- Both employers and workers sense that an increasingly digital work environment will require updated skill sets, according to a report from consulting firm West Monroe Partners. The firm reached that conclusion based on two surveys, one of 432 people at the manager level and above, and another of 1,000 U.S workers.
- Most employees surveyed (61%) said technology helps them perform high-quality work, and 70% of organizations represented in report had introduced at least one technology designed to increase employee capacity within the past year. But some organizations are "missing the mark" in addressing their future needs, West Monroe Partners said: 63% of manager respondents said their organizations haven't provided them with the resources to improve their skills.
- Training has emerged as an important capability during a thin talent market, West Monroe Partners said. But employers also must tackle that need with an eye toward improving employee and customer experiences.
Despite the report's finding that employers and workers understand the need to bridge skills gaps, it's clear that preparations for shifts are generally lacking. Only 41% of employees in a recent Axonify study said their employers are preparing them for the future, adding that training is often infrequent, covers the wrong topics or is "boring and not engaging."
Organizations can prepare for disruption and other workplace changes by cultivating a culture in which workers feel empowered to ask for and seek out learning opportunities, experts previously told HR Dive. Provided executives and managers support learning goals, employers can implement learning and development programs that fit into employees' lives and career trajectories.
The past year has seen several examples of organizations putting big investments into preparing for future needs. Perhaps the most high-profile example is Amazon, which announced an investment of $700 million in training programs for its 100,000 workers to be spent over the next six years. The company's investment is aimed at front-line workers, including those in its retail stores and fulfillment centers, whose positions that have been described as at risk of being automated.