Blog / 31 August 2017

Allocate a training budget to each employee

In the eighth of 10 tips inspired by our Future of Work report Mapping the Digital Future, we look at training your employees beyond a single skill.

The future of work and increasing automation brings with it the death of the single skill set. Therefore, it’s important employees feel they have the tools at their disposal and the encouragement from their employer to further educate and train themselves.

With the increasing risk of AI threatening many jobs of today, there’s never been a better time to upskill your workforce.

According to a McKinsey report, in about 60% of occupations they examined, one in three tasks could be handed over to robots and bots. That’s good news because the report concludes this ultimately means more occupations will change rather than be purely automated away.

That sets a challenge. It is up to you and your employees to find and use the resources required to upskill and redefine established roles or, in some cases, adapt to or create entirely new ones.

“People will create the jobs of the future, not simply train for them, and technology is already central,” says Jonathan Grudin, principal researcher at Microsoft.

It’s not just business leaders who have recognised the value of additional skills. A 2016 Pew Research Center survey found that 87% of US workers believe it will be essential for them to receive training and develop new job skills in order to keep up with changes in the workplace.

One good way to create a workforce that is mindful of broadening its skillset is to assign a budget to each individual employee and encourage them to take time out of their days to learn the skills that will both interest them and benefit the company.

Think about the skills that are more likely to be automation-proof — that means thinking about empathy, creativity, judgment and planning.

“Rather than fear challenges on the horizon such as artificial intelligence and automation, we must understand them and capitalise on them.” Says Gi Fernando MBE, “The time for inaction is over: let’s harness tech and meet the future world of work head on.”

As Gi explains, with a wealth of free learning opportunities on the web, sometimes the only cost to the employer is time. YouTube, for example, is a great starting point for finding lessons, tutorials and lectures on a vast array of subjects. But encouraging people to spend their time more wisely will ultimately benefit everyone within the organisation for its and their future.

Learn even more about digital and workforce transformation by catching up with previous articles from the Freeformers Changing the Future of Work Mindset Top 10 Tips:

  1. Why you must start at the top to change the Future of Work mindset
  2. Create a collaborative culture to embrace digital transformation together
  3. Your company’s survival depends on digital transformation
  4. Encourage reverse mentoring between different sets of skills and knowledge
  5. Reward people with a digital mindset
  6. Develop physical spaces that are open and collaborative to work and relax
  7. Experiment with digital team days

To read more from the Mapping the Digital Future report, download it here. We’d love to hear what you think about allocating training budgets to your employees, so to find out more about Freeformers or give us your opinions, email futureofwork@freeformers.com or leave a comment below.