By 2022, at least 54% of all employees will require significant reskilling and upskilling.  (World Economic Forum Report on the Future of Jobs).

The future of work is now and the problem we are solving is not adapting to new technologies, but adapting to the dynamism of the economy, which is changing at an exponential rate.  Dynamic economies require dynamic labour markets, and agile businesses require agile workers and workforce partnerships.

The traditional playbook for strategy is no longer relevant

Upskilling strategies are no longer the exception, but a necessity if companies are to compete on agility.  In a recent study, Amazon announced they will invest over US$700 million to provide upskilling training programmes. 

Get ready today

The half-life of a job skill today is about five years – and falling. The necessity to reskill and acquire the needed skills to not only compete but to remain relevant is more critical than ever before.

Companies that continuously provide their employees at all levels with the latest digital skills will be most likely to thrive and continue to attract top talent.

Much of this upskilling will happen in partnership with education and workforce development providers. 

Agility will be critical strength partners will bring to the table. New education channels within companies have the potential to reach a wider student base where traditional education channels have historically been restrictive.

Its time we all focus on developing strategies for not just tolerating but embracing uncertainty, and deliver on the opportunity that change provides.

On the positive side, the tide has turned, and there is an increasing number of employers starting to overcome the fear that training their workers will result in their workers leaving.

Embracing this mindset has a positive impact on attracting new recruits who have confidence they are joining an employer committed to investing in them, irrespective of if they remain with the company or choose to pursue other opportunities. This can have a positive impact on brand loyalty and customer goodwill resulting from employee referrals.

The need to upskill is not the exception of a few companies. It is a necessary strategy if companies are to remain relevant and competitive.

Keeping Up

The term “information overload” was coined by Bertram Gross, the Professor of Political Science at Hunter College, in his 1964 work – The Managing of Organizations. It was later popularized by Alvin Toffler, the American writer and futurist, in his book “Future Shock” in 1970. We are all exposed to this challenge and often struggle to keep up and spend wasted time following multiple sources. In an effort to support you I am sharing three websites, which are complementary to this article.

Concluding Remarks

As an organisation that promotes good business relations between Australia and Southern Africa, as members, it is incumbent on all of us to stay informed of industry trends 

By following influencers, blogs and strengthening our network online and offline with people who have the same purpose of bringing together both local and foreign businesses will put ABCSA at the forefront of embracing the changes ensuring our relevance and value add we bring to the respective markets and members we operate.

My commitment as a member is to contribute a monthly blog post, focusing on the latest trends, suggested websites to follow and some ideas to contemplate as you build out your strategy.

Feel free to reach out to me with feedback on the article and I would be interested to get your input on future topics to cover.

Ian Bessarabia is a well-respected advisor who has worked with many of the world’s renowned companies and government organisations. He specialises in strategic advisory services, engaging with C-Suite leaders, Government Departments and Market Associations.  Ian’s current focus areas are advising organisations on the future of work and what this means for both leaders and employees. In addition to Ian’s 25-year career in financial services, Ian is registered with COMENSA as a Business Coach

Email: [email protected]