Appraisals and upskilling for a brighter future of IT/ITes Sector

Future-proof your workforce: Reskilling & Upskilling for the digital age, Digital skills are no longer a niche skillset.

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Today, with the great resignation and employees quitting In flocks, the current employee landscape is looking for greater recognition and pay. However, employers seek talents with skills that match the value the pay holds. It has become crucial to bridge this gap; upskilling is the only way out. The World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that by 2025, 50% of employees worldwide will need to upskill or reskill to take on new responsibilities through automation and new technology. Findings also imply that the current workforce prefers to do something other than upgrade their skills on their own and that it may take decades for them to be ready for the jobs of the future. As a result, the younger workforce is urging their employers to upskill possibilities. Millennials are now entering the workforce with specific objectives in mind. Most of them are looking for tools to increase their potential for career progression and have a clear path to success.


Do it right: Upskill and update your workforce in the new normal

"The new normal" is probably the most polarizing cliché of our times. The COVID-19 pandemic, which led to people experiencing and witnessing things they never imagined, accelerated the adoption of new work styles and the cultures of companies changed forever. People used the opportunity for introspection and retrospection, and many decided to act upon and change their current career situations. While the intentions were steady, the execution couldn't have been more diverse. 

Changes in the people and their mindset


In general, professionals began prioritizing their well-being over the pursuit of financial stability and job security. Some chose to quit their current industry and follow unrelated passions, while others decided to elevate themselves to greater heights in the same line of work by upgrading themselves. These trends eventually snowballed into "the great resignation", which involved several people worldwide in various professions deciding to quit their jobs without having an alternative offer or even a clear plan. They were investing in themselves and the evolving job market. Conventional value propositions have limitations in attracting and retaining top talent when meaningful work and a sense of purpose are valued as much as pay hikes in the new normal.

Changes in the work and the workplace

New demand during the pandemic drove a rapid evolution in automation, artificial intelligence and digital communication technology and redefined the workplace. These new demands shook up our notion of the skills-to-opportunities equation. The new workplace required innovative technology, remote work, emphasis on environment-friendly approaches, the inclusion of under-represented groups, and acceptance of previously rejected paradigms. Employers across suddenly had completely new workplaces with much more value to gain from a modernized team updated with new skills. These changes are not a knee-jerk response to the pandemic – it is a cycle that will keep happening for the rest of humanity, spurred by the pace of developing technology and our improved ability to accept change. 


How should companies handle the change?

Companies should look for ways to upskill the available workforce and give them opportunities to develop their careers in the new scenario. Short-term solutions appear convenient, but any company seeking long-term value must invest in them. The first step is to assess the gaps through a formal appraisal framework familiar to the company and its people. The company's senior leadership must set a clear strategic roadmap and communicate it in actionable modules to the mid-level management. The company must conduct a free and fair appraisal of team members based on these guidelines. s. How far must they evolve from the existing skillsets to the next level to meet these goals? What improvements does each division require? The company must address these questions in the output of the appraisal process. Every individual should emerge from the evaluation with a clear idea of their new goals, prescribed areas of improvement, a learning plan/roadmap to get them there, and an understanding of what their new career path will look like once they successfully implement the plan. Only some team members may fit well into the new picture, so the plan should address alternative paths or decent exits.

What's our ROI for upskilling?


In the post-pandemic period, PwC reported that 40% of working professionals could enhance their skills, while 77% say they are ready for retraining. A good 80% are confident of successfully adapting to new technologies in the workplace. The intent to improve oneself through upskilling is common, and many individuals are placing the onus on companies to push them forward. How should companies respond?

An effective upskilling and reskilling program has the potential to deliver huge returns on many fronts. Organizations have reported ROIs of 250% in just 20 months from launch, according to an MIT Sloan study quoted by SumTotal Systems. Hiring new employees requires investment, as does bring new employees up to speed, fitting them in with the work culture and maintaining engagement of the workforce. Eliminating these costs without compromising talent quality is the key to realizing such an ROI. 

Opportunities and directions


Information technology has been the spearhead for the modernization of the workplace. Productivity, quality and efficiency of sectors operating on technology platforms have recently reached new levels. Organizations must invest in technology expertise and domain specialists. The first group drives the company forward and pushes the limits of human achievement. The domain experts navigate the route to ensure the journey is relevant and optimizes efforts. Companies may position their training departments to deliver customized training or leverage specialized vendors for scalability and cost-effectiveness.  

The HR department has a more significant role in this new model, starting with creating frameworks for the organization to adapt to its new reality quickly. If the company is making a meaningful pivot, it is crucial for all team members to understand their role in effecting the change and the final picture. HR leaders must recruit new leaders and managers with the same direction. Bringing in new people who already have unique skills and experience, while retaining the majority of newly upskilled existing team members is bound to create an imbalance in pay packages. Create an open environment where this fact is acknowledged. Help your current workforce understand why you pay more for specific skills and provide them with a clear path with achievable goals to progress on the pay scale for parity. 

The biggest favour you can do to your company and your people is to be willing to listen to the voices on the ground. Reality sometimes follows a written plan. Be ready to make changes and invest in course correction.

-Jacob Jesuroon, Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources, Access Healthcare