Tag: upskilling

08 Apr 2024
upskilling through competency modelling

How can upskilling be done through competency modeling?

Companies today are working hard to ensure that they can meet their productivity goals. Therefore, they are training the workers based on competency models. Those are the models that help a company determine the competencies needed for a person to be successful in his/her job. These models help a company in setting parameters for upskilling.

The concept of the competency model emerged from the job analytic process, which breaks a job into tasks depending upon the job description. When the tasks underlying a job have been defined, they are mapped onto the knowledge required to perform them.

How to build a competency model?

It’s not always easy to come up with a competency model. It can be a tough task even for skilled managers. The first step is to do a job analysis for upskilling. It helps in detecting the tasks. The first people to answer this question are the stakeholders. These stakeholders are those who perform this function regularly and know the tasks required. They can consist of HR managers and ultimately the employees at the executive level.

How to create a proficiency model?

The competency model decides how much training is required for upskilling.

Then, you can get feedback from all the managers on whether the competency model is correct. Subject-matter experts can also validate the model by checking it. The company can then segregate the required competencies into different sections, like technical and leadership competencies. When you have the proficiency levels designed, you can get the training levels. There should be proficiency levels defined for each competency to decide how much training is required by employees.

Update the competency model when required:

Once the company’s L&D team has got the necessary validation for the competency model, they can begin the training processes. This competency model needs to be changed quite often so that it stays pertinent. If it’s not relevant anymore, ask the managers where it can be improved.

Regularly review and update the competency model to ensure its relevance and effectiveness in meeting the evolving needs of the organization and its workforce. Solicit feedback from users and stakeholders to identify areas for improvement. There is also one more way to detect competencies required for a role. It’s through observing the way people do their job. This can help you detect what tasks are required to perform a role. Although interviews can be used to detect the competencies required for a job, they cannot be used for all job roles because that would require a massive effort.

An AI tool can also be used for finding the competencies needed for a job. When such a loss has been generated, it can checked by the managers and the SMEs to see whether it’s perfect.

Challenges in creating a competency model

  • The requirement of different jobs:

The competency model is not required by a company for every job, rather it is required for every strategic job. The company should do competency modeling for jobs that are highly critical for it. Such jobs would require upskilling for the needed skills so that the company continues to run in the same manner in the future.

  • Future possibilities for a competency model:

The competency model should also take the future requirements of a job for upskilling. It’s because a job does not require some skills now, but it might require some skills in the future, like AI. A stakeholder needs to check which skills will be needed in a job 5 years from now.

To do an analysis of skills required for the jobs in the future, it’s better to understand the environment. Then envision what sort of changes can happen in the future in terms of technologies and trends. There can also be disruptions like the pandemic and shifts in the economic conditions of people caused by urbanization, leading to better demand for a company’s products. These kinds of possibilities can also be envisaged by a company when it takes interviews of experts in the industry. They have much more knowledge about what can affect an industry in the future, like how artificial intelligence can take over all the work. So, this can affect the tasks required to be done for a job, changing its competencies.

Apart from competency modeling, there are some general competencies that will be required in the future in all kinds of jobs. These competencies are digital literacy and cybersecurity. All employees need to have such competencies and should be taught tasks related to them because they will be needed in the future.

05 Aug 2022

What does it mean by upskilling for cybersecurity?

Government agencies are becoming quite proactive about security measures because they face the same hacking risks as other companies. However, such agencies must be more cautious about their cybersecurity because any data breach in another country’s hands can harm their national integrity.

We live in an antagonistic environment, and a lack of security can have immense repercussions. Due to every government organization becoming accessible through the website, their database has become vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hence, government agencies must ensure comprehensive upskilling in cybersecurity for their employees at all levels.

There are also problems caused because employees access websites on mobile phones. These devices are more accessible to hackers easily than laptops; therefore, government agencies’ IT personnel must be trained to handle security configurations on smartphones.

Not only the government information is at risk, but also the data pertaining to its employees when the systems are hacked.  The data of such employees was accessed when the government computer systems in the Office of Personnel Management in 2014 were hacked, which contained all their details, such as addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers. 

What are the reasons for such upskilling?

  • Outdated systems:

Technology has progressed rapidly, and the legacy systems used by the government are no longer sufficient to tackle attacks. These systems need to be replaced because the government is also spending a lot on maintenance. 

  • Supersensitive information:

In addition, government employees need upskilling in cybersecurity because such agencies store much confidential information like social security numbers and driver’s licenses of citizens.

Such information is enough to hack their internet banking accounts.

Upskilling is also crucial for government employees because they handle the most important infrastructure in the country, such as the national and state power grids.

Moreover, the US government organizations have a hacking risk because there are no measures taken due to reckless work culture.

Human error also arises because employees don’t work, due to which server downtime also happens apart from security breaches.

There is also insufficient training that employees cannot understand and hence fail to meet the compliance standards.

Measures for upskilling all employees

Government employees should be upskilled in cyber awareness and trained in taking the following precautions:

  • Information of Defense agencies:The Department of Defense(DoD) has established a security protocol(DoD 8140 ), under which it’s mandatory for the cyber security workforce who get in touch with the DoD systems to get IT certifications.

These certifications are required for everyone in the Defense department, including personnel, contractors, and foreign employees. These certifications involve teaching them about the principles employed by the DoD to protect its data from all kinds of cyberattacks. According to this directive, all the employees of the Dod must have the designated certifications.

  • Using cloud-based servers: Government employees need to be trained in using the most advanced technology, which can make them resilient to cyber-attacks. For example, they should use cloud servers instead of in-house servers.

The cloud-based servers mean using a third-party organization, and it means extra security because they don’t have a fixed location and 24/7 accessibility of the organization’s website. Also, in case of any data breach, the risk of a hacker asking for ransom is eradicated since the data is backed up in a cloud-based server. The vendor takes care of the cloud-based server and ensures it’s protected with the best security patches.

  • Not using personal emails: Hackers succeed when some employees use their personal email IDs to communicate sensitive information. Hence, they should be able to log in to their official email ID through two-factor authentication, which means no one can access their account without the OTP. In addition, if a certain password is compromised, the government official must change it.
  • Using designated machines: The upskilling can help government employees understand why they need to use official PCs to conduct their work matters. These devices have VPN enabled so that no one can access the government IP addresses and send malware or phishing emails to government email addresses. In addition, government organizations should get the web application scanning done or are upskilled to detect any system bugs, so they can be removed.

The government officials must learn how to remove the malware from the system. This is only possible if the malware code has been analyzed by an IT firm so that it can be debugged properly.

Hence, the officials can be trained to implement all the measures to mitigate the risk of cyberattacks.

What to do when a ransomware attack happens?

Government officials should also be given upskilling about how to handle such incidents that have happened. They should immediately notify CISA (The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency) about it, which can take remedial action.

Upskilling is also necessary in case the hacker has installed ransomware and wants a ransom so that the government officials can take necessary action whether to comply with his demands or not. The ransom must not be paid because it’s not a guarantee that the hacker will yield the credentials of the hacked system. The CISA can only let the government agency the actions to be taken when ransomware has been installed.

There are training materials available that can enable employees to implement the correct incident response plan. This kind of upskilling can be given to third-party vendors working for government organizations and state and federal government employees.

12 Mar 2021

Why should upskilling be done in a company?

Organizations are looking to upskill their employees. For this purpose, it’s important that they provide them with proper training.

Upskilling has become an important task before companies.

The companies have to train employees to make sure that they are better able to cope up with changing employee roles. But the companies are still delaying investing in upskilling for employees. In fact, with the economic recession now, upskilling has become more important.

Till the year 2025, upskilling and reskilling opportunities have to be provided to employees to make sure that they do their jobs in a better manner.

These the following reasons to impart upskilling to employees:

Data Analytics: Data is stored in an enterprise. But the organizations should be able to use it to realize its benefits. Therefore employees must have data analytics skills to be able to use this data.

Coming up of artificial intelligence: Artificial Intelligence has come up due to which human beings will be replaced for trivial tasks. So, with artificial intelligence, human beings have to be shifted to higher-level roles to continue their employment in the company. It’s important to upskill the team to make sure that humans can prove the return on investment.

Performance loss caused by not being able to use Big Data: Companies are going to fall back in performance unless they fail to analyse Big data. Therefore the team needs to be upskilled to understand big data do that organizations can easily be able to survive in the future.

Reduction of costs: The costs of hiring new employees are high. It’s better to sustain current employees by upskilling them. When new employees have better skill sets, it’s expensive to hire them.

How to upskill your employees?

Before embarking on any training program, make sure you know where your organization lacks. Only then, you know how to upskill your employees.

  1. Invest in efficient training programs for employees
  2. Be prepared to know about the changes, the organization is going to face, and hence how employees are going to cope with them. If they don’t want to be replaced, what should be their training path? There should be a focus on Learning and Development for every employee.

You can make sure that you invest in the improvement of soft skills for employees as well. Some of the important soft skills are communication and adaptability to any situation. The employees can imbibe technical skills when they have soft skills also. The employees can work on strategic data for companies only when they have such skills also.

Hence, the companies should plan the upskilling programs accordingly.



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