The business disruption caused by COVID-19 has prompted many organisations to
reprioritise the upskilling and reskilling of their employees for a changed world,
according London Business School Professor of Management Practice Lynda
In ‘An Emerging Landscape of Skills for All’, published by MIT Sloan Management
Review, the humanist psychologist discusses the role business should play in
developing the skillsets of employees in typically lower-paid and lower-skilled roles.
“I start from the position that most adults (whatever their pay grade) are motivated to learn and develop skills in order to build resilience against current challenges and guard against future shocks,” Professor Gratton writes.
“This human drive will turn out to be crucial in the face of the massive job churn
ahead. So the real motivational kicker for corporate executives is to create a learning
infrastructure that enables and encourages people to harness this innate human
‘The New Long Life’ author identifies three actions executives should take to harness
that human drive within their workers:
The first requires employers to identify ‘escalator’ jobs (roles associated with upward
mobility that allow for skills development) within their organisation and enable
employees to make use of the potential those roles hold.
Secondly, employees need to have access to skills training. The shift to online as a
result of the pandemic has opened new opportunities for low cost, online learning to
be delivered at a larger scale.
Finally, executives need to look beyond their own organisations and consider
investing resources in the ecosystems that surround their business. Doing so allows
organisations to strengthen their talent pipeline and perform an important corporate
“Billions of people are in need of better, higher-paying, higher-mobility jobs.
Companies can play a crucial role in looking beyond their own boundaries and
current employees to the wider community in order to confront this desperate need
on a global scale,” Professor Gratton writes.
Discover more and read the full article at MIT Sloan Management Review.