3 ways to overcome skills’ obsolescence thanks to technology
In 1990, it took an entire lifetime to see a salaried worker’s skills become obsolete. Today, 50% of skills will be out-of-date in just 2 years.
Economic paradigms have always impacted skills, forcing them to evolve or disappear. With the digital economy, this process has accelerated, but it is also now possible to overcome this phenomenon thanks to different technological solutions. How?
1. Accessing to agile, personalized, and continuing online training allows workers to optimize their skills, autonomously and in real time.
E-learning and MOOCs are the new training models, accessible to everyone, anywhere, anytime. Thanks to their instantaneous nature, these courses allow participants to learn almost anything that they desire without waiting. Apprenticeship thus becomes informal, and also allows participants to interact transversally with other disciplines. Professionals are able to develop skills that are different from their principal job, giving them a broader knowledge base.
Just last year, over 1 million people followed Harvard’s MOOCs, with over 800,000 following those of MIT.
2. Proposing transversal careers is a question of moving from a logic centered on skills to a logic centered on experiences.
When workers are in the same position for a number of years, they have a tendency to become stuck within a particular domain, oftentimes leading to a lack of interest in their job. What’s more, it is this type of job that requires the type of skills that are most likely to become obsolete.
Moreover, the people who favor making transversal jumps in their careers are also those who seek to develop their current skills and discover new ones thanks to the expertise acquired in the course of their missions. The goal is to despecialize workers so that they feel legitimate and efficient in any job within the company. Rather than placing a large emphasis on skills, companies should encourage the employability of their workers.
3. Breathing a new sense of empowerment into the company culture and remodeling management styles can render workers more autonomous and capable of constantly adapting to new work environments.
By giving autonomy to workers so that they can develop projects outside of their typical field, one inevitably encourages them to develop new skills, work with different people and increase their adaptive capabilities.
Developing an intrapreneurial culture stimulates initiatives on the part of workers, allowing for the birth of new ideas, and incentivizes sensible risk taking and constant adaptation. Workers can thus become multi-skilled. The goal is to encourage workers to constantly evolve as their jobs evolve, and perhaps even faster than that.