In recent years, there have been endless high-pitched discussions about the importance of reskilling employees to cope with new technologies and business models. But a recent survey has found that many large companies across the world still face challenges in implementing such plans.
The lack of adequate funds was cited as the biggest barrier to reskilling the workforce in a survey of over 1,000 senior management executives, at global companies with an annual turnover of $1 billion. The survey was conducted by Infosys Knowledge Institute (IKI), the thought leadership and research arm of India’s second-largest IT services company.
“Despite organisations acknowledging the paramount importance of retraining and upskilling (the) workforce, many of them consistently undervalue and underfund talent and employee initiatives,” the survey report said.
Some of the other barriers to reskilling of the workforce are a lack of awareness, insufficient HR resources, and employees’ resistance to change, according to the survey.
The survey also found that companies do not give much importance to “learnability,” or the desire to upgrade one’s skills.
Individual skills such as empathy and adaptability are also seen as less important than collaboration skills like teamwork, leadership, and communication. This is concerning because “with more focus on creating superior customer experiences, soft skills have become just as important as technical ones,” the Infosys report said.
The need for soft skills notwithstanding, the demand for strong technical skills will never fade. Analytics, automation, and artificial intelligence are the most sought-after currently, the Infosys survey said.