Human Resource

Upskilling the talent pool for an ever-evolving business ecosystem

Upskilling equips your workforce with new abilities to thrive in a constantly changing business landscape. It keeps your employees relevant, fosters innovation, and ensures your company stays competitive by adapting to emerging technologies and market demands.

Podcast Audio Transcript

Mimi: Hello listeners, this is Mimi; thank you for tuning in to yet another exciting and informative podcast from us at Infosys BPM. Today, we are discussing about upskilling the talent pool for an ever-evolving business ecosystem. And to talk about this, we have here with us, Agnieszka Jackowska, AVP & Strategic Business Practice Head at Infosys BPM. Welcome Agnieszka. How are you?

Agnieszka: I’m doing very well, Mimi. It’s nice to be part of this podcast.

Mimi:Great to hear that. We're witnessing the breakneck pace of technological changes. From artificial intelligence to automation, these advancements are transforming every facet of our lives, including how we work. Agnieszka, with this dynamism, how can individuals and organizations ensure they have the skillsets necessary to thrive?

Agnieszka: You are spot on, Mimi. The speed of change is truly remarkable these days. Remember the days of floppy disks? Now, we're talking cloud storage 25 years later! But a move from AI to generative AI took just one year.

This rapid evolution disrupts traditional working models and creates exciting new opportunities, but it also means we can't afford to be stagnant. So many actions we take for granted today, like sending a message, ordering food, or buying stuff online, happen at the intersection of human learning and technology.

Hence, to stay relevant, both individuals and organizations must embrace a culture of continuous learning and upskilling. This translates to actively seeking out fresh knowledge, developing new capabilities, and adapting to the ever-shifting demands of our industries.

Mimi: I agree. These disruptive changes in technology remind me of the immediate pressure that they put on clients. They can also be quite overwhelmed, can’t they? Could you mention how your clients are impacted by the technological upgrades?

Agnieszka: Yes, Mimi, when it comes to clients, I am reminded of a few specific learnings from my own client interactions.

  • Firstly, they also definitely feel the effects of changing technology on the way they work.
  • Most of our clients expect us to support them on this journey – by advising and consulting with them on how they can deliver higher value to their own customers.
  • Thirdly, we can’t help them become better, without ourselves getting better – by continuously developing ourselves and our skill base.
Do you know this quote by Einstein “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”? Einstein is talking about the need for critical thinking in problem-solving. He was stressing the importance of having new viewpoints. That’s why I say:
  • Upskilling/reskilling is the way of the future.
  • Skills will be the currency of the future.

Individuals and companies who invest in continuously developing skills will stay relevant, while others are highly likely to fade away into history books as “has-beens.”

Mimi: I completely agree. That’s why a huge percentage of large corporations are investing in high-tech. But it also makes me wonder what the immediate future will be like. While these tech updates are going on, do you believe there will be any shortage of skilled talent?

Agnieszka: Yes, Mimi as you rightly said, over 91% of Fortune 1000 organizations are investing in big data and AI. This tells us the direction in which businesses are moving, and the skills that will be highly desirable in the near future.

As you know, demand-based talent planning can provide maximum agility to an organization. We have developed a model which will help us forecast and fulfill talent requirements on a timely basis. This is clearly based on the principle of demand. Typical demand channels include a person moving out of the project, long leaves, promotions, attrition, job rotation, new business, etc. There is an estimated probability associated with each event. Based on these demand channels, we calculate the net talent needed on the project level and thus replenish our supply channels. The technology deployed for this gives us an end-to-end view of the talent movement across the organization.

Once we know the talent requirement across all units in a given timeframe, we can trigger the supply channels. As you can imagine, this helps us meet all talent demands with exceptional agility.

Here’s an alarming truth: Multiple studies say that 20-30% of the workforce will be under-skilled for jobs by 2030. A Korn Ferry study concluded that by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people.

If you examine which skills will be relevant for the future, a McKinsey report presents us with 3 buckets:

  • Firstly, higher cognitive skills: These include math, critical thinking, and information processing, among others.
  • Then, social and emotional skills: For instance, how to hold a difficult communication, negotiations, continuous learning, etc.
  • The third bucket includes data, digital, and tech skills: These include programming, data analysis, engineering, and research.
Mimi: Excellent point! As we see it, upskilling is no longer a luxury; it’s essential for survival in this competitive landscape. But where do we even begin, in your opinion? The sheer volume of information and the vast array of available skills can feel quite overwhelming.

Agnieszka: It’s normal to feel that way, Mimi. But the good news is, you don’t have to go it alone. Many organizations, like ours, are dedicated to supporting their employees’ upskilling journeys. We offer a comprehensive range of resources. Let me mention the details of some of them:

  • Firstly, structured training programs: These programs cover a wide variety of in-demand skills, from data analytics to cybersecurity.
  • Secondly, mentorship opportunities: Mentorship is quite important for growth in an organization. It helps you learn from experienced professionals and gain valuable insights into your career path.
  • Thirdly, we need ground-breaking learning platforms: Tech-powered platforms help you access a wealth of online courses, tutorials, and e-learning modules at your own pace and convenience.
Mimi: Also, the educational system has to measure up to the demands of the industry. What would you advise the employees about future-proofing their career journey?

Agnieszka: Yes, Mimi. Most schools and colleges haven’t prepared the students with skills for jobs of the future. It’s true that the education system is only recently catching up to the need to change. For working professionals like us, proactively upskilling ourselves is our only choice.

As I mentioned, organizations – like Infosys - can provide the resources to develop, however, it is up to us to leverage, develop and stay relevant. In some ways, we are facing a similar situation as the dinosaurs – evolve or perish. I would say, we are still in the early stages of figuring out how technology is impacting work. No one has clear answers or can predict the future – all we know is that it will be technology-driven

The title of a book by Marshall Goldsmith “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” is very relevant for our times. So, in my opinion, constantly scanning the environment and learning is the way of the future.

Mimi: Yes, you are on the point about these aspects, Agnieszka. I am very delighted that we had this podcast with you. This is going to be quite informative for a great majority of our listeners. I would like to thank you for coming to our show and sharing your input.

Agnieszka: I am thrilled as well. Thank you, Mimi, for inviting me to this podcast.

Mimi: Dear listeners, if you enjoyed our podcast today, please don’t forget to share and like it on social media. Our social handles are mentioned on the podcast page. The podcast will be available on various platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify, in addition to our website.

Also, if you have any queries, do reach out to us through the email address on the podcast description. Watch this space for more exciting podcasts coming up. Once again, thank you for tuning in, stay safe and stay sharp. Have a nice day!

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