The misconceptions holding companies back from an upskilling revolution.

9 Feb, 2022

In light of the change in the world of work and the Big Quit, talent management now finds itself sat firmly at the top of the business agenda. There is a rising demand for skilled workers – but dramatic changes to the world of work and the skills required, paired with different attitudes towards working life, have made recruiting talent incredibly difficult. If organisations are to mitigate further disruption, they must not only find ways to attract new talent, but to retain their current workforce. One way to do this is through prioritising training.

As technological innovation continues to accelerate, so does the importance of training. Research from our recent report The Upskill Ultimatum reveals that almost half of HR professionals believe that today’s training deployment is not fit for purpose in a hybrid working world. And it’s showing. Half of HR professionals are seeing an emerging skills gap in their organisation, resulting in operational company risk.

But despite this widespread skills shortage, our research found that, on average, HR professionals believe their organisation will wait until 2027 to pull the plug on traditional training methods. Employees are eager to learn, and the businesses that fail to meet this demand are at risk of losing their best people; almost half of employees say that they would move companies if they weren’t receiving the level of training that they need.

So, what’s stopping organisations from investing in cutting-edge training – such as VR – in a world where talent is sparse Our research uncovers many misconceptions around immersive technology that are preventing HR teams from revolutionising their training.

Our people won’t respond well to further change

Over half of HR professionals (54%) express concerns around employee reluctance when embracing new technologies, but our research shows that this fear is unfounded. Despite the recent upheaval, employees are more eager than ever to learn; 40% say that their appetite for learning has increased significantly in the past 12 months, but their company is not keeping pace with the latest technologies to assist and enhance their learning.

When implemented correctly, and properly aligned with your organisation’s L&D culture, immersive platforms can nurture a supportive training environment that is fit for all. VR provides employees with the opportunity to throw themselves into situations where mistakes don’t carry any real-world risk and are welcomed as learning opportunities.

It’s a risky investment

Our research also reveals concerns around return on investment. This is understandable following a period of economic instability – but the cost of inaction in today’s climate is on the up.

Our research shows that 61% of employees think that companies that fail to employ cutting-edge training technologies will struggle to attract and retain top talent. Employees are demanding more frequent and diverse reskilling and upskilling to help them to adapt to a new way of working, making innovative training crucial to future-proofing. Companies simply can’t afford to deprioritise training.

We don’t have the capability

Over half of HR professionals (53%) say that capability gaps within their business are a barrier to adopting new training technologies. As with any game-changing technology, implementing immersive technologies is not just a ‘drag and drop’ exercise. But, with the right partner, effective and engaging training programs can be developed in a strategic way that aligns with specific business – and employee – needs. They will be able to facilitate the integration with corporate systems and assist in measuring the effectiveness of the training.

We’ve got plenty of time to make a decision

The biggest hurdle is that nearly half of organisations (48%) believe that these technologies are not ready yet. The technology is there – it’s training practices that are lagging behind. Research from Accenture shows that if skill-building doesn’t catch up with the rate of technological progress, the G20 economies could miss out on as much as US$11.5 trillion in cumulative GDP growth by 2028.

Our research reveals that, on average, companies are waiting until 2028 to implement immersive training technologies at scale. By this point, they could have already seen a huge talent exodus, with their best employees jumping ship to join the organisations that have embraced change.

There’s no time to waste. Companies face an ultimatum: transform their training or lose their talent.

Read the Upskill Ultimatum report here.

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