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How to create future-ready work force: Corporates need to focus on these four pillars

The NASSCOM has estimated that, to be future-ready, about 40% of the IT\/ITeS and BPO workforce in India will need to reskill over five years. For a sector that employs nearly 4 million, this translates to 1.6 million who need to be reskilled. While reimagining reskilling through new mechanisms is a step to strengthen the learning ecosystem, organisations need to establish a clear strategy to facilitate this learning. To create this future-ready workforce, corporates will have to focus their strategies on four distinct areas Reskilling will have to be digitally-driven Technology is a key tool to leverage due to two important aspects Teams no longer work in a single office, nor are they tied to a specific geographical location. Thus, the traditional method of using classrooms and getting people to gather at one place for learning is increasingly getting difficult. Further, classroom-based learning will not be able to support either the scale or the nature of the learning that needs to occur. Since the learning required for the future workforce is a combination of various technologies, it needs the expertise of multiple domain experts, increasing the affordability factor of the reskilling process. Secondly, the current workforce is comfortable with the idea of learning when they want to learn, at their desired pace, and with a device of their choice. Effectively, technology then becomes the media through which the proliferation for reskilling can happen. Reskilling must be leadership-led This is a vital pillar of reskilling that cannot be ignored by organisations seeking to make their workforce future-ready. With the shelf life of the knowledge base shrinking by the minute, it is imperative that reskilling has to be embraced by everyone, starting from the top. If a rule similar to Moore In the current environment, a company Ensuring that a leadership-led approach is the centrepiece of the reskilling strategy will make a difference. Reskilling requires metrics for managers Reskilling is as much a corporate requirement as it is an individual necessity. Managers handling teams have two options to deal with equipping their teams for future competencies The option of sourcing outside talent comes with its drawbacks, since there is a severe lack of adequately skilled people to keep up with the pace at which technology is heading. Reskilling is clearly the better alternative. Managers will have to be measured by how they are creating a future-ready workforce through metrics that indicate how they have encouraged their teams to reskill themselves. Reskilling should establish an impact for individuals As with everything, learning too raises the Creating impact is a must in any system, more so in the paradigm of learning, for it facilitates the flow-through of the organisational strategy to reach on-ground action. Apart from the proliferation of a paranoia for people and organisations to understand that constant learning is vital for survival, sustained impact can be addressed by creating a tie-in with tangible risks and rewards for the individual. For instance, a positive impact could be in the form of an increment, a recognition, or a promotion for a deserving employee, while the downside of someone passive to reskilling would be missing such rewards. The relevance of the organisation depends on how relevant the organisation is to its client Thus, the organisation Srikantan Moorthy is executive vice-president, Infosys