Upskilling the hybrid IT workforce

The new hybrid workplace paradigm has IT leaders rethinking how they conduct skills and leadership training.

Upskilling the hybrid IT workforce
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With the rapid pace of technological change comes the need for upskilling IT workers — especially when talent is hard to come by. For IT leaders, the pandemic’s ongoing disruption of the workplace has only compounded the challenge.

Although many organizations employed some level of remote workers prior to the pandemic, most have traditionally leaned on in-person learning as a key facet of their training strategies. With the hybrid workplace model, which blends remote and in-office work, expected to have staying power, rethinking how upskilling can be achieved continuously in this paradigm has become paramount.

And it’s not just about keeping IT skills up to date. IT leaders need to also be able to create new leaders, according to Craig Stephenson, senior client partner managing director of Korn Ferry’s North American CIO/CTO practice. “In several years, we anticipate that there is likely going to be a gap in strong midlevel management as the virtual work environment is causing friction with more traditional methods historically utilized.”

Consequently, Korn Ferry is seeing significant emphasis on exposing high-performing technology executives into enterprise leadership programs, which can be done virtually, Stephenson says.

Santhosh Keshavan, CIO of Voya Financial, agrees, saying that Voya places a strong emphasis on leadership skills such as communication, influencing, and delivering results, in addition to tech skills. “To be successful, you must focus on enhancing technology and leadership skills simultaneously,” he says.

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