How do Swiss companies cope with the upcoming knowledge gap?

The future of work: How do Swiss companies cope with the upcoming knowledge gap?

Compe­tencies shift – Quickly

Today, the individual employee is assuming more and more strategic respon­si­bility. It’s as if within a department today dozens of managers embracing agile work metho­do­logies are sitting shoulder to shoulder. Each an expert on his own territory. Each comple­ments the other with his or her expertise and only the combi­nation of talents creates something new.

Gig Economy Rising

The further division of labor between man, machine and algorithm, will see many tasks either partially or completely elimi­nated. Accord­ingly, employees are incre­a­singly concen­trating on solving incre­a­singly complex problems in their everyday lives. This requires new, highly specific expertise to be available on-demand. According to the “Future of Jobs Report 2018” of the World Economic Forum, there will therefore be a shift in work content in dimen­sions never seen before as early as 2022. Skills that are still in great demand today will be obsolete again tomorrow.
Graphics - Future of work

At least 133 million new fields of activity and jobs created worldwide

At least 133 million fields of activity and jobs will be created worldwide as a result of this shift in knowledge. At the same time, just as many simpler job profiles are likely to die out. The bottom line is that there will still be jobs for all of us in a few years’ time but new skills will be required to fill them. We have to be prepared for the fact that at some point the field of activity we were in a year ago will no longer have anything to do with the areas of skill demanded in the future. And that will go on. Conclusion: If you don’t keep up, if you don’t learn consist­ently and if you don’t get involved in new things, you lose. Once knowledge deficits have arisen, it will become incre­a­singly difficult to close them.

Lack of talent – Switz­erland also affected

This is not only a problem for employees, but also for employers – because at some point the work results suffer from the skill gap. In the past, companies had a quick solution: they simply looked for new employees and separated from the old ones. But this plan no longer works. Above all because the population is ageing and companies are running out of young talent. By compa­rison, while 62 percent of the Swiss population was between 20 and 64 years old in 2015, the proportion of men and women able to work is likely to fall to 56 percent by 2035. And companies are already showing signs of diffi­culty in recruiting qualified specia­lists.

Training and further education of existing employees

The only option left to corporate leaders is therefore to compensate for potential knowledge deficits: they must invest in the training and further education of their existing employees. Retraining is the order of the day. This is the only way to keep the company’s know-how up-to-date at all times. It is therefore all the more surprising that retraining offers are not yet included in the business strategies of most companies. According to the “Future of Jobs Report 2018”, three quarters of employers in Switz­erland plan to close the skills gap of their employees by retraining. In many places, however, the appro­priate course has not yet been developed.
Graphics 2 - Response to shifting skills needs
Today, there are so many oppor­tu­nities to train your employees. They range from oldschool methods to top modern tools. The latter are usually quickly imple­mented, easy to use and respond to a wide variety of learning needs. The important thing is that you should be aware that the training of your employees should no longer appear on your list of priorities as just a nice-to-have. It’s a Must Have. Only in this way can they master the cultural change that lies ahead. More about this in the next blog post.
Sonja Dietz

Sonja Dietz

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