Never before have we seen technology change at such a rate. The world is only a little more than two decades into the 21st century and technology has moved from the widespread adoption of the Internet and smartphones to a real possibility of self-learning AI.

While we eagerly await a post-COVID-19 world, the pandemic has reminded us of the many positives of the accelerating digital era. Without a doubt, organisations positioned to take advantage of the often-revolutionary advances in technology have not only survived but also prospered in the face of such severe business disruptions.

Despite this exponential increase in technology use, it is safe to say that synthetic thinking will never replace the human mind in the formulation of successful business strategies. Rather these tools will prove invaluable in facilitating and unleashing the talent, creativity, and productivity of the people. However, while the COVID-19 pandemic clearly demonstrated the feasibility of a remote workforce, it also highlighted the mismatch between the skills people have and those needed for the world of tomorrow.

Upskilling your workforce

Building a future-proof skills strategy requires a two-pronged approach to human capital management. Firstly, it is important to have the proper organisational culture in place along with a nurturing incentives scheme that will retain talented people. Secondly, ongoing upskilling programmes, that include active learning, are essential to enhance employees’ ability and that of the organisation to successfully navigate and capitalise on today’s ever-changing business challenges and drivers. This requires a committed and non-retributory approach to identifying skill gaps and mismatches and using this information as a basis to develop robust upskilling initiatives. To be effective, such upskilling must assist employees in meeting their personal growth goals, while at the same time aligning their skill sets with organisational competency needs.

Embracing the change

Resilience and embracing the change are a must, however, this can be a frustrating challenge for employees in today’s “high stress” business environment. Change management processes, together with resilience training, will provide the workforce with strategies to adapt, and even advocate for agility and transformation.


The agility to adapt to new market realities means that fostering innovation is a strategic priority for today’s business to be more agile and adapt effectively to new market realities. The workforce of tomorrow must adapt to the ongoing changes with continuous improvement and maximum optimisation to be able to convert ideas into practical market offerings or strategies. Agility needs to be driven by employers and employees alike. Agility within the workforce will help the organisations maintain an efficient workflow and remain prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.


With business operations increasingly being digitalised, technology, digital awareness, and capabilities are no longer tied to the IT function. It is an organisation-wide, multilevel need, irrespective of the industry or sector. For employees to be best equipped in the ever-changing world, they must continuously build their digital and technological abilities and knowhow.

Innovation savvy

In the age of digital disruption, organisations must seize opportunities, overcome threats embedded in digital disruption, and strive towards upskilling their workforce to become more innovative. Innovation is a core competency in today’s unprecedent rate of change. Encouraging, learning, and developing innovation within your workforce will increase the ability to react to market changes, discovering new business opportunities and the chance of organisational sustainability.

Information management

The information available to businesses has grown exponentially, potentially providing improved understanding of influencing factors if properly collated, analysed, and utilised. Organisations need to invest in upskilling their workforce on how to make use of big data from numerous internal and external sources for better decision-making.

Whether in HR, IT, Sales, Production, or any other function; information management is becoming a must for all.

Boosting interpersonal Capabilities

Capabilities such as communication, teamwork flexibility and problem solving are key to effective leadership. Such interpersonal skills also drive organisational performance when promoted throughout the workplace.

While various techniques can be taught for developing interpersonal capabilities, transformative upskilling depends on active learning, which provides employees with the opportunity to practically apply their newly-gained knowledge and receive instant feedback. In the age of digitalisation and automation, interpersonal capabilities are a differentiating factor and managers should prioritise these upskilling opportunities.

Businesses that seek constant progress need to consider upskilling their employees to meet today’s business needs to tackle today’s challenges. To drive sustainable outcomes

Upskilling the workforce has become a must. For organisations to survive employees need to have the adequate skills that can meet customer and market demands while at the same time elevate the business towards the required standards and knowledge. Upskilling the workforce and providing them with the adequate skills needed to remain competitive will not only improve the business performance but also highly empower and motivate the employees to drive successful business operations and succeed in achieving strategic initiatives.

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