Leading professionals give tips on how to build skills and upgrade them
Skill-building and reskilling are key to survival in the current economy — agreed panelists at a webinar organised by Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning and Management (EIILM), Kolkata, on September 11. Topic: Skilled Mind and Skilled Work for Victory: Manasah, Karmani and Vijaya.
The panelists include R.P. Banerjee, chairman and director, EIILM, Kolkata; Lucky Kulkarni, country group head, HR, Jeena & Company; Bhaskar Bhattacharya, head HR, SWE Cluster, Hindalco Industries Ltd.; and Sidhartha Ganguly, senior vice-president, HR, Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd. S.K. Dutt, senior adviser and mentor, EIILM, Kolkata, moderated the webinar.
Eight learnings from the session:
1. Skills have a wider and more long-term effect on operation and management. Most companies have admitted to the importance of focusing on skills. In current times, when digitisation has become crucial, the necessity of skills has also become paramount. These skills also need to be updated frequently. The world is becoming so interconnected that the way we look at things will be different. The evolution of the network orchestrator is underway and workers have to start accumulating skills from other people.
2. Most parts of our minds are engaged in calculating the benefits of our actions. But it will be more useful if we focus on the action itself and its purpose instead. Learning has a deeper dimension to it than just being a skill. We are always highlighting the short-term goals instead of the long-term ones and that can reduce human potential.
3. Just like we keep investing in the machines we use in industries, we have to keep investing in human capabilities as well. Stakeholders are now looking at the function of HR as not that just of training, but of problem-solving.
4. We need to practise our skills often and well. No skill would be sufficiently useful unless practised on a regular basis.
5. The most important skill is the presence of mind, which includes the ability to try and solve problems. Other important skills are teamwork, leadership, professionalism, and ethics.
6. Universities and educational institutions need to go beyond the curriculum and examinations. Since they are targeted towards building a workforce for large corporations, they should not forget what these corporations are searching for in candidates — personal values, ethical dimensions and reliability.
7. Currently, companies are also trying to reduce the workforce. For example, at Hindalco (Industries Ltd), ITI workers have been replaced with diploma-holders, who require no supervisers. So one layer of workers has been removed.
8. As skills turn into expertise, the demand for their variety increases. The onus is on individuals to upgrade themselves accordingly.