With the recent digital transformation that organizations are undergoing, many employees have witnessed drastic changes in their roles within their institutions. When people think about the possibilities, they often consider growing or reducing the number of employees as a solution to disruptive events. However, in reality, the possible resolutions go beyond those two options. There are certain roles that require skills and knowledge which cannot be automated or that are unique to the organization’s value proposition. Therefore, profiling or segmenting talent should be oriented toward future-proof skills.  Here are some possible scenarios:

Growth in Certain Departments

While some skills, tasks or even job roles can be fully automated, others are becoming highly in demand, especially those that require social, creative and digital savviness. Many organizations were forced to abruptly shift to online services, leading to a skill gap that had not been previously present. In order to assess which departments should have more headcount, organizations should consider the following: 
  • A deeper need for innovation in certain areas to enhance competitive advantage
  • New tasks that require a subject matter expert with the right technical skills
  • An increase in the speed of certain processes that could lead to bottlenecks at particular points
Some examples of departments that fall into these categories include: Information Technology, Digital Marketing, and Digital Sales.

Re-orienting Particular Roles

Re-orienting specific roles in the organization involves positioning certain profiles toward future-proof skills and current market megatrends.  This should be considered when: 
  • The skills needed for the role are distinctive to the organization and its competitive advantage
  • Tasks require human intervention and cannot be digitized
At ideas group (ig), our two main service pillars include Learning & Development and Human Capital Consulting. Because we provide contextualized solutions, our teams of subject matter experts re-oriented their roles towards:
  • Designing or redesigning workshops based on new skill requirements
  • Providing webinars on relevant topics in light of current events
  • Re-directing our human capital services based on present market transformations

Upskilling and Adding New Elements to Existing Roles

Key roles in the organization can never be eliminated, yet they can be re-shuffled and enhanced to meet the evolving organizational requirements.  This is usually witnessed when:
  • The scope of work is broadened due to digitization
  • Some, but not all tasks have become automated
  • The employee already has some core skills needed to fill this role
Some examples we have implemented at ideas group (ig) include:
  • Equipping our learning and development team with the technical skills needed to shift certain workshops online or implement blended learning techniques.
  • Training our operations department on a new software that facilitates workflow and enhances efficiency.
  • Utilizing the expertise of our human capital consultants to produce advisory content for our blog posts and social media platforms.

Re-deployment of Existing Roles

Re-deployment of existing roles should take place when there is a gap in certain departments that can be met by employees who can be re-skilled to match the requirements.  This shift can be done in these situations: 
  • Digitization is impacting a big segment of the employees
  • New talent gaps can be met by employees internally
An example from our own experience at ig: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and border closures, many of our face-to-face workshops were either canceled, postponed or shifted online. Seeing as a significant portion of the role of our operations department was to handle workshop logistics for our clients and facilitators, we decided to re-deploy our operations team into managing online workshop logistics. This required re-skilling the team on how to use virtual learning platforms and how to provide virtual technical support for our attendees and facilitators. 

Rapid digital transformation has opened the door for future-proofing organizational talent. 

Human Resources leaders have the opportunity to reshuffle talent profiles based on social, digital and creative skills that will play a key role in sustaining the organization’s performance in the long-run. By examining the above mentioned scenarios and categorizing talent based on the impact of digitization, leaders can now make a well-informed decision on whether to re-orient, re-deploy, up-skill, re-skill or grow certain talent headcount.  Which scenario do you see yourself adopting for your team?  

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