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Culture and people-centric based activities to overcome challenges to upskill or reskill employees

Starting point: Hiring and talent scarcity.

Talent scarcity and finding those with the right skills, after the phenomenon of great resignation and with technology and management innovations methods, is an acclaimed problem. It will become more significant over time because other skills needs will emerge. Keeping employees up-skilled is imperative for an organisation’s growth and strategic positioning.

Where does this problem start? From the lack of a learning organisation culture

Basically, the problem starts from the top of the organisation. If the company has no learning culture, the attempts have been productive in more or less calm environments and considering development focused on routine competence and supporting skills.

When VUCA and disruptions came out, previous systems and the absence of culture showed the inefficacy of methods to upskill and reskill employees and, in some cases, even the management.

Peter Senge started speaking ahead of schedule (1990) about why companies need to become learning organisations: to realise the organisational and personal potential, where employees learn and grow collaboratively. Senge was already focused on culture, including vision, values, and integrity and a system thinking for” dynamics complexity”.

Reaching a match between employee’s expectations and the company’s needs

It is safe to assume that it is not a simple problem. On one side, one of the goals for employees is to remain attractive in changing environment and have the opportunity to grow in the company following their career path. On the other side, companies want to satisfy employees and allow them to support companies in making the competitive advantages achievable considering the targets of flexibility, reactiveness and resilience.

What I have described above also needs to consider the apparent paradox of combining :@

to establish what skills they need to reskill or upskill -from the employees’ side

- From the companies’ side, to achieve the goals:

1. to have satisfied employees

2. but also to sustain the company in these transformational processes and business-as-usual status.

How can companies think about satisfying people and merging or combining different requirements? Mapping skills with skills inventory or training requirements in today’s content cannot be successful due to the nature of management innovations requirements


  • Skills for uncertainty? In a previous article, we discussed making employees skilled for future uncertainty. And as a motivational factor, make them aware that it is more important to increase the ability to learn skills and not simply learn new competencies.

  • Continuous learning and Horizontal careers: Getting people ready to shift to different roles or work in cross-functional roles is imperative. No matter what kind of knowledge employees need, continuous learning creates horizontal career paths. When upskilled people cannot find a space to scale the ladder for their career vertically, this is a way to get two pigeons with one stone.

  • Youngsters Younger people are ahead of the curve, especially about technology: involving them in defining training programs can bring freshness and ideas.

  • Limiting choices but not options There is a risk that employees could disperse the training opportunities, a risk that companies can mitigate to avoid dispersion and increase focus.

  • Plan or a road map? Create a roadmap with few gaps between personal goals and your organisation’s goals.

  • Managers as coaches? From the management, companies should expect to act as coaches, focusing on employees’ career and professional targets they want to achieve with a genuine interest. By consolidating and refreshing knowledge, people feel more self-confident and ready to operate. Substituting Performance reviews’ time with coaching.

What is the role of culture? And What is the power of it for having competitive advantages?

Establishing practical life-long learning as a company’s value in their organisation. Here I think there is a simple solution: supporting employees to grow.

Looking at motivational aspects of learning, not everyone finds this additional activity mandatory to survive in the fluid job market. Incentives or benefits must consider inclusivity and equal opportunities among the individuals learning goals.

Build a Learning culture that, in addition, to improving the inclusivity level based on employees’ expectations to grow and remain competitive in the job market, can create the skills to work with complexity and the unexpected

Another aspect of the learning culture is double learning or avoiding jargon, learning by experience, experimentation, and feedback.

Next post, we will see the role of culture in this type of learning.


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