Skill training is the best investment to boost productivity

By: Arjun Gupta, CEO of Courseplay

In the past few years, we have witnessed our country’s economic growth touching limitless heights driven by the rise of new-age enterprises and startups. In fact, we are expecting India to remain the fastest growing economy in the world with an estimated GDP growth rate of 7.9% in the fiscal year ending March 2018. It is the high disposable income and the increasing purchasing power that is driving this growth as well as demand for a new level of service quality, resulting in the need for skilled manpower in the country. Although, under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Skill India initiative, skill-based courses were being integrated with academics in schools and imparted in colleges to train the young workforce, the rapid change in technology is changing the landscape. And how? The skills that the workforce gains in school/university are no longer sufficient to sustain them in this ever-evolving job market.

Today, technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, cloud computing, and analytics to name a few, are creating a wave of academic revolution. The lengthy and fast changing working lives are urging recruiters to look out for candidates with specialised and niche skill sets that are a combination of understanding the domain and knowing the technology, aspects which are usually missing at junior levels. This is when frequent corporate training becomes essential, to nourish the business growth and keep the momentum going.

There are many service sector industries in the country at present that are facing very high attrition rates. This constant turnaround of staff is making it difficult for companies as well as new-age entrepreneurs to hire and train new members in terms of time and resources. Moreover, they don't even find it cost effective to train the new entrants on skills that they need because it takes an average of 45 days to hire someone at a junior to mid-management level and then reskill them. The lack of training creates a skill gap, which results in a crisis in the workforce and eventually leads to lay-offs.

While many companies are pushing their employees to join massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by the top colleges to reskill themselves, many companies prefer working with online training solutions providers for specialized and sometimes customized learning programs that encourage employees to brush up their technical and soft skills to stay employable. They are catering to professionals that are looking to upgrade their own skills on their own time. In fact, millennials are making a beeline to work with companies that offer such programs because these courses have the potential to add great value to their résumés at a time of rapid digital disruption and also enable them to multi-task. As a bonus, employees find it easier to switch from one department to another as per their skill set.

Today’s workforce isn’t convinced with the idea of merely moving up the hierarchy but also desire having a relevant career driven by experiences and lifelong learning. The aspect of uninterrupted learning for existing employees helps the companies in making a rapid distribution of skilled resources and creating a strategic talent pool that can boost their delivery competencies across diverse skills.

While employers see value in such courses, there are many training platforms that miss out on the factor of following up but in the end, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. It is essential to apply the learning in order to retain the knowledge gained and it can be possible only with the platforms providing recurring training as well as detailed reports so that employees can pinpoint their training impact and stay ahead of the competition.

Businesses and technology are moving at a breakneck speed today and only a work culture that prioritizes ongoing learning in the workplace can induce a pleasant and energizing work environment with top-performing employees who can steer through difficult situations and help themselves as well as their companies succeed.