Companies focusing on Upskilling Employees: Co-Founder & MD, ARM Worldwide
If anything, this lockdown has highlighted not only the indispensable characteristic of adaptability but the need for improvisation to thrive in the new normal which we are yet unsure of.
Ritesh Singh, Co-founder and MD, ARM Worldwide
The situation we find ourselves in amid the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a lot of deep-thinking across an array of parameters for leaders in terms of internal business protocols, communication, new business avenues, even cash flow management, amongst others. If anything, this lockdown has highlighted not only the indispensable characteristic of adaptability but the need for improvisation to thrive in the new normal which we are yet unsure of.
As specialists in digital transformation, along with the leadership team, we at ARM Worldwide pinpointed the imperative actions of strengthening our basics along with elevating our skillset for the post-pandemic world.
The initial steps included enhancing critical & cognitive capabilities, social & emotional skills, and the resilience of our workforce. Even prior to the current crisis, evolving innovations and new ways of working were disrupting jobs along with skills employees need to do these jobs. This pandemic has simply accelerated this shift.
These 5 measures have been cornerstones of the upskilling process adopted at ARM Worldwide -
Adaptability & Resilience
The pandemic has led to the inception of contemporary forms of collaboration and communication. Workforces must be comprehensively well-versed with platforms and software aimed to ease the aspects of collaboration & communication during the lockdown. In a world devoid of swift interactions through frequent, in-person team meetings, meals, and coffee/ tea breaks, sustaining the kind of companionship, community, and belief that comes more easily with physical workspaces is an intricate problem. Remote collaboration & communication also aid in curtailing doubt and obscurity - aspects that foster negativity.
Action - The top management must lead the way in terms of creating an integrated experience and promoting a positive & vibrant work culture amongst the workforces.
Keeping Up with the Pace of Digital & Staying Ahead of the Curve
Expanding an already existing familiarity with technical functions is vital for us. Digital transformation across brands is going to pick up in pace now, because of the pandemic, which is why we need to stay ahead of the curve to stand-out in our industry.
For example, as digital transformation partners, we identified data analytics, online software/tools which facilitate digital solutions, data visualization, and machine learning to be key concepts to be further explored. This will help in offering swift yet insightful solutions to our partners, especially in an age where independent remote working seems to be becoming the norm. Most organizations have indulged in innovative forms of technology and automation in a few processes of ours across finance, HR, marketing, amongst others.
Action - It is truly the time to embrace digital transformation as the backbone of organizations - be it- small or big business, digital is the way the world will run.
Redesign & Innovation
Processes such as critical thinking and project management are important in an atmosphere of autonomy and independence brought on by remote working. As mentioned earlier, a host of new-age patterns across consumer behavior, purchasing powers, and laws of supply and demand will emerge and the keen observers who are quick to redesign strategies to suit these patterns will be the beneficiaries. Understanding and studying Enterprise Design Thinking - a framework by IBM, has been one of the cornerstones of our learnings at ARM Worldwide in terms of delivering breakthrough solutions that fulfil users’ needs by applying the concepts of redesign and innovation to satisfy consumers.
Action - Aid team members with a unique and diverse range of tools, training, technology which will facilitate designing their thinking for a better, efficient, and collaborative tomorrow.
Applying the science of learning will refine the outcomes of any upskilling effort. At ARM Worldwide, we structured the learning journey in a way to enable the team to acquire new skills and apply them to their role. We ensured that our workforce was involved with projects and tasks that allow them to improve their new-found skills while they learn. This helps build a sense of encouragement, positivity, and fearlessness within the workforce for them to apply new upskilling traits.
Action - To enable out of the box thinking, we must define the box, set expectations on the outcome, and work out an agile path to success.
Continuity & Consistency
At ARM Worldwide, upskilling is not a one-time activity just for the sake of the certification or badge, but instead, it is promoted as a continuous & life-long form of learning. We’ve realized that launching upskilling initiatives and then dissolving them after the crisis passes is short-sighted; upskilling in the current scenario is also beneficial when looking to expand upskilling capabilities going forward. By grasping independent and application-based upskilling, our workforce will put themselves in a position to apply lessons learnt in unforeseen disruptions in the future as well.
Action - Learning and self-improvement must be a continuous process, the application of learning is not an afterthought, it's by design.
In crisis situations, organizations must act swiftly to build up new workforce capabilities. This pandemic has just accelerated trends in workplace dynamics that seemed to be in its initial phases such as automation and AI and remote workspaces. To respond, leaders need to devise a digitally backed upskilling programme - an organization is only as resilient as its workforce. This is the foundation for working towards ensuring that your organization's recovery model is a success.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house