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A rise in marketing automation and other digital solutions that create efficiencies for a business means that the skills of some employees are becoming obsolete. In fact, a McKinsey survey found that Sixty-two percent of executives believe they will need to retrain or replace more than a quarter of their workforce between now and 2023 due to advancing automation and digitization.
More importantly, for your business, reskilling can be a way
to move an employee from an area where they are not successful, into an area of
the business where they can thrive.
Reskilling is about defining the next role that an employee
is taking on and identifying the skills that need to be introduced or
strengthened in order for them to be successful there. Reskilling improves
performance because it creates novelty and challenge. Change and growth, paired
with the right level of support, helps keep the brain flexible and the
individual engaged. The most important piece for success this process is
employee buy-in. Buy-in equals motivation and motivation is necessary for
effort; effort is necessary for development. In order to increase buy-in and
motivation to fuel this new effort, the positional move must be in line with
the employee’s own goals and aspirations. Essentially, there has to be
something big in it for them, and not just increased pay, which will likely
only provide a temporary incentive. Supervisors must help their employees
identify their own desires and assist them in building a path there that will
also support organizational objectives.
Reskilling is an important practice for any growing company to implement. Especially when you are a small company, employees tend to take on many tasks, some of which they may be experts at completing, others they may just be filling in because there is a void. As a company or a team grows, Founders and managers should take a real hard to look at the projects being completed and whom is completing those projects. If there is a need to shift tasks around, or train somebody to be reskilled so that they can fit what’s a company needs, that opportunity should be taken.
Technology is useful in this process as you can often automate monotonous tasks, offering your employees more meaningful work. While this works in many cases, a common mistake we see employers make is thinking a piece of technology can take the place of the human element. There are some tasks which cannot be automated, there are pitfalls and anomalies that are unseen. The best success we have seen is using technology as a tool rather than a crutch. One way to do this is to audit routinely things you do for your business, determine time consuming tasks and what we can do to limit them. There are a number of tools available that can do this. An employer can then take the time it would have taken to manually do a time consuming task and delegate trainings or briefs to see if the employee would be interested in a particular project. An employee can then try different things and given more fulfilling work to build value in not only the business, but in themselves. I can speak firsthand to the success of this as I am that employee.
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