The 2018 Future of Jobs Report from the World Economic Forum predicted that disruptions in the labour market could lead to an erosion of 75 million jobs by 2025. The third and the latest edition of the Future of Jobs reports estimates that these disruptions will displace approximately 85 million jobs. That’s quite a steep drop.
The need to build upskilling and reskilling strategies is now high on the enterprise priority checklist. This was so even before the pandemic. With the onset of the pandemic, however, enterprises must work faster on these initiatives to get their workforce up to speed to thrive in a world that is largely digital and software-defined.
The upskilling agenda
Upskilling is not only about technical skills
As change becomes a constant and jobs transform, upskilling and reskilling become an organizational imperative to maintain competitiveness. Upskilling is not just about increasing technical competency to thrive in a digital world. It is equally about improving resilience and developing the power skills of employees to develop resistance against challenges and threats brought about because of a highly volatile market.
How people learn is changing
For enterprises, the focus must not only be on driving upskilling and reskilling initiatives but also on evaluating how people learn. A Deloitte 2019 study on human capital trends recognizes the need to change the way people learn as a key HR trend. It further states that 86% of the respondents felt this was an essential issue.
Apart from having robust training programs, enterprises need to pay attention to ‘how’ training is delivered. A lot has changed since the dawn of the pandemic, and we are now looking at workplace transformation. With workplaces moving towards a hybrid avatar and organizations becoming boundary-less owing to technology adoption and globalization, it is becoming essential to ensure enterprises can provide equal learning opportunities to all – irrespective of location.
Continuous learning is here to stay
The focus on reskilling and upskilling will have to be ongoing and opportunistic any longer especially as skills and expertise become outdated every few years. Workplaces need to ensure employees have “always-on” access to training as change becomes continuous.
Creating greater accessibility
Additionally, enterprises also must think about improving access to learning and knowledge. This is especially important as millennials become the dominant demographic in the workplace and demand opportunities to leverage growth and learning as key influencers and drivers of engagement. Creating an environment that is conducive to learning by creating opportunities to learn from industry stalwarts and influencers in a location-agnostic manner becomes a critical enterprise capability.
The role of technology in driving training and knowledge equity
There’s little doubt that enterprises now need cutting-edge technology solutions to power up their training strategies as well as execution initiatives. The right AV technology and correctly designed solutions can make training engaging, influential, and sticky. Incorporating visual collaboration solutions into learning and training spaces is now essential. Delivering highly impactful learning experiences both online and on-site become critical contributors to both employee and organizational success.
The hybrid workplace is a fluid and dynamic entity that adapts and reconfigures the space with technology to remain connected. Creating an innovative infrastructure that allows multi-point conferencing and two-way AV communication now has to become an organic part of training room design to augment training interactions.
AV technology such as video walls and interactive classrooms can also play a big role in enhancing the outcomes of upskilling and reskilling initiatives. Such immersive solutions can drive engagement and build greater participation. It becomes an essential technology to foster learning in a hybrid workplace and helps in building learning equity for the entire workforce.
AV Technology can be a great enabler of great training outcomes especially because effective training and learning programs have now become dependent on effective interactions. Uni-directional training methodologies and learning experiences are no longer relevant in today’s age. Choppy training interactions, poor quality video, and broken audio can hardly be expected to deliver great training outcomes. As such, complementing great training content with the right AV technology solution becomes an essential point of consideration for enterprises who want their upskilling initiatives to deliver powerful learning outcomes.
Training room design, as such, needs careful calibration and should:
- Be designed to share audio, video, data, and documents
- Ensure interactive delivery of presentations and messages
- Allow annotation facility through interactive touch panel display, interactive boards
- Ensure that display devices are powered by daylight view technology for clear projections in well-lit rooms
- Provide wireless projection systems for hassle-free presentation
- Enable capturing, recording, and streaming of audio, video, and presentation over the network.
- Offer multimedia lecterns for the presenter for easy lecture delivery
- Provide sound reinforcement (audio system) for clarity of speech
Along with all this, enterprises also need to prepare to accommodate new trends like virtual reality to power up training programs in the near future. A cursory look at enterprises only re-emphasizes the words of Peter Drucker. He said, “The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything else will become obsolete over time.”
These words are almost prophetic in the modern-day business scenario. As organizational capabilities become directly interlinked with employee success, enterprises need to build the capabilities to make learning a continuous and organic part of their cultural DNA. AV technology can play a great role in augmenting these outcomes and holds the promise to be the catalyst to drive great learning outcomes. Improved organizational agility, better employee engagement and experience, and higher profitability then become organic outcomes of these investments.