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The Breakfast Club: Nurturing Agile and Future-Ready Workforces

By Gustavo Linares Arizabalo - EXIT83
Head of HR and Talent Acquisition


Gustavo Linares By Gustavo Linares | Head of HR and Talent Acquisition - Thu, 10/19/2023 - 12:00

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Most of us have watched or heard of the iconic Breakfast Club movie that reflects the constant struggle of teenagers to be understood by adults and by themselves. This might sound familiar for us HR practitioners and CEOs who are working alongside new and older generations eager to learn. In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, where technological advancements and market disruptions are becoming the norm, the demand for upskilling and reskilling within the HR function has never been more crucial. HR professionals play a vital role in helping organizations adapt to change, foster innovation, and develop agile workforces, making our workplace environment like a breakfast club, a place where we all want to learn and to understand each other.

As we know, upskilling is about enhancing existing skills, usually within the same profession or industry, while reskilling involves acquiring entirely new skills to transition into a different role or field. Both upskilling and reskilling are essential in today's rapidly changing job market to ensure that employees remain adaptable and relevant to the evolving needs of their organizations, especially in startups. 

Therefore, the importance and benefits of HR upskilling and reskilling in today’s market are outlined below:

1. Navigating Technological Advancements: With the proliferation of automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics, HR professionals must acquire digital competencies to leverage technology effectively. Upskilling enables HR to adopt and integrate advanced tools, such as applicant tracking systems, HR analytics software, and virtual onboarding platforms, enhancing efficiency and decision-making.

2. Meeting Changing Employee Expectations: The workforce of today seeks continuous growth and development opportunities. HR upskilling and reskilling initiatives allow organizations to provide employees with relevant training programs and resources, fostering engagement and retention. By understanding emerging trends in learning and development, HR professionals can curate personalized and impactful learning experiences.

3. Driving Organizational Agility: In an era of constant change, organizations must be agile to adapt quickly and seize new opportunities. HR plays a pivotal role in cultivating a learning culture, promoting cross-functional collaboration, and facilitating knowledge sharing. By upskilling themselves in change management and agile methodologies, HR professionals and CEOs can become change agents and drive organizational agility.

4. Enhanced Strategic Decision-Making: With a broadened skill set, HR professionals can leverage data-driven insights to make informed decisions. By upskilling in HR analytics, they can analyze workforce trends, identify skill gaps, and align talent strategies with business objectives. This empowers HR to contribute strategically to organizational success.

5. Future-Proofing the HR Function: By embracing emerging HR technologies and methodologies, HR professionals can future-proof their roles and contribute to the digital transformation of the function. Upskilling in areas such as AI, automation, and people analytics equips HR professionals to leverage technology to optimize HR processes, enhance employee experiences, and deliver strategic value.

6. Encouraging Continuous Learning: Upskilling and reskilling should be viewed as ongoing processes rather than one-time events. HR leaders and CEOs should encourage a culture of continuous learning and provide opportunities for self-directed learning, establishing learning communities, knowledge-sharing platforms, and cross-functional projects by bringing in professionals or experts in certain subjects who will give an aggregated value to your team and company.

7. Leveraging External Expertise: Organizations should leverage the expertise and skills of their own employees or external experts to facilitate upskilling and reskilling efforts. CEOs and HR professionals can collaborate with subject matter experts from different departments to create and deliver training programs. This not only develops HR skills but also fosters cross-functional collaboration and knowledge exchange.

A great example is EXIT83 Consulting, which is one step ahead of the game and offers agile and innovative workforces to other tech companies worldwide, such as fractional CTOs who can elevate any company’s growth strategy. Fractional CTOs take a hands-on approach to understand any business intricacies, tailor strategies that seamlessly align with your growth objectives, and bridge the gap between vision and execution. This guidance is vital for any company — as is the mentorship they provide to colleagues to help them mature into capable leaders who can steer any company as it grows and evolves.  

In a rapidly changing business landscape, HR upskilling and reskilling have emerged as critical components for organizations aiming to stay competitive and agile. By investing in the development of HR professionals, organizations can enhance strategic decision-making, attract and retain top talent, and future-proof the HR function. By embracing a culture of continuous learning and leveraging emerging technologies, HR professionals can play a pivotal role in creating agile and future-ready workforces.

Much like the characters in the film mentioned before, HR teams and CEOs should strive to bridge differences, foster communication, and encourage the development of each team member's skills and potential. In today's dynamic business environment, HR upskilling is crucial to adapt to changing demands and technologies, much like how the Breakfast Club characters evolved during their day of detention, ultimately gaining a deeper understanding of themselves and their peers. And as the song says. Don’t you, forget about me – never forget or leave behind your staff members. Empowering our staff is a must that at times we forget to do.

Photo by:   Gustavo Linares Arizabalo

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