Up­skilling is now a must-do

The New Paper - - NEWS - MATTHIEU IMBERT-BOUCHARD

From ‘lunch-and-learn’ train­ing ses­sions to Skill­sFu­ture, there is an ar­ray of ini­tia­tives to help work­ers stay rel­e­vant

The na­ture of em­ploy­ment in Sin­ga­pore is shift­ing.

Dig­i­tal in­no­va­tions are tak­ing ef­fect in ev­ery in­dus­try and com­pany as well as re­defin­ing the role of nearly ev­ery em­ployee.

Au­toma­tion con­tin­ues to im­pact the work­place, tak­ing over many labour-in­ten­sive func­tions and jobs.

At the same time, it is cre­at­ing new roles that re­quire ad­di­tional tech­ni­cal skills and crit­i­cal think­ing, adding value to de­ci­sion-mak­ing to suc­cess­fully nav­i­gate an in­creas­ingly digi­tised work­place.

Those who could do their jobs with­out strong IT-based skills a cou­ple of years ago must now use an ar­ray of tech­nol­ogy tools in their daily tasks.

Find­ing and de­vel­op­ing peo­ple with dig­i­tal busi­ness skills should be a pri­or­ity for ev­ery or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Yet, re­search in­de­pen­dently com­mis­sioned by specialised re­cruiter Robert Half shows 92 per cent of Sin­ga­porean chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cers (CIOs) say it is more chal­leng­ing to find qual­i­fied IT pro­fes­sion­als com­pared to five years ago, high­light­ing the po­ten­tial sever­ity of this tal­ent gap.

With Sin­ga­pore’s Skill­sFu­ture move­ment, the fo­cus has shifted within Sin­ga­pore’s em­ploy­ment mar­ket to­wards con­tin­ual learn­ing and up­skilling.

Up­skilling is more than just a buzz­word. It comes at a time when equip­ping em­ploy­ees with new skills is no longer just a nice-to-have, but a must-do.

Any time or­gan­i­sa­tions in­vest in em­ploy­ees by pro­vid­ing or sup­port­ing up­skilling op­por­tu­ni­ties, they feel more val­ued, and in turn, be­come more loyal to the com­pany.

And while up­skilling pro­grammes ne­ces­si­tate in­vest­ment, they also pro­vide strong re­turns in the form of ad­dress­ing cru­cial skills gaps in a com­pany by train­ing em­ploy­ees.

In ad­di­tion, high staff turnover costs can be avoided by en­sur­ing work­ers stay en­gaged with op­por­tu­ni­ties to grow, in­stead of seek­ing al­ter­na­tives else­where, tak­ing their knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence with them.

We have seen the suc­cess of the fol­low­ing ini­tia­tives in ef­fec­tively en­gag­ing em­ploy­ees and im­part­ing the needed skills:

‘Lunch-and-learn’ train­ing ses­sions These ses­sions are at­trac­tive for work­ers who do not have time to fit in train­ing in the mid­dle of a work­day. Lunch can be pro­vided or at­ten­dees can take their own to the meet­ings.

Ex­ter­nal ex­perts can be en­gaged to lead the ses­sions or al­ter­na­tively an em­ployee with spe­cial­ist ex­per­tise in the sub­ject can fa­cil­i­tate the ses­sion.

Such ses­sions pro­vide tar­geted and con­cise train­ing that em­ploy­ees can di­rectly ap­ply to their work for greater ef­fec­tive­ness.

In­ter­nal train­ing

It of­fers em­ploy­ees a chance to use a range of tools, re­sources, ex­ist­ing staff and meth­ods to bet­ter equip them­selves with new skill sets and per­form their du­ties ef­fec­tively.

Men­tor­ing and shad­ow­ing

With sev­eral sub­ject-mat­ter ex­perts within an or­gan­i­sa­tion, hav­ing a well-de­vel­oped men­tor­ing and shad­ow­ing pro­gramme in place can be an im­por­tant av­enue to share knowl­edge with the broader team so that the staff can grow, gain valu­able real-world ex­pe­ri­ence and hone their lead­er­ship skills.

Skill­sFu­ture

This is a great gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive help­ing the work­force equip them­selves with the skills they need to ex­cel in to­day’s com­pet­i­tive work­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

This is es­pe­cially true for those in the IT in­dus­try, en­abling CIOs to keep their or­gan­i­sa­tions com­pet­i­tive by train­ing their staff with the most up-to-date tech­no­log­i­cal skills sets.

Or­gan­i­sa­tions can ex­am­ine more closely how they can en­cour­age em­ploy­ees to use Skill­sFu­ture cred­its, per­haps by rec­om­mend­ing cour­ses rel­e­vant to their job scope or help­ing to fa­cil­i­tate flex­i­ble work­ing ar­range­ments when needed for em­ploy­ees to at­tend cour­ses.

Cre­at­ing up­skilling op­por­tu­ni­ties at your com­pany is not only smart, but it is also crit­i­cal to the health and growth of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

For­ward-think­ing com­pa­nies that con­sider what they want their em­ploy­ees to learn and what train­ing and devel­op­ment meth­ods are best for their goals reap the ben­e­fits with work­ers who are bet­ter at their jobs, more mo­ti­vated and more likely to re­main with the com­pany.

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