Here’s why companies need an agile workforce to thrive in the digital age

Upskilling should not take a backseat.

By U2B Staff 

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Digital transformation has meant that employees have had to work harder in keeping pace with changes at the workplace. Some 35% of the skills demanded for jobs across all industries is projected to change by 2020. What this means is that demand for agile workers is more essential than ever. 

We see technological advancements like automation growing in the workplace while gig economies continue to flourish. All this can have a significant impact on both small and large businesses across a range of industries. 

Airbnb, for instance, has revolutionised the hospitality industry with their inexpensive lodging options for travellers when compared to hotels, which encourages tourists to prolong their stay and promote economic activity.

With the economy moving at a faster pace, companies have been forced to adapt by responding quickly and effectively. For this to happen, companies need agile cultures that empower staff to be innovative and productive.

In a similar vein, for professionals, being able to adapt to the changing demands at work due to changes that occur across various industries will increase your chances of being indispensable to your current and future employers. 


Companies need to develop agile workers

Agile organisations are those that can innovate quickly to tailor their goods and services to cater to new customer needs and demands. It’s not just the technological aspects of an organisation, but also the skills of its employees.

As talents need to grow or risk becoming idle, companies will need to invest in training, reskilling or upskilling their employees on an ongoing basis to remain competitive. 

In HR Magazine, Lizzie Crowley, skills policy adviser for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said, “HR and L&D must move away from the idea that the course is king, and instead focus on creating organisations where learning and development is embedded on a daily basis. Senior leaders and managers must lead by example; championing continual learning and development and monitoring it on a regular basis.”

Meanwhile, Chris Gray, brand strategy leader at Manpower UK, said developing skills to meet future demands is critical for both employer and employee alike. 

In the future, Gray said continuous employability will be less about what candidates already know and more about their capacity to learn, adapt and grow in the new world of work. 


Manpower has developed a Learnability Quotient tool, which assesses an individual’s desire and ability to grow and adapt to new circumstances and challenges that arise during working life.

“With the right skills mix employers can equip workers with the capabilities needed for the constantly-changing workplace,” Gray was quoted saying. “This will ultimately help them future proof their business and better position them for the future of work.”

Companies have numerous options to help their employees develop skills that will contribute long-term value to the business and ROI of an organisation. Be it in technical or soft skills, delivered via workshops, executive education programmes, microcredentials and the like, these development opportunities may also boost employee engagement and reduce turnover rates.