How to stay relevant in constantly changing world

With the advancement of technology, we are only going to see the pace of change accelerate and continuously upskilling yourself has become the most sensible way to stay relevant.
Lifelong learning is the answer to staying relevant in today’s fast-changing business world.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Lifelong learning is the answer to staying relevant in today’s fast-changing business world.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Oct 31, 2019 04:25 PM IST
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ByIrwin Anand

There has been a dramatic shift in the way we do business in the past decade. Businesses are more global and technologically advanced, which requires highly skilled employees who thrive in a time of change. What started as a slow process, has been propelled forward, and now both businesses and employees are faced with the challenge of how to best adapt to the rapidly changing environment.

With the advancement of technology, we are only going to see the pace of change accelerate and continuously upskilling yourself has become the most sensible way to stay relevant.

In a report by McKinsey, the consulting firm concluded that it is an urgent business priority to invest in retaining and ‘upskilling’ existing workers. It is no longer enough to think about what works for the business right now but rather developing strategies for future growth through investment in the employees. The shift from skilling continuous learners to connected learners maximizes the core value for corporate learning; there is a culture of simultaneously learning and developing the skills that an individual acquires, thereby fostering an environment for connected progression. As a result, it is imperative for corporations to lead the way with upskilling their employees.

In another report by PwC, the research shows that employees who lack the right skills can become a major threat to business growth and development. The global survey discovered that business leaders are willing to upskill their employees to fill the current skills gap when presented with options to either retain, outsource and/or take in employees with a strong academic background.

Both entrepreneurs and business leaders alike have consistently emphasized that the single most important thing to achieve and sustain market leadership is relevance. Relevance comes along with upskilling and innovation which acts as a growth imperative for companies. With the surge in technologically complex tasks, the need to upskill has never been more critical. Better innovation, lower costs of additional training, a decrease in outsourcing and client understanding are some of the benefits that in-house upskilling and training offer. Employees tend to become highly adaptable when presented with opportunities to upskill, which the organization can harness effectively, leading to business development in all areas of the business.

Microlearning helps learner engagement

The workplace continues to evolve, with increasing demands on employees’ time and performance. Microlearning is the practice of delivering just the right amount of information to help a learner achieve a specific goal. The short nature of microlearning fits easily within a busy workday, and it’s what most employees prefer. This is why shorter videos can maximize learner engagement.

Agile Learning

It’s increasingly critical to understand the business needs for each part of the organization. While it’s important for every learning and development team to tie learning back to organizational objectives, it becomes crucial when the objectives vary largely throughout the business. Business leaders should consider implementing an agile approach and modernise their solutions to manage constant disruption and deliver learning and development at the speed of the business.

Blended Learning

Blended learning has become a powerful method to drive upskilling as new digital technologies are redefining learning experiences in the modern workplace. While in the past blended learning programs meant combining the best of the classroom and online learning, today, blended learning experiences mean layering classroom learning and online learning with a wide variety of digital technologies and social practices.

Scalable coaching

There are a number of ways learning and development leaders are incorporating coaching into the learning experience. This might involve layering social learning and one-on-one coaching post-classroom to reinforce learning on the job and ensure behavior change occurs. Or, it might be offering to coach in a more scalable and affordable way by leveraging internal group mentors, video-based meetings, and coaching tools to ensure outcomes are achieved.

Lifelong learning is the answer to staying relevant in today’s fast-changing business world. There are many different ways an organization can help its employees upskill and prioritizing that will stimulate growth, for the organization as well as the individual.

(Irwin Anand is Managing Director, Udemy India. Views expressed here are personal.)

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022