The Relevance Of Upskilling

The Relevance Of Upskilling

A collective fear of uncertainty is apparent across all industries and has revealed that we need to rethink the way in which economies and societies need to battle the COVID-19 crisis.


COVID-19 has upended the lives of many. And owing to the nationwide lockdown, businesses and individuals have incurred insufferable losses. At a wider scale, the economy has been set back by a few years. A collective fear of uncertainty is apparent across all industries and has revealed that we need to rethink the way in which economies and societies need to battle the crisis. While still reeling from the after effects inflicted by the pandemic, businesses and employees are finding new ways to stay afloat in such a faltering economy.


Coping with the situation


Individuals across the globe are grappling with the fear of contracting the virus. In addition, many are troubled with the thoughts of losing their jobs, furloughs, and salary cuts; and have already shifted their focus towards spending money cautiously and minimally. Adding to the financial strain, they are constantly worried about their jobs. Professionals who have lost their jobs owing to the pandemic are unsure of securing another job. In such trying times, employees must find new ways to tackle the situation. Upskilling is a smart move that can ease their worries and help them succeed in the post-lockdown world. Understanding the importance of upskilling and continuous learning, many companies have started upskilling their employees.


A Perfect Time to Upskill


Isolation from the real world, quarantine, and working from home is already the new normal for professionals. They have more time at their disposal because they no longer spend countless hours commuting to offices or socialising etc. Furthermore, weekends give them blocks of uninterrupted time to focus on learning something they have always wished to learn. With several online courses available for professionals across sectors, they can study at their own pace and within the comforts of their homes. This can also function as a leisure activity because online learning provides the flexibility of learning in small increments to its learners. With numerous platforms and universities opening their doors for online learners, an employee can find a course that aligns with his/her interests at the click of a button. Companies are also facilitating virtual training sessions for employees. The current remote working scenario offered to employees also facilitates a virtual learning atmosphere.


A Healthy Distraction


Though working from home may prove successful for some, it cannot be denied that some employees are busier than ever, and are consumed by tight deadlines and heavy workload. With no option to socialise or venturing out of their homes, they might feel stressed because they are too focused on work. Learning a new skill can help them get distracted from work and their set routine. Not only will it make them take their minds off the cabin fever they are experiencing during this period, but will also help them adapt to the difficult times ahead. At the same time, they have something to focus on, and it does not come with any associated stress.


The need to continue learning


Upskilling, while making use of the available time during the lockdown comes with an array of benefits. There must be a new skill that an employee would have wanted to learn, but had to postpone for quite some time. Taking advantage of the time in hand, they can brush up a skill, such as a programming language, or can advance in their field of interest. This is also the right time to learn new technologies or explore cross-functional skills that will help their career advancement. Not only will upskilling help them gain invaluable insights in areas of their interest, but will also serve as a mark of how well they can positively handle and manage change. Employees will also feel confident that their new skills, fresh knowledge, and being up-to-date will help them navigate the challenges in their careers post lockdown.


Benefits of Upskilling


Post lockdown, industries will drastically set new trends; the economy and businesses will undergo rapid changes. Organisations will need to rethink the way they operate. They will have to streamline their workforce to improve efficiency. While organisations focus on such practices, upskilling can be the best investment an employee can make, because the workplace and job market will no longer be the same again. It is going to be a lot more competitive. By upskilling themselves with the right skills, employees can become a nimble and talented resource an organisation would vie to retain.


Continuous learning has always been of paramount importance to career-oriented individuals. The pandemic has put an added emphasis on the way we learn and adapt to constant changes; multitasking and acquiring new skills are essential to navigate the challenging postlockdown world. With or without lockdown, employees have to constantly challenge themselves and evolve as better professionals. In the given scenario, upskilled employees can handle any challenge thrown at them by the market or an organisation with the utmost confidence.


Suresh Kumar Chitralayam is Director- People & Operations, Vuram Technologies. Under Suresh's guidance, Vuram Technologies has emerged as one of the best places to work in the country and has been certified as a 'Great Place to Work' for two consecutive years. He has been conferred with the Top HR Minds (India)' award by the World HRD Congress. Suresh holds an MBA in Human Resources. Beyond work, he actively participates in activities by Bhumi, an NGO.


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