The impact of technology is immediate, profound, and visible to existing and future workforces. So much so that half of the world’s working population requires reskilling/upskilling by 2025 to stay relevant and contribute to the world economy, and this doesn’t even include the number of people unemployed today. The pandemic was a quintessential example of this skill divide leading to the loss of jobs where reskilling/upskilling was not prioritized or did not exist especially as digitization accelerated during this period. As the world limps back to normal, it seems like the past lessons have already been forgotten. Many industries lag in the adoption of digital technologies during the most critical period of adoption of innovation.
Why is digital adoption a prerequisite for upskilling/reskilling your workforce?
Digitization and upskilling go hand-in-hand, e.g. about a third of the American workforce has little or no digital literacy. Without digital literacy, individuals are significantly disadvantaged vis-a-vis their digitally literate peers when it comes to reskilling/upskilling themselves over the lifetime of their careers.
Yes, we need to upskill/reskill the workforce, but on what?
As the fourth industrial revolution kicks in, technology will transform routine activities making a lot of jobs obsolete and creating demand for specialized skills in areas of interpersonal communication, emotional intelligence, high technology, complex problem solving, etc. 40% of current jobs are expected to become obsolete within the next five years and upskilling in these specialized skills is the key to a stable career in the future.
The workforce (in millions) cannot be upskilled/reskilled in efficient ways or bulk with the current modes of knowledge dissemination. Today, it’s a combination of classroom sessions, printed reading material, and a little bit of hands-on training. The nature of the job is unique, the number of skilled workers or subject matter experts is extremely limited, and providing experiential knowledge to everybody is a big challenge. Unless you move into the metaverse.
Companies estimate up to six months for upskilling employees and training employees on the metaverse or leveraging metaverse to provide just-in-time instructions to the workforce substantially increases the efficacy of these activities while substantially reducing the associated costs (like travel and accommodation, machine availability, etc.
Visual work instructions for hands-free work environments – Manufacturing and precision machinery assembly require instructions that are easy to read and quick to comprehend. Today it is achieved by using printed documents pinned at their assembly stations. Their hands should be free to assemble components. Metaverse work instructions make this a reality by visualizing instructions in 3D thereby removing the cognitive burden associated with text to a 3D translation that workers currently do in their minds. This makes them more productive, and efficient, and they operate at a higher quality assurance level.
Meta-collaboration for instant expert help – While on the job, workers run into issues, especially with critical equipment like aircraft or oil rigs, they can connect with distant specialists through the metaverse to get real-time help that’s insightful and actionable. Remote support provides front-line workers with a direct line to someone with extensive expertise in the intricate machinery where an issue has occurred. Experts can provide instruction and digital annotations on the real-world view of the front-line worker.
Digitize tacit knowledge – Most experienced workers have accumulated knowledge that is not recorded in manuals, or available as written content anywhere (at best, they make notes in their diaries). And when they retire or move out, there’s a need for somebody else to gain the same level of expertise by shadowing the person for a few weeks (that’s impossible). But by digitizing their knowledge in the metaverse, field teams get upskilled instantly by tapping into the first-hand expert knowledge making the entire workforce more efficient.
Reskilling/upskilling has never been more easier. By providing a guided immersive experience that runs on any device. Right knowledge can be transferred just-in-time at your fingertips. There are many compounding effects of moving upskilling into the metaverse like remote asset management – think of managing offshore oil rig from a ground station or metaverse classrooms with real world assets, etc. and the combinations are endless. Learning and development of our workforce is primal and is a key contributor in any business. Upskilling the workforce is an evolutionary process and doing it in the metaverse as a day-to-day job is the first step.