Skills gap is a very real issue across organisations. Arecent McKinsey Global Survey revealed that 87 percent of executives experience a skills gap in their workforce or expect to see it within a few years. But most of these executives had no clear idea of how to address this problem.
The need to upskill and reskill employees
There has always been a need to continually retrain employees to keep their skillsets relevant to market needs. In 2017, the McKinsey Global Institute had predicted that roughly 14 percent of the global workforce would need to switch occupations by 2030 because of AI and automation.
The recently published Global Stakeholder Series by Salesforce has some interesting insights around stakeholder opinions on the reskilling revolution in India.
The pandemic-induced remote working norm has only accelerated the sense of urgency around upskilling and reskilling. Today, the workforce is expected to be adept at using digital tools and technology. They are also required to have a range of softer skills, including emotional intelligence, empathy, and resilience.
Aspects to consider as you upskill/reskill your workforce
For large organisations, workforce skill development cannot be an overnight change given their size, employee strength, legacy systems, and levels of hierarchy. Here are some aspects to consider as you devise a long-term strategy to create a business-relevant, future-proof workforce:
1. Perform a skills gap analysis
Skills gap analysis must be conducted top-down in an organisation. Everyone – C-suite, managers and staff – must be involved in identifying skills missing at the organisational, team, and individual levels. Define KPIs, conduct employee assessments via quizzes and surveys, and solicit 360-degree employee feedback from peers, veterans, vendors, and clients. As part of this exercise, also map your business goals and align these to key skills that you will need.
2. Define a Learning and Development (L&D) programme
L&D programmes are a great way to keep your employees engaged. It also helps attract and retain better talent. Set aside a dedicated L&D budget, and measure its success using metrics such as course completion, the number of courses taken, and time spent learning.
3. Introduce multi-skill credentialing
The future belongs to employees with cross-functional skills. Allow employees to opt for and learn courses of their choice, even if these don’t necessarily align with their current job domain. Such cross-skilling opportunities reflect your commitment to an employee’s individual growth and career progression. On the business front, such employees will be able to contribute outside of their job roles and bring more to the table during inter-team collaborations. Some of our trailblazing customers, like L&T Realty have realised early on the importance of constantly upskilling employees to help them stay relevant and grow in their jobs. The company used the lockdown period earlier in the year to enhance employees’ CRM knowledge and skills using Salesforce’s learning platform Trailhead.
To give you better insight into how large organisations can successfully upskill and reskill their employees, we bring you excerpts from our conversation with Shiva Kumar G, Director, Trailhead Academy at Salesforce. Trailhead is Salesforce’s free online learning platform that empowers anyone to skill up for the future. With Trailhead, anyone can learn in-demand skills, earn resume-worthy credentials, and leverage career opportunities.
Q1. How does Salesforce enable upskilling and reskilling of its employees?
At Salesforce, we’re committed to empowering our employees with learnings at every stage of their career journey – starting from day one. Our skilling initiatives are anchored in Trailhead and myTrailhead – delivering customised learning modules to our employees.
Using myTrailhead, Salesforce can create custom learning journeys – based on employee role – and track employee progress using Trail Tracker. Our enablement teams implement Trailhead as a one-stop destination for employees’ learning content needs. We create a fun and competitive learning environment using badges and ranks.
Q2. How do you ensure employees stay invested in continuous learning?
Trailhead is gamified–as you earn badges and points, you also climb ranks that illustrate your progress. On top of this, we regularly add new content and also keep innovating the platform:
- Well-timed life skills content — from equality to culture, storytelling to coaching, impactful leadership to big picture thinking. For example, we released content on empathetic leadership during COVID-19.
- We recently launched Einstein Recommendations for Trailhead, which embeds AI-powered learning into the Trailhead platform, making learning more personalised and intelligent than ever before.
- With Trailhead LIVE we’re reinventing the classroom experience by bringing live-streamed and on-demand expert-led videos to learners in the comfort of their living room.
- Trailhead GO is our free mobile app. Learners can access all of our Trailhead modules and watch Trailhead LIVE sessions anytime, anywhere on their mobile device.
Q3. Trailhead sounds so exciting! Is it available only to Salesforce employees?
Trailhead is available for anyone looking to skill up for the future for free!
With Trailhead, anyone can learn in-demand skills, earn resume-worthy credentials, and connect with a community of Trailblazers for mentorship and employment opportunities.
To date, more than 2.4 million learners have skilled up, by earning over 25 million Trailhead badges in technical, business, partner, and soft skills.
Q4. Who else is using Trailhead?
Trailhead also partners with over 700 universities and colleges worldwide to teach Salesforce skills in the classroom. This includes Community College programs focused on Salesforce certifications, skills-based training programs at state level campuses, and graduate-level training to prepare for the workforce.
Right now in India, we are collaborating with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), and the Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) to take Trailhead learnings to college students. We’ve also partnered with ICT Academy Chennai and ICT Academy Kerala, which are non-profits that train faculties, students, and entrepreneurs.
To skill your workforce effectively, prepare them for the future of work, balance talent supply and demand, and increase your revenue, try Trailhead today!