Strategy & LeadershipHR StrategyNavigating the future of work: Leveraging data and upskilling for success

Navigating the future of work: Leveraging data and upskilling for success

Caoimhe Carlos, Vice President of Customer Success in EMEA, Udemy discusses data-driven success and the role of upskilling in the modern workplace.

Navigating the future of work: Leveraging data and upskilling for success

The future of work will require individuals to be proactive in their learning and development in order to stay relevant and competitive. Those who are able to continuously upskill and adapt to new technologies and trends will be well-positioned for success.  As technology continues to advance and the use of data becomes increasingly prevalent, it will be crucial for workers to have the skills necessary to analyze and utilize data in their roles.

In this interview with Caoimhe Carlos, Vice President of Customer Success in EMEA, Udemy, we discuss the top three trends Caoimhe sees in the future of work, how data will play a key role in the future of workplaces, and discuss what complex organisations can do to integrate learning into their everyday workplace culture and practices.

Q: What do you see as some top trends in the future of work going into 2023?

To address the skills gap amid ongoing economic change and uncertainty, organisations will continue to focus on optimising their culture, agility & delivery in 2023.

  1. Embedding continuous learning in the company culture can help improve employee engagement and combat quiet quitting.
  2. Employers and employees need to remain agile by upskilling to ensure they are competitive as the pace of innovation continues to accelerate.
  3. Implementing a variety of learning models will help create a personalised, remote and scalable workplace learning model that takes every employee at organisations into account.

Further, it will be essential to strengthen power skills in a rapidly changing business environment. Learner data from Udemy Business shows that half of the total study hours spent on developing business skills were dedicated to improving approaches to leadership and communication.

Q: What role will data play in our future workplaces? How can we best harness its benefits?

In today’s era, data-driven insights are increasingly at the heart of business decisions – it is the engine for digital transformation. The use of big data analytics and emerging technology such as AI are now being deployed by enterprises of all sizes to inform decision making and predict what’s next on the horizon. This same data can also identify skills shortages – gaps that will need to be plugged by in-house training.

Q: How can personal skills help to both inform and elevate our professional lives?

Taking ‘personal skills’ courses – such as ones on emotional intelligence, problem-solving, communication and leadership – have massive benefits for our professional lives and are easily transferable to a range of work situations.

In recent years, the demands of professionals have been changing, whether for home office or a hybrid work regime, due to the pandemic, or for more diversity and inclusion policies in companies, for example. These changes, along with the constant transformations in the roles that professionals perform, require them to acquire new skills, especially power skills.

Power skills can be particularly pertinent to younger workers. Our instructors in the workforce development space have emphasised the pitfalls both millennials and Generation Z members faced during the pandemic which, among other things, has taken away opportunities to develop soft skills.

Q: Tell us about the importance of upskilling, given that the ‘war for talent’ is continuing?

With the right learning program, organisations can support, upskill, and reposition their employees for whatever comes next. Organisations should focus on flexible and effective skills

development, particularly during economic uncertainty, and address the existing skills gap by engaging and supporting employees through shifting career development paths.

However, learning is not a one-size-fits-all function. A varied strategy for learning delivery, including specialised approaches for specific groups or roles and their learning needs, is the most likely path to success. The goal should be to develop and engage employees across all business functions and levels, and to do that employers must look beyond the online classroom and find alternative ways for employees to effectively acquire the skills they need.

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Q: What do you see as some of the biggest challenges facing global workforces looking into the next 1-2 years?

The next 24 months will see the competition for skills intensify, which will make talent acquisition and retention a top priority. Employees will increasingly look for companies with a robust culture of learning, focusing on new learning methods and pathways to enhance every step of their career journeys.

By upskilling staff habitually, workplaces are in a better position to navigate economic challenges, reducing negative business outcomes. Most importantly for businesses, this strategic approach helps ensure they will still have a skilled and loyal workforce.

Q: How can complex global organisations integrate learning into their everyday workplace culture and practices?

According to Deloitte, organisations that foster a learning culture are 92% more likely to be innovative, 17% more profitable and have as much as 50% greater employee engagement and retention rates than their peers. Companies need to focus on creating a learning culture that is personable, flexible and scalable. And as companies continue to move towards globalisation, cultural sensitivities and localised content will be important to adapt to each market and audience.

At Udemy, we see three current trends in how companies are bringing learning to life for their employees, and embedding learning into their culture: the need for varied learning modalities; shift to skills-based learning; and validation (using badges, certifications).

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