Empowering Employees through AI Upskilling with Digital Credentials 

    Unlocking the full potential of employees is a crucial endeavor for any organization, yet it's often hindered by multifaceted challenges, especially in the rapidly evolving landscape of AI upskilling. The blog provides actionable steps organizations can take to empower their employees, including integrating digital credentials.
    calendar-plus-01 March 20, 2024
    user-circle Credly Team
    hourglass-01 5 min read
    Employee engaging in an upskill course to enhance their proficiency in AI

    For most professions, the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) can’t be overstated. Generative AI could soon affect 300 million jobs globally.

    Still, even as companies invest in this technology, many employees are not taking advantage of AI training opportunities — often because their employers have not built robust learning and development (L&D) programs or fully embraced a culture of learning.

    By empowering employees to shape their careers through upskilling and reskilling, organizations can position themselves for long-term success in the age of AI.

    Top Five Obstacles to Employee Participation

    Despite the advantages of training, many learners hesitate to fully engage in AI skills programs. Organizations must recognize these challenges and develop strategies to overcome them.

    1. Uncertainty about needed skills. While many workers are excited about the opportunities presented by AI, nearly 25% of workers don't know which skill areas to focus on.
    2. Lack of time. Staff often feel that it’s difficult to carve out time to prioritize training. According to a recent survey by Salesforce, 60% of employees say they find it difficult to fit learning into already overloaded schedules.
    3. Inadequate motivation. To stay engaged with training, employees must see a clear benefit as it applies to their career progression. Digital credentials and badges can boost completion rates.
    4. Insufficient leadership support. Clear communication is key — organizations that actively promote their learning culture with concrete plans show how the business actively supports career development.
    5. Absence of personalized, flexible options. Organizations can increase participation in L&D programs with customized options that can better accommodate learners’ schedules and align training with their unique career goals.

    Navigating Generational Perspectives

    Experienced workers may be more reluctant to embrace reskilling as their roles evolve. While younger workers tend to be enthusiastic about, and often demand, training opportunities, many older workers (over 45) are not seeking to upskill or reskill, according to a survey by Talent.com.

    Another survey of age 55 and over workers revealed that — despite an expressed desire to enhance their digital capabilities — a staggering 60% have not received any upskilling from their employers. Further, more than a quarter said they are uncomfortable broaching the topic with their employer.

    These trends can be troublesome for organizations, according to the Harvard Business Review. As AI takes over more mundane tasks, organizations may start losing domain expertise. In addition, senior employees are critical to overseeing outputs from generative AI to ensure accuracy.

    Costs and Consequences of Inadequate L&D Planning

    Nearly all businesses are reporting ongoing investments in AI to capitalize on a potential $15.7 trillion contribution to the global economy. A solid L&D strategy will help companies avoid these pitfalls:

    • High turnover rates: Employees, especially those seeking opportunities with emerging technologies like AI, may leave organizations that do not invest in their skills. This leads to higher turnover costs — with estimates up to 3-4 times an employee's annual salary.
    • Inefficiency and productivity loss: AI-savvy employees will be able to automate routine tasks and data analysis. Organizations that aren’t prepared to take advantage may lag on metrics like productivity, operational efficiency and ROI.
    • Skills gap widening: Organizations are already challenged by finding the skills needed to fill roles reshaped by digital transformation. As AI evolves, a larger skills gap will make it more burdensome to find needed expertise.
    • Poor employee morale: Employees who perceive their employer invests in their career tend to feel more valued. Employees who feel their skills are becoming obsolete may be less satisfied with their jobs.

    What Organizations Can Do to Empower Employees

    Upskilling and reskilling can help employees stay agile and drive innovation despite today’s changing job landscape. Here’s how organizations can contribute to their success:

    • Identify skills gaps: While technical skills will be in demand as AI continues to evolve, organizations will need to leverage employees with soft skills to take full advantage of AI tools. Tie training programs to data to help employees fill skill gaps.
    • Develop tailored training programs: To motivate employees and facilitate program completion, create personalized and flexible training paths that cater to different learning styles and preferences.
    • Foster a learning culture: Encouraging a continuous learning culture can motivate hesitant employees to participate and help employees adapt to evolving AI technologies.
    • Seek external partnerships: Consider collaboration with educational institutions, professional associations or external training providers to access cutting-edge training content and resources.
    • Integrate digital credentials: Implement a digital credentialing platform like Credly to formally recognize and verify employees’ AI skills. These digital badges serve as tangible proof of competence and can be used as a motivational tool to keep employees engaged and excited about learning opportunities. In addition, learners can use digital credentials to access learning pathways tailored to their own career goals, with customizations like micro-credentialing help make the process more manageable.

    Use a Skills-Based Approach to Upskill in AI

    In the rapidly evolving landscape of AI, it is important for organizations to understand the needs of their employees and align them with their company objectives. Organizations that prioritize empowering their workforce through effective AI upskilling and embrace a culture of continuous learning are better positioned to thrive in the dynamic challenges of the digital era. Talk to our team to learn more about how digital credentials by Credly can play a part in your skills-based strategy.

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