Last week, I wrote an article on the survey conducted by PwC in which the majority of the CEO expressed pessimistic views on their company’s growth opportunity in the years 2020 and 2021. This week, I like to highlight the survey conducted by Degreed. Degreed surveyed over 5,200 people around the world to assess the effects of recent global events on workforce skills and to gauge their readiness to adapt to new challenges.
Here are the important data presented by the survey.
- . Six-in-ten say COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis have accelerated their need to acquire new skills.
- Development opportunities are harder to find at work amid the global health and economic crisis. Nearly half of workers (46%) say their employers have reduced upskilling and reskilling opportunities during the pandemic.
- Nearly half (46%) of workers, managers, and business leaders believe their core job skills will be obsolete within five years. More than 36% expect their core job skills to decay within three years.
The implications are on people, communities, and businesses. The survey also shared the following key insights.
- People: The livelihoods and prospects of tens of millions of workers have already been damaged. And more than half of workers globally (55%) say that as confidence in their skills decreases, their stress levels increase. Anxiety about skills is becoming a mental health and wellness issue. Nearly 6-in-10 (55%) workers, managers, and business leaders said a lack of confidence in their skills makes their job more stressful. Nearly 4-in-10 (38%) say their mental health suffers.
- Communities: That stress doesn’t just affect those people and their families. It compounds into weaker consumer demand and adds new pressures on already strained communities and local governments.
- Businesses: Anxiety and stress over skills can also impede workers’ productivity and performance, and intensify “people costs” like wellness, absences, and turnover. And that’s bad for business. The declining availability of upskilling and reskilling opportunities could lead to increased voluntary turnover, which puts business resilience and recovery at risk when the economic climate improves. Nearly half (46%) of workers around the world now say they are more likely to leave their employer if they don’t see a commitment to upskilling and reskilling.
Is the organization wrong to cut the budget for learning and development? If I were the CEO or CFO, I may take the same approach. It is better to reallocate some of the L&D budgets so that the organization (especially businesses that are facing serious cash flow issues like airlines and the travel industry). is able to pay salary to employees so that the employees are able to put a loaf of bread on the table.
Now that leads to the question of how employees and organizations ensure that they are able to upskill and ready when the businesses return. This where innovative thinking will come in handy for employees and business leaders especially L&D and talent development experts.
I would like to share some of the best practices that we practice in Talent Hut as well as some of the best companies in the world.
- Internal Experts sharing their knowledge with junior employees
- Free online course. Organizations like Linkedin, Mercer, MDEC, and many others are organizing free webinars
- Professional networks and associations. Quite a number of my professional network members like Angie, Andreas, Cheanu, Ranukka, Capt. Gan, Dr. Lavanya, Rooban, Dennis Goh, and Pukal. The topics range from increasing Social Selling Index, mastering NLP, improving personal Branding, business coaching, mental health, digital marketing, litigation and to even technical training like how to design IT network using Cisco equipment. There are plenty of opportunities for organizations and people to sharpen their saw. Money should not be an obstacle.
- There are organizations that provide very comprehensive learning curriculum/modules free online like Coursera, Udemy.
- Reading articles that are published in reputable magazines or blogs.
I like to hear from L&D, Talent Management experts, and business leaders on how they support their employees’ upskilling journey.