we have undertaken studies on workforce readiness, education and business partnerships, and hiring the disabled. We are a world renowned provider of learning and development and strategic workforce planning research. Our Help Wanted Online Database will provide a statistical resource for working group members.
Made up of Chief Learning Officers, Operations Leaders, CHROs, Strategic Workforce Planners, CSR partners and members of their teams, this group will identify dynamic opportunities to partner with their current workforce, academic and professional communities and government entities to insure organizational capacity.