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Reskilling and Upskilling: Getting the Workforce Ready for the Upturn

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the level of advancement and resilience of organizations and institutions to abrupt change in the work environment.

With inadequate preparation, organizations are prompted to shift from face-to-face to remote or hybrid workplaces to ensure the continued operations of critical business functions during emergencies like a global health crisis.

But this sudden work arrangement transition poses a challenge for human resource (HR) management when business-as-usual approaches to serving clients, meeting with stakeholders and collaborating with colleagues—or just getting any work done—require careful considerations particularly here in the Philippines as stringent mobility restrictions are put in place in almost all cities and provinces to contain the spread of the virus.

The HR team is confronted with a task to rethink the workforce and employee planning, management, performance, and experience strategies that will address the asks of the new normal.

To perform such, it is therefore imperative for organizations to account for their critical competencies and ensure that online training and development opportunities are available to hand them the opportunity to further expand their capacities and adapt to the changing organization and business environment.

Spot on: Key areas that organizations should focus on

In the post-pandemic era, where remote working will still be the megatrend, here are the essential areas organizations should put invest in to stay sharp and on top of the curve.

1. Data Management and Security

Keeping the integrity of data and ensuring limited access to it is what remote working is all about. Capacitating the HR professionals on what data management is would be beneficial in strengthening the data availability and security culture within the organization.

2. Soft Skills

While the HR professionals are expected to understand and be able to deliver HR practices, it will also come in handy for them to possess the necessary soft skills to succeed in this career.

Soft skills refer to a person’s communication and people skills. With the rise of technology, these are the skills that cannot be replicated by machines like emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, leadership, time management, teamwork, adaptability, and resilience, among others, which are all crucial in building relationships and in ensuring business continuity.

3. Digital literacy

The COVID-19 pandemic has helped us reimagine the role of information technology. A year and a half into this remote working, it is still a goal to close the digital gap by helping human resources engage with digital tools in place of face-to-face socializing.

The Essence of Training the Workforce

Training provides a great understanding of the specific responsibilities, the knowledge, and the skills needed to do the job. It is also a way of identifying weaknesses and eventually turning them into strengths.

Below are some of the benefits of investing in capacity-building:

1. Highly Skilled and Productive Human Resource

Ensuring development by investing in several trainings enhances the knowledge and skills of employees to perform tasks efficiently and effectively.

Further, those who take part in effective training and development programs are more likely to finish their tasks ahead of time, with quality outputs, or take on a more challenging role. They are also quick to adapt to technological changes and innovations.

2. Employee Retention

With a lack of career development, professionals tend to leave the organization. Regardless of position, employees who get opportunities to access learning, development, and advancement are more likely to stay and grow with the company.

With little to no physical interactions happening today due to the pandemic, it will help keep human resources in the fold by giving them meaningful engagements.

3. Promotion of Learning Culture

Learning is a life-long process. Exposure to regular learning opportunities would instill a desire to continuously learn within the workforce to keep up with the demands of the organization.

4. Better Positioning in the Industry

Capacity development can be viewed as a three-pronged approach to positioning your organization in the industry.

First, with a highly-trained workforce, performance would increase, thereby generating more revenue.

Second, your reputation as an employer that invests in your employees' success will attract the best appAnd lastly, enhancing the capacity of human resources would also enable anticipatory planning to counter the pitfalls of existing and emerging challenges.

Be it in a pandemic or normal circumstances, training human resources is viewed to be a win-win situation.


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