ArticleFebruary 24, 2023by SP Audit

Skills will be the currency of the new workplace

We bring to your attention an interesting and useful article that we came across in People Matters magazine and are happy to bring it to you here on our site.


By Mamta Sharma

Regular turnover is not a very welcome development for companies. But a contributing factor to the phenomenon is that employees don’t see opportunities to grow their skills and their careers at the current jobs within their present companies.

Amid today’s dynamic workforce landscape, it is clear that if organisations want to stay competitive, they must retain their top talent and empower their employees to consistently develop new skills so they can respond and adapt to changing environments.

Himanshu Palsule, Chief Executive Officer of Cornerstone OnDemand, says organisations need to align their purpose and goals with the personalised skills development of their employees. “Upon joining Cornerstone, I went on a listening tour, visited six countries, and over 60 different customers. Since then, I have been to more countries around the world and spoked to hundreds of organisation: about how to solve talent and learning issues. From these conversations, one thing is quite clear: skills have become the new workplace currency,” Palsule says.

He adds that the number of skills required per job is fast increasing which has led to a further widening of skill gaps. While organisations and their leaders are quickly realising the need to upskill their employees, according to Gartner, 47% of HR leaders have reported not knowing what skills gaps their current employees have.

In an exclusive interview with People Matters, Palsule dwells upon the top challenges in skill training and development that organisations face today and skilling trends to look out for in 2023.

  • What are the critical skill training challenges that organisations face today and how to overcome them?
  • Many companies are challenged with identifying skills across their workforce for current and future roles, delivering skills training in the time of need, and providing all employees access to learning and growth opportunities, personalised and recommended directly to them.

So, what are the world’s leading companies doing in this area? Walmart, the largest private employer in the US, announced in 2021 that it would invest nearly $1 billion over the next five years to provide its employees with free access to higher education and skills training. Technology giant IBM is committed to upskill 30 million people globally by 2030.

Yes, investment is needed, however above all, organisations need to rethink their talent experience. They should focus on implementing a personalised, end-to-end experience for their people that continuously connects development (learning, content, and skill building) to new growth opportunities (marketplace of careers, communities of practice, mentors).

By creating this type of experience for employees, HR leaders can ensure alignment between their talent strategy and business outcomes, while meeting the engagement and empowerment expectations of their people.

As digitalisation grows, we can expect a significant impact on employment and skills in the decades ahead, at all levels and in all sectors, hitting some industries harder than others.

Ⓒ Are companies currently keeping up adequately with skilling needs to be ready for the recession?

– These are testing times for businesses of all sizes across the globe, with inflation and the energy crisis putting pressure on businesses. Of course, if we look back at recent history, this isn’t the first time we’ve had to endure global business challenges – nor will it be the last.

Whether the topic is about skills gaps, skills shortages, reskilling or upskilling, there’s this flurry around the rising impact of skills and an extreme sense of urgency to build them as quickly as possible. Particularly during a recession, we all need to be ready for the future, and skills are constantly evolving.

Organisations and their people continue to see skills development as an increasingly important part of navigating their shared future. Presently, we are witnessing universal uncertainty about how to build the right skills programmes, and what are the correct tools and systems to use.

Ⓒ How can employee skilling help organisations to become recession-proof?

– Addressing skills and training is nothing new. The same skills development framework we’ve been using for decades still applies today, and the great news is, new technology advancements exist now that make these types of skills development approaches even more effective.

We need to lean into technology, specifically, artificial intelligence. Al can comb through skills data across an organisation to better understand their people, the skills they currently have and the skills needed to fill current and future job roles.

There are several practical steps organisations can take to build high-impact future skills:

  • Predict future skills your organisation will need and identify potential skills gaps among your people, both within industry and across the board.
  • Particularly during a recession, we all need to be ready for the future, and skills are constantly evolving
  • Integrate intelligent skills technology into other career development tools that your organisation is already using or should be using
  • Foster a learning culture that prioritises skill-building and empowers people to grow
  • Strategise and deliver more relevant, modern and personalised learning content to people within your organisation
  • Adopt an internal first hiring mindset to encourage skills development and career growth

© What according to you are the top skilling trends for techies in 2023?

– With the technology landscape continuing to advance, the demand for skill sets in new-age technologies is skyrocketing.

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report highlighted that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as the adoption of technology increases. In a recent Gartner report, testing is among the top five skills by demand volume in all industries in India.

Cloud platforms in the IT industry and automation in the manufacturing industry are new toppers by demand growth and demand volume, respectively.

Computer systems analysts, network and computer systems administrators and software application developers are among the top five occupations by demand volume across all industries. Computer programmers are also among the top five occupations by demand growth across multiple industries. Additionally, we are seeing continued jumps in demand for the below tech skills that will specifically enhance employees credibility and hireability:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) enhances the speed, accuracy and accuracy and effectiveness of human efforts., thus increasing productivity and efficiency, while reducing cost.

In today’s time, where agility is required, organisations are continuing to invest in AI to automate repetitive tasks and other business processes. With its application in almost all sectors today, such as health, manufacturing, logistics, banking, recruitment, etc, individuals with knowledge, skills and experience in AI are in high demand.

The top AI skills that are in demand include programming languages such as Python, R, and Java, linear algebra and statistics, signal processing techniques, and neural network architectures.

     Big Data Analytics – Amongst all the innovations in the digital age, big data is probably one of the most impactful ones. Big data usage has grown to the point where it touches nearly every aspect of our life. Thanks to big data analytics, Google Maps can tell us the least traffic-prone route to any destination.

Using big data analytics, organisations are analysing large amounts of data in the most efficient way possible to extract meaningful insights that enable them to make data-driven decisions and solve key business problems, including understanding customer behavior, predicting future business trends, detecting frauds, developing better products and servces, and stream-lining their operations.

The global big data market is forecast to grow to $103 billion by 2027, according to Statista. This will give rise to many job opportunities, but to succeed in this field, individuals need to learn different tools and techniques used for handling, managing, analysing and interpreting data including technical skills such as data mining, data visualisation and software such as Tableau, SPSS Modeler, Oracle, SQL, Python R, @Risk, Arena, Hadoop etc.

Cloud Computing, or storing and accessing data over the internet. The pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote working which drove organisations to shift towards cloud-based applications and services to support remote working employees and retain customers.

We do see the increase in the usage of cloud-based tools for communication, project management, video-conferencing, file sharing, and more which will continue to remain a priority for organisations as they look to support employee collaboration and productivity, anywhere and anytime. Amazon (Amazon Web Services, or AWS), Microsoft (Azure), and Google (Google Cloud Platform) maintain the most in-demand cloud platforms.

By 2027, more than 50% of enterprises will use industry cloud platforms to accelerate their business initiatives according to 2023 Gartner top strategic technology trends leading to job opportunities for cloud developers, cloud network engineers, cloud database administrators, cloud architects and others.