If it was not apparent before, it is now. The digital age is here to stay and for those that are not keeping up will eventually be left behind.
Bearing in mind the harsh lessons learnt at the expense of the former giants, what can an individual do to upskill himself or herself post COVID-19 to ensure that they do not too, become redundant and are left behind?
Upskilling in the Digital Age
First of all, upskilling is not about learning a new device because that very same device can become obsolete tomorrow. Instead, upskilling is about gaining the knowledge, tools and technical expertise to harness the digital technologies that are available in their lives and workplace.
The main difference between upskilling in the pre-pandemic world and the new normal we now live in would be time. Previously, we had the luxury of time to plan, test and adjust new technologies. Nowadays, it is a constant race against time to constantly reframe and adapt to the COVID-19 situation, which is changing rapidly, even as we speak.
As a result, individuals have had to unlearn what they have learnt previously and adopt a new learning mode, which is to make decisions based on current information and data, rather than past data, which may no longer be relevant.
These changes can be seen in various businesses that have learnt to evolve and upskill their employees:
Hawkers: They had to switch to online delivery and payment during the Circuit Breaker period when their customers were not allowed to dine out.
Taxi Drivers: Nowadays, taxi drivers are also doubling up as delivery men, helping to send food and parcels during off peak hours.
Security guards: Security guards at condominiums and shopping malls have had to expand their job scope and serve as temperature screeners and safe entry enforcing officers on top of their previous duties.
As shown above in the various examples, the hawker can no longer claim that he is not familiar with online payment and delivery modes. Similarly, the security guard has to be familiar with the TraceTogether app and temperature screening equipment. All these would simply not be possible if the employers and staff did not embrace upskilling and equip themselves with the necessary expertise as mentioned earlier.
Constant learning and upskilling has always been necessary for us to keep abreast of technology and to make ourselves relevant to the workforce but COVID-19 has simply accelerated the process.
In the past, you would probably be able to hang on to your job if you resist the urge to upskill but in the current climate, you can easily find yourself out of a job if you do not embrace relearning and upskilling.
So, how do we help people to upskill in this ever-changing digital era amidst the pandemic?
The answer is simple. It is all about helping people to become effective and efficient learners. By that, it means to help change people’s mental models and reframe their thinking so they understand that upskilling is unavoidable, even if it means extra effort and time that needs to be invested.
But not to worry! ArcLab is here to help no matter what industry you are in! As you walk around the streets of Singapore, you’ll see everyone glued to the screens of their phones. ArcLab provides a platform for organisations to author short modules for employees to learn anywhere and anytime, even when you are commuting. This way, you can upskill and even improve your work performance easily. It is really that simple! You can try your hands at the modules that we already have on our showcase page, ArcLab Discover!
Therefore, while the pandemic may have wreaked havoc globally and claimed lives, there could still be some good that comes out of it if people learn to think and work differently due to it.
Let ArcLab help you through your never-ending journey to learn!