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How to Upskill Your Workforce

With the reality of a global talent shortage, employers need to look at solutions to recruit, equip and train their workforce to meet the needs of this new skills revolution.

While there are multiple ways to address the shortage, the most preferred method for employers is to upskill their workers, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum.

To prevent an undesirable lose-lose scenario—technological change accompanied by talent shortages, mass unemployment and growing inequality—it is critical that businesses take an active role in supporting their existing workforces through reskilling and upskilling,” Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, wrote in the report. “In order to truly rise to the challenge of formulating a winning workforce strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, businesses will need to recognize human capital investment.

This will take time and effort. By 2022, 54% of all employees will require significant re-and upskilling. Of these, about 35% are expected to require additional training of up to six months, 9% will require reskilling lasting six to 12 months, while 10% will require additional skills training of more than a year. The reskilling imperative will see governments, industry employers and education providers experiment and invest in new types of education and training.

Upskilling a workforce requires Human Resources refocusing on training and development as a core part of the job. According to Mara Swan, EVP Global Talent and Strategy at ManpowerGroup, “The role of HR needs to continue to evolve to help organizations drive growth and profitability. The world of work is changing and we need to organize work differently.”

Here are steps every company should learn to invest in:

Cultivate an innovation mindset in your workforce

The skills, duties and job that will be replaced through digitalization are likely those that are routine and repetitive. But creativity, emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility are skills that will tap human potential and allow people to augment robots, rather than be replaced by them. Having these skills make a workforce not just more relevant, but also more fulfilled and satisfied.

Prepare for jobs that don’t exist

It is predicted that 65% of the jobs Gen Z will perform don't even exist yet. The best preparation for this wave will be the combination of human strengths with digital skills. Technology may be disrupting the way we work, but with the right skills mix and appetite for learning, we can augment technology.

Paradoxically, in the age of technology, it's actually going to be more about human capability and human capital than ever before,”says Jonas Prising ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO.

To learn more on about the global talent shortage and what organizations can do to respond to it, read ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage Survey.