Building a Post-Crisis Workforce
June 25, 2021
Before COVID-19, the disparity in organization skills was already apparent, but now with the rapid pace of digitalization and change in way of working, this gap will widen without drastic intervention to upskill the workforce.
More than half of businesses worldwide are unable to obtain the qualifications they are seeking – and now that the very concept of work and how it’s done are growing more ambiguous during the global pandemic, they are even harder pressed to fill positions.
According to a recent McKinsey Global Survey, executives gave voice to unprecedented insecurity about the path ahead: while they were aware they had skills gaps in their organizations, less than half of them had a clear sense of how to address the problem.
Without the company taking an active role in identifying the potential skill sets in the employee’s personal development plans, the long-term efficiency of hiring cannot be guaranteed.
Three skills trends to accelerate post crisis
Talent leaders are consistently working towards training employees. Learning and development managers should follow closely and establish post-crisis skills development pathways, which would make individual businesses and entire industries more resilient to potential disruptions. Many leaders viewed the current period of slow business as a great chance to improve their workers’ talents as workloads are lower.
According to management consultancy McKinsey & Company, companies are looking at major developments in relevant skill sets, and the talents’ long-term survivability depends on mastering these changes.
New skills to meet the needs of ‘distance economy’
For many, the new normal has disrupted operations and employment, and lead to the reinvention of work arrangements, such as WFH – Work From Home or even WFA – Work From Anywhere. Many times, this has yielded efficiency gains and other improvements in employee performance. This is accelerating the push to redesign the world of work.
Currently ongoing discussions are looking to take advantage on pandemic-induced developments. For instance, the banking sector has undergone a tremendous push for digitalization, rolling out new technologies and products, inserted into easy-to-use and intuitive applications for the benefit of clients. At the same time, as technology made certain employment procedures less relevant, these organizations have also rolled out training initiatives to support staff with more industry-relevant knowledge to assist customers frustrated with digital technologies and new, unfamiliar products.
Market changes lead to new staffing plan
The pandemic is creating lasting changes that will necessitate the returning of skill sets and employee development strategies.
For example, e-commerce has skyrocketed over brick-and-mortar sales due to adjusted consumer preferences. Early evidence from China indicates that new consumers – particularly those in their thirties and residents of smaller, less-prosperous cities – have begun shopping online more often as a consequence of the crisis. If not already, retailers are advised to start looking into expanding their online presence, and make conscious decisions in their staffing and development plans in this direction.
Changes to supply chains
As companies localize or regionalize the supply chains, there will be seismic shifts in which skills are needed. As a result, new strategic and automation projects will likely be rolled out over the next 12 to 18 months in order to develop domestic supply chains for key goods and sectors such as food and pharmaceuticals.
Obviously, the change in supply chains should lead to the change in human resource allocation. Local talents may be in need for business to improve resilience to their recovery plans to ensure long-term sustainability and a smoother ride for the next disruptions.
The workforce change requires businesses to make bold and big moves in HR management to address the gaps of capabilities. Reskilling, or upskilling thus became a big challenge for corporations post crisis that leaders should take into serious consideration.