- Familiarity with tools such as videoconferencing and collaboration is a critical upside to the en masse remote work push driven by the pandemic, according to Monne Williams, partner at McKinsey & Co, speaking on a McKinsey Live panel Wednesday.
- "We're living in an unprecedented moment where people are more comfortable with virtual tools than they ever have been before," said Williams. With the increased comfort comes a lower barrier to scaling digital and virtual capability building at a level "unmatched to anything we've ever seen before."
- Internally, McKinsey moved many of its training programs to the virtual realm, and employees pursuing virtual programs viewed them as at least equally as effective as the in-person programs, said Williams.
Transformation, the truly ambitious kind, can set up a company up to rethink how it does business — even, at times, what it does.
Though aligning the workforce around a mandate of transformation is critical, staff won't be able to respond to the pressures of transformation without the necessary skills to embrace change, according to Williams. "Aspiration and will alone are not enough," she said.
McKinsey said it finds organizations grapple with skill gaps in areas such as financial literacy or communication, but challenges also remain in high-demand areas like data analytics. According to recent Gartner data, more than half of organizations, 55%, blend internal and external strategies to obtain the necessary talent that powers their AI strategies.
The pandemic impacted company training strategies by lowering the barrier of access to scalable training programs. With a more remote workforce, the cost associated with travel and lodging for training fell.
Remote work capabilities let organizations develop employees' skills sets at scale. This applies to soft skills, too. Flexibility/adaptability, leadership and strong work ethics are among the top soft skills hiring managers want their workers to improve on, according to survey results from IT trade group CompTIA.