The Great L&D and HR Debate: Which skills will be critical for future resilience?


The pandemic has changed almost everything we knew about work! But that is where the opportunity lies. With most companies embracing hybrid working, the learnings of the past year are likely to stay on for much longer.

This also means that the talent ecosystem is experiencing change like never before. Organizations are increasingly feeling the need to upskill and reskill their workforce. L&D and HR leaders are making significant investments in learning to ensure that employees are equipped with the capabilities and skills required to be productive in the current digitized and automated world.

Why upskilling and reskilling is the key

As per the KPMGpost-COVID-19 CIO survey, 62 percent have said that skills shortage is preventing their organization from keeping up with the pace of change. Also, 72%have ranked reskilling the workforce as one of the most important paths in shaping the workforce. As per the 2021LinkedIn Workplace Learning report too, when L&D pros globally were asked about their most important areas of focus in 2021, upskilling and reskilling topped the list (59%). Upskilling and reskilling today’s workforce is vital if companies want to stay competitive and be ready for the future.

Roadmap to build future resilience

In order to build a productive and future-ready workforce, L&D needs to take a close look at their learning strategy. They need to re-assess how learning will be delivered based on the learning outcomes they are looking at.

Here are some key steps to craft a successful upskilling and reskilling strategy in this time of digital transformation:

Enhancing Digital Skills

In the era of remote working or hybrid working, the adoption of digital and virtual tools has increased significantly and this is likely to continue for much longer even if the pandemic runs its course. It is, therefore, imperative that the workforce is geared up to acquire the requisite digital skills. While digital natives may already be comfortable with this kind of working culture, digital immigrants may require more upskilling initiatives to adapt to the transformation.

Encouraging soft skills development

Honing digital skills is a given at this point, but companies also have to lay special focus on soft skill and behavioural skill development such as communication, empathy, support, collaboration, creativity etc. Since imparting soft skills is not an overnight thing, experiential learning programs to help employees develop these skills across all levels are necessary. In the current scenario, a workforce that possesses these qualities will survive and thrive in these unusual times and beyond.

Leveraging self-learning

This is the time when there is an increasing trend towards self-directed learning for employees. When it comes to employee development, virtual working has prompted organizations to adopt a less hands-off approach. This trend is likely to continue as flexible working patterns will be the norm moving forward and outcomes-based, self-learning will be the preferred mode.

I had the opportunity to uncover different aspects of skilling in a discussion with the who’s who of L&D and HR in the ‘The Great HR Debate’: Talent Special.


  • Are we all in a race to reskill?
  • Which skills will be critical for future resilience?
  • As we identify different skillset for future talent development, will we also have to create a skills inventory and a new assessments tool for selection and development?

Watch the webinar here