Does your BPO team have the skills of the future?

When organizations initially discussed the future of work post Covid, discussions were largely around setting expectations among workers about the new hybrid model. But now we must think about the impact that the past 2 years have had on our workforce. It’s not just about where work is performed; it’s about having a healthy and supported workforce with the right skills to perform the work.

The pandemic affected everyone. The new normal post-Covid-19 brings new challenges to organizations that provide BPO services. Remote work is something that came to stay and the organizations have to create the conditions their workforce need in order to develop the right skills for success. When we talk about skills it’s not only about technological skills but also about communicational skills and capabilities essential for working remotely together.

Businesses should take steps to re-engage people to work successfully in this new normality. In order to re-engage the people the organizations need to re-build interactive relations in a harmonic, cooperative and inclusive work environment. Organizations with cooperation culture and people highly engaged before the Pandemic were able to work remotely during the Pandemic successfully. Considering the impact of the Pandemic it’s important that the organizations promote social activities that contribute to enhance the confidence and communication of their workforce. Confidence and good communication create cooperation ties are crucial in a remote digital environment. And organizations that create strong relationships between technology and people (enabled by new skills and ways of working) are better positioned for future growth.

So, how can we continually train our diversity of workers in the most efficient manner so they gain new skills? How can we enhance and develop a cooperation culture in our organization? How do we recognize transferrable skills and knowledge and ensure that people have opportunities to grow and thrive?

Skilling the team for the future of work

There are short-term and long-term considerations as businesses shape their plans for developing skills across the workforce. Consider these ideas as a starting point.

  1. Sharing expertise-building relationships

    Flex work models are something that came to stay. Only mutual trust and cooperation can create successful teamwork in a remote work environment. Organizations should develop social activities that promote the integration of their team members and encourage the creation of friendship ties. Going on field trips, sharing launches, celebration of port championships are examples of activities that promote bonding among team members. These activities should be done regularly and create a cooperative spirit in the team.

  2. Establish a culture of continuous learning

    Businesses are under immense pressure to deal with the current labor crunch. Prospective workers have options, and one possibility for employers to differentiate is by providing access to ongoing education. Acquiring new skills not only helps the workforce in new roles, but it also equips them to keep pace as the future of work evolves. Organizations shall help their workforce meet their potential by implementing a program of training, skilling and education. They need to invest in continuous learning and development so the people remain highly relevant and achieve their personal and professional goals. Recognizing that a skilled and well-trained workforce is a win for employers, customers and the business. Skilling is not a-one-and-done deal. Skilling and learning must be ongoing, especially now as the longevity of skills is different. Years ago, the lifespan of a skill was 15-20 years. Today in the digital world, skills last just 3-5 years before they need to be revisited. It’s important to determine the mechanism by which your business will measure the lifespan of skills. And, furthermore, ensure there are a variety of opportunities for your people to continuously learn.

  3. Improve skills equitably

    As the culture of continuous learning takes shape, businesses must be mindful of cultivating skills in an equitable manner. This includes the critical segment of workers that exited the workforce during the pandemic. Businesses need to bring back people who may have fallen through the cracks of no fault of their own. Some had to stop working to care for children at home. What do they need to feel supported? What skills do they need to be successful? Equitable skilling will deliberately account for the needs of a variety of workers who are essential to the future workforce. Women have the longest runway to an equitable work experience. They also have the most to gain—unlocking 4.7x their potential—if their everyday experiences are managed better.

  4. Customize skilling

    Skilling is not a general task that each person receives in the same knowledge module. Skilling should be personalized. Look at each person as an individual when it comes to skilling. Understand the foundation on which they gain knowledge. What are their goals and aspirations for their future of work, not just for that of the business? If we get serious about skilling, we must think about how to do it more efficiently. We must recognize skills each team member already has and illuminate any gaps.

Going to the future

As the future of work unfolds, so will your approach to cultivating skills across the workforce in an equitable way. You won’t be able to do it all in isolation. Think about ecosystem partners and identify the ones that can help. Perhaps they bring the technology component, or the training component. Work together to meet the needs of all workers. Think about the time horizon for preparing people for the future of work. To skill workers for the future, you should look at the next three to five years and determine what will be the necessary skills in the market. Allow sufficient time to develop those skills. The future of work is happening now. Are you developing the skills your workers need?

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