Economies are reopening. The world is slowly going back to normal. There was nothing more disruptive than the past year. Whether it’s our personal lives, businesses, or relationships, we’ve all felt the impact of the pandemic. How should businesses support their workforce in a brand-new world that’s awaiting us? How can they better equip the workers with the needed tools to survive in a post-pandemic world? In this new era, trends are changing almost every day. Technologically driven organizations are among the ones that can survive.
It’s not only the pandemic that wreaked havoc in businesses. The technological revolution that’s been happening for the better part of the past decade has contributed to it, too. Employees have realized that their old skills are no longer enough to stay competitive in the industry that they have chosen. Before the pandemic happened, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that as many as 375 million workers or 14% of the workforce would need to switch work or reskill themselves because of two things — automation and artificial intelligence.
Opportunities for Reskilling and Upskilling
Fortunately, society and governments have also provided plenty of opportunities for workers to upgrade their skills. One of the many chances for workers to make sure they remain competitive is to comply with the ETEEAP requirements. ETEEAP stands for Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program. It is an extended accreditation program to allow those working professionally to finish their college education and improve their skills. They can earn their bachelor’s degrees without going through the traditional process of schooling.
Companies should show support for employees who want to study online. They can approve a hybrid setup where employees will be allowed to work from home on certain days to comply with the requirements of their online classes. The more organizations are supportive of their employees, the more likely they will stay with the company and become more productive members in the future,
The pandemic showed that people could do some work at home. This will forever change the landscape of the workforce. Now that employers finally realized they could save more by approving a flexible working schedule, this might be a permanent feature of employment. Even in health care, work-from-home setups are beginning to take place. In 2019, less than 1% of doctors’ appointments happened online. Today, almost 93% of doctors assess patients via phone, while 7% do face-to-face consultations.
This means that employees must upgrade their skills. They have to learn how to fulfill their duties and do their tasks while they’re working from home. Time management will be critical to employees with families to take care of. They also have to improve their skills in communicating virtually with clients. Loan brokers, for example, need to learn how to convince mortgage applicants through online tools and video calls.
There’s also a sudden shift to e-commerce from a brick-and-mortar store. Is your organization ready for this? More importantly, are your employees prepared for the shift? This is not an emerging trend by any means, but it has ballooned over the past year.
Surveys showed that in China, adults 36 years old and up are beginning to shop online. Yes, this is happening even in minor cities. Executives in China said they are digitizing their operations because there is now more demand for supplies online than in their physical stores. Not all companies are ready for this, as seen in how they scramble to meet the requirements of a more technologically driven business process.
There will be changes in the supply chain, too. The pandemic showed one thing: companies can no longer rely on outsourcing for their manufacturing needs. They’ll have to relocate some of these processes back home. They’ll move the sourcing and production closer to home, thereby creating new jobs in the domestic market.
But this shift to a more domestic market will change the internal working of companies. They will need to make sure their employees are skilled enough for their new roles. With a new market to target and challenges to navigate, organizations must respond in the most effective way possible —by guiding their employees in retooling and reskilling themselves.
The world is shifting to new strategies, policies, trends, and demands. Many of these will be permanent. A lot of these are going to put into question the capabilities of companies to adapt and pivot. However, this is precisely why companies need to help their employees. Reskilling employees will make organizations more competitive and enhance their abilities to survive in a whole new world once the pandemic is over.