The great divide: How to bridge corporate India’s skills gap with digital learning

According to the Global Skills Gap Report, 92 per cent employees in India believe that there is a skills gap in the country and around two-thirds (76 per cent) feel they have been personally impacted by it.

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In today’s dynamic corporate landscape, upskilling and reskilling employees is one of the key ways for organisations to build competitive advantage. In this article, we explore how digital learning programmes can help deploy scalable and effective training solutions to an audience of any size, type or location.

Businesses are experiencing changes at an ever-increasing pace in these unprecedented times. The skills needed to succeed today are not the same as they were yesterday. The ones required in the future are also likely to be much different from either of these, in turn, leading to a skills gap.

Skills Gap: A peril for business growth

According to the Global Skills Gap Report, 92 per cent employees in India believe that there is a skills gap in the country and around two-thirds (76 per cent) feel they have been personally impacted by it. The Indian workforce also has the highest skills gap, falling just below Brazil.

Given today’s dynamic corporate landscape, businesses (established or new) are at risk of lagging behind if they do not pay attention to bridging their workforce’s skills gap. Failing to bridge the skills gap is known to be one of the leading causes of business failure.

Digital learning: Key to bridging skills gap

Currently, upskilling and reskilling employees is one of the most effective ways for organisations to build competitive advantage. However, in the absence of in-person training initiatives, businesses have had to change the ways in which they deploy training and it is clear that digital learning is the way forward. Offering self-paced learning content to employees that they can access anytime, anywhere and on any device, has been the key to enhancing employee performance.

Digital learning programmes have helped organisations to easily create and deploy scalable and effective training solutions. While it is likely that once the pandemic fades out, face-to-face training may make a comeback, factors such as time, resources and infrastructure are still likely to restrict the scalability of the training. Digital learning programmes are capable of providing access to learning content to an audience of any size and type, irrespective of their location.

Another upside to digital learning is that it can be deployed in lesser time, while giving businesses much-needed time to gauge the situation more effectively. It is also easier to measure learning effectiveness with digital learning programmes in order to maximise their business impact.

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Continuous learning culture with digital learning

As L&D and HR teams consider deploying training solutions to close skills gaps, creating a culture of continuous learning within the organisation should be a priority. Digital learning that can be accessed online through any device at any time, is ideal for developing such a culture. Digital learning offers ample opportunities that are perfectly placed to identify and hone skills gaps, so that employees have access to the best of learning. With digital learning, employees can be offered performance-support opportunities at the time of their need, to improve work efficiency through just-in-time learning.

Closing skill gaps with right digital learning strategies

Here are some digital-learning strategies that can help organisations close skills gaps more effectively:

· Leverage mobile learning to enable employees to learn anytime, anywhere — be it on the go, at home, while working, or at the moment of need.

· Engage employees in the best manner through microlearning, by offering them bite sized, small learning nuggets that they can consume when it’s convenient to them.

· Incorporate gamification in the L&D strategy and make learning fun and engaging by rewarding employees with social badges, rewards and certificates based on their operational performance.

· Utilise cloud-based learning platforms so that training is device as well as location-agnostic.

· Offer learning content that provides on-the-job performance support and ensure that learning is integrated in the flow of work so that employees do not have to find dedicated time for it.

· Keep track of learner progress with the help of analytics and measurement tools so that it is possible to provide real-time feedback and nudges.

· Encourage social and informal learning by offering platforms for collaborative relationships between peers and colleagues, so that employees get to learn from each other in an informal environment.

Takeaway

At a time when skills gap is a growing issue in India, it is imperative for L&D and HR to utilise digital learning. Digital-learning solutions are accessible, cost-effective and timelier than traditional systems. Building an effective digital learning strategy can definitely help bridge the gap.

The author, Amit Gautam is the Founder & CEO of UpsideLMS and Plethora. He is a learning technology enthusiast and a passionate leader. An IIM and NIT alumnus, Gautam is the key idea generator for UpsideLMS & Plethora’s product teams, a Sales and Marketing orchestrator, a learning technology solutions consultant for clients and prospects, and a mentor for all the function heads at his company.

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