Constant learning and engagement are key to this fast-forward digital era.
The digital economy evolves at a pace that continuously demands new ideas, new ventures and new business models. Upskilling and reskilling have always been important. However, nowadays the speed of change has increased, reducing the time available to acquire new skills and competencies. And it can seriously affect employees’ engagement.
Professional opportunities for employees will no longer lie in tenure and experience. They will lie in constant learning. Professionals who embrace continuous learning and strive to improve their skills and competencies will be the ones who will excel and will have their employability in good shape for the upcoming future.
Think of the operating system of your computer. You need to upgrade it by installing new versions. Sometimes, it is a minor upgrade — patches and improvements — while other times it is a major one —the way the components interact, new languages, etc. Those new releases will improve your computer’s performance and keep it compatible with the rest of the technological world. There is an analogy between this and the current needs in your company. People have to release new versions of themselves regularly to adapt quickly to this new environment.
Although the main responsibility to upskill/reskill lies with the individual, if you are a boss you have your fair share of responsibility so that your team members become employable in the future.
A learning organization is defined as one that “is skilled at creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights.” This learning organization will mark the difference in what markets will demand.
The expectation of acquiring new skills and competencies will be relentlessly linked to the idea of a probable change in the future, which not everybody is willing and happy to undertake. It is paramount that CIOs (and also C-Suite members in general) raise the learning strategy in a smart way to avoid demotivation. C-Suite members have the responsibility to raise awareness of the need and benefits of a learning mindset and to put into action the mechanisms to turn upskilling and reskilling into fulfilling experiences for them, that is, into engagement. Once achieved, C-Suite members will not have to push to train people anymore: it will become a natural demand from employees.
May wisdom and courage be with you.
Daniel Sanchez Reina
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