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The term “automation” has practically become synonymous with layoffs. Business and tech journalists constantly write about how the continuous introduction of new technology will make jobs around the world obsolete.
It’s true that certain technology will eliminate many positions—but it will also create new ones. As more manual tasks are handled with automation, companies will need employees who can perform advanced tasks and operations that machines aren’t capable of, whether that’s managing a team or building an organization’s growth strategy.
To fill these new roles, companies must embrace employee training. “Reskilling” workers allows businesses to be agile in the face of constant technological change. Rather than hiring or outsourcing for every new skill, companies can train existing, trusted employees to handle the shifts in their industry.
In this post, we’ll break down exactly why reskilling workforces is essential in 2019 and explain how to create this training with video.
As automation becomes more prevalent, research predicts that employees will need new skills to thrive. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs 2018 report, more than a quarter of companies anticipate that automation will create new jobs in their field. McKinsey has identified three skill areas that will be most in-demand by 2030, given the rise of automation:
Source: McKinsey Global Institute Workforce Skills Model, McKinsey Global Institute analysis
For companies, there isn’t a single solution to meet the demand for these new skills. Outsourcing, hiring, and training will all be used to fill new jobs. Of these solutions, however, training proves to be one of the most cost-effective.
According to a 2018 report from Training Magazine, the average cost of training existing team members is $986 per employee, while the Center of American Progress found replacing employees on average costs 21% of their salary. Outsourcing also brings its own costs, both monetary and non-monetary. Compared to managing an employee, it takes more time to oversee freelancer and agency relationships and ensure that the work is being done properly.
Beyond costs, training empowers companies to quickly adapt to the rise of automation. Outsourcing and hiring take time, as it’s difficult to find high-quality employees and services. Focusing on internal training enables employers to make the most of their current resources and avoid the time and monetary costs associated with seeking external solutions.
Many leading companies are already embracing reskilling as a solution. AT&T launched a $1 billion reskilling program for its 250,000+ employees. Amazon has also pledged to retrain a third of its workforce—nearly 100,000 people—by 2025.
Luckily, you don’t need the budget of a Fortune 500 company to embrace the trend of reskilling. With accessible, affordable software, businesses can create their own training content to grow employees’ skill sets.
Training solutions, of course, aren’t always cost-effective. Outsourcing training to other companies is often an expensive investment. For companies who want a budget-friendly option, creating in-house training is ideal.
Video training is particularly easy to create internally. With the right software, you can quickly create high-quality videos for your team at a reasonable cost.
By creating video training, you’re able to prepare your workforce and company for the rise of automation without compromising on cost or quality. We’ll break down below how you can build video training programs to teach employees the three skills that McKinsey predicts will be the most valuable in 2030.
Even the most advanced machinery doesn’t have the social and emotional intelligence that roles across all industries require. Research predicts that as more basic skills are handled with automation, companies will want more employees who bring these social and emotional skills to the table. McKinsey estimates that 24% more working hours will be spent using these skills in the US.
Video is ideal for helping employees develop social and emotional intelligence. Using this medium, you’re able to create scenarios that illustrate the positive behaviors that you’re trying to teach. The stylized look of animation is especially suited for this type of training. Rather than depict difficult social topics like harassment with live video, you can use animation to make the subject feel more approachable.
As an example, check out this training video we created about “P.E.T.E.,” an acronym to help service representatives respond to frustrated customers in a positive, helpful manner.
The video starts with a scenario that gives employees a clear idea of what a negative customer interaction looks like. From there, a combination of character actions and on-screen text is used to teach reps how to improve their conversations. As a bonus, the video includes both whiteboard hand animations and fun music to keep employees engaged in the training.
When creating video that bolsters social and emotional skills, there are several tips to keep in mind:
By depicting scenarios with engaging visuals, video teaches employees how to successfully navigate social situations at work.
The rise of automation will bring more advanced technologies to workplaces. In response, companies will need employees with advanced technical skills to operate and optimize these tools. McKinsey predicts that 55% more working hours will be spent using technological skills by 2030.
Video content is well equipped for helping workers build these crucial skills. Unlike manuals, video allows you to display a product as it’s being used, so viewers can learn how to interact with its given features. Narration is another useful video element for technological training, allowing you to explain how a tool works through a voice recording while showing the product in action.
Consider this example on how to use Slack’s video conferencing feature:
The tutorial (one of a series) uses screencasting to demonstrate the product’s features. By deploying the training as a series of quick videos, Slack keeps the content engaging and easy to follow.
When creating your own videos to teach technical skills, follow these suggestions to keep employees focused on the training.
Introducing new technology to your business doesn’t have to be disruptive. Prepare your workforce for the new tools by creating your own technical training videos.
With automation handling more manual tasks, companies are able to dedicate more of their workforce to higher-order thinking, such as creativity, data analysis, and synthesis. McKinsey estimates that 8% more working hours will be dedicated to using higher cognitive skills by 2030.
Video is a powerful tool for building these higher cognitive thinking skills in employees. With video, you can show how this type of thinking is used in practice, so it feels less nebulous and more concrete for employees.
As an example of this training, consider this video from North Carolina State University. It teaches students and faculty about how to employ creative design thinking when solving new problems.
The video makes the design process easier to understand through a scenario. A character confronts a design problem, and the video walks through steps that viewers should take to arrive at a solution. The story arc and the fun animations throughout the video keep the training engaging for employees to watch.
With thoughtful video training, you’re able to build employees’ creative and critical skills as the demand for higher cognitive thinking increases.
The skills gap created by automation will require a number of solutions. The government, for example, may need to step in to provide citizens with financial assistance. Citizens may choose to further their education to have access to more job opportunities.
For employers, there is a clear response that is both cost-effective and sustainable: reskilling employees. Hiring and outsourcing work is both costly and time-consuming. As a quick and budget-friendly alternative, companies can create their own training programs. This solution allows businesses to quickly adapt to changes caused by automation with employees they know and trust. Using the training tactics in this post, you can start reskilling employees at your company by building video training programs.