No one has been able to avoid the challenges that 2020 has brought our way. We now have the opportunity to do better and to change the way we do things going forward- innovation and investment is critical! In a recent McKinsey Global Survey, 87 percent of executives said they were experiencing skill gaps in the workforce or expected them within a few years. But less than half of the respondents had a clear sense of how to address the problem. Covid-19 has given organizations little room to hang around and action is necessary faster than they expected to address this skills gap. This is where we come in:
Try to answer three questions right now,
Who are you – what skills do you have, what competencies do you have?
What does your organization need – what skills are lacking among your team members, what training is not available to you and which competencies are required by the organization as a whole?
How well do you fit with your role or future roles based on the competencies and skills required by your company?
It is difficult to answer all these questions with absolute certainty, isn’t it? Well, say hello to Aura Talent. Aura is an innovative workforce alignment solution that can help your business to advance its learning and talent agenda as well as keep the workforce aligned and focused. There are two parts to the system – Talent Management and Performance Management and we want to introduce you to both right away!
Aura is for the ambitious, the hard-working, the solution-driven and the future-focused. Aura Talent provides an actionable pathway to success, while Aura Perform gives management an effective, trackable gateway to the full potential of the talent pool within their organization.
Through our research we know that investing in solutions like Aura Talent is a key strategic move for organizations, McKinsey (2020) make it all the more clear through their recent report which details six steps to reskilling to make sure that organizations thrive after the Covid-19 crisis:
Rapidly identify the skills your recovery business model depends on: As companies decide on strategies that will shore up the future of the business, they need to map out which skill pools will disproportionately affect it and drive it forward. To do this, they should quickly identify crucial value drivers and employee groups. Specify the exact contributions of these roles to value creation and reimagine how their day-to-day work will change as a result of value shifts. Identify which shifts in activities, behavior, and skills are needed. Specify the quantity and type of people you need.
Build employee skills that are business-critical: Start upskilling the critical workforce pools that will drive a disproportionate amount of value in your adjusted business model. The first step is to build a no-regrets skill set—a tool kit that will be useful no matter how an employee’s specific role may evolve. Focus your investments on four kinds of skills: digital, higher cognitive, social and emotional, and adaptability and resilience. The skill-building in these four areas should be predominately digital and self-paced but not tailored to the individual in most cases.
Invest in tailored learning journeys to bridge the skill gaps: It’s imperative for companies to prepare to reimagine and ramp up their business models, it is important to go deeper on strategic workforce planning. Leaders need a detailed view not only of the core activities that critical groups will begin undertaking in the next 12 to 18 months but also of which skills each of these groups will need. Such journeys can be supplemented by digital tools.
Start now, test rapidly, and iterate: McKinsey (2020) found that most companies that had launched successful reskilling programs said they were better able to address skill gaps caused by technological disruptions or to implement new business models or strategies. And companies that viewed their reskilling programs as unsuccessful were still glad they had gone through the process, with a majority saying they were prepared to take on future skill gaps. The lesson here is that simply getting started on reskilling programs makes organizations better prepared for potential future role disruption—and is preferable to waiting. Reskilling efforts should not be abandoned post-pandemic. It is important to see this as a future investment, whatever talent reskilling or redeployment you do now should also be used to expand your reskilling capabilities going forward. By building your own institutional learning, and capturing what works and what doesn’t now, you put yourself in a position to apply those lessons during disruptive events in the future.
Act like a small company to have a big impact: The reskilling programs at small organizations (fewer than 1,000 employees) are often more successful than those at large ones, the global survey showed. This may surprise some since larger companies generally have access to more resources. Smaller companies are often more successful at following agile principles—making bold moves more quickly because they don’t have to shift around large groups of people to try something new. They also may be more willing to fail, because they have fewer layers of approval to go through. Smaller companies tend to have a clearer view of their skill deficiencies, so they’re better at prioritizing the gaps they need to address and at selecting the right candidates for reskilling.
Protect learning budgets (or regret it later): Companies should not cut their employee-training budgets! According to the Training Industry Report, US data during and after the Great Recession showed a significant drop in overall training expenditures in 2009 and 2010, followed by a surge in 2011 and a drop back to 2008 levels in 2012. What this tells us is that if companies cut their learning budgets now, they’re only delaying their investment, not netting a saving—especially since the current crisis will require a larger skill shift than the 2008 financial crisis. Use your training budget to make skill building a key strategic lever for adapting to the next normal. Don’t waste two to three years and forego the efficiency and resilience you could develop now. What you can and should do is focus on the resilience of your learning ecosystem: make it both more digital (including in-sync digital components to replace in-person ones) and more accessible to your employees. Finally, leverage the ready-made learning journeys and objects of external partners.
We understand that taking the next steps to rebuild or to continue strengthening your organization post-pandemic can seem daunting that’s where we come in. To book in for a complete demonstration of Aura Talent contact us today!