By | David Gaspar | www.entrepreneur.com
The next generation is reshaping the future of work with the new and shifting demands of their employers. Workers are embracing more fluid terms with the businesses that employ them, often opting for independent and more flexible work, or making lateral moves far more often than previous generations. With all this in mind, you should expect to decrease spending on upskilling or reskilling your people, right? Wrong. In fact, I’d recommend exactly the opposite.
The world needs more skilled workers. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020, companies estimate that, by 2024, around 40% of workers will require reskilling of up to six months, and 94% of business leaders say they expect employees to regularly pick up new skills on the job. The World Economic Forum also estimates that wide-scale investment in upskilling has the potential to boost GDP by $6.5 trillion by 2030.
But for many firms and workers, the pre-existing and perhaps outdated vision of professional life and organizational harmony — one where knowledge workers came to work for and spend their entire careers with large firms — has been obliterated by sweeping economic and technological trends. We no longer expect firms to invest much in our professional development because we likely don’t plan to be around for long. We know it, and they know it.
The ladder is broken — and that has its benefits — but abandoning efforts to upskill employees, whether they’re full-time or on-contract, is a shortsighted maneuver that will cost executives down the road.
Today, 80% of CEOs rank the need to facilitate upskilling as their biggest business challenge, so you’re not alone if you’re wondering if it’s worth the time and money. Here are just a few reasons why upskilling is an investment businesses can’t afford to go without.