The three-day Skills4future conference, organized by UNDP as part of the Bridging the Skills Gap to Create New and Better Jobs project, is underway
The last two years were full of change, because organizations around the world were trying to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic that affected both small and big enterprises in all industries.
If this period taught us anything, it is that companies that do not transform will be left behind those that do. The strategy for digital transformation in the new world we live in is related to the new technological revolution, but more importantly, extends beyond it to address issues with human resources. However, the application of new technologies is not what makes the function digital. This also refers to adaptation of culture, practicing talents, new skills and profiles, structures and processes in order to balance the opportunities for efficiency and innovation, and all this is focused on providing capabilities to ensure clear, sustainable, measurable impact on the organization while it is constantly being transformed.
How the strategies and practices for people management can help organizations swim instead of sink in the uncertain digital future, in other words how to manage the three segments – change in people, ways of operation and culture – were some of the challenges that were discussed at the panel on human resources and digitalization as part of the three-day Skills4future week conference.
Andrijana Bogdanovska Gjurovic, researcher and director of the Centre for Knowledge Management, spoke about the importance of circular HR.
-The sustainable model for human resource management was a major Erasmus Plus project and it was our pleasure to participate as a partner. It was implemented for two years and the aim was to take the principles of circular economy and apply them to human instead of physical resources. Together with 9 partners we conducted a large research that involved 40 HR managers in some of the biggest companies in Europe.
With the collection of this data we managed to adapt the traditional model of HR management, where human capital is taken from the labour market and included in work, but leaves afterwards, and turn into a circular model.
Bogdanovska Gjurovic explained that the circular model has the same practices for HR management, but the paradigm of how they are used in the process changes. The aim is for this circular model to make the companies capable of change, to absorb as well as lead changes.
-Today enterprises do not function in a system where change causes disruption; this is no longer the case; change is the new status quo, change is the new way of operation. The goal is not only to swim, but to lead the marathon.
These companies train their employees in new competences to respond to these challenges.
-For example, if a job is disappearing because of certain changes in the company, you re-orientate the worker to a new job with training and mentorship – Bogdanovska Gjurovic explained.
Angelina Taneva-Veshoska, researcher and director of the Institute for research in environment, construction and energy, explained what is a learning organization and how they transformed from a traditional company into a learning organization.
-This process does not end here; it is a continuous, permanent process. The model itself was developed on the basis of a scientific research project that the IECE and the Civil Engineering Institute GIM conduct together. GIM is a construction company established in 1975 and it went through various processes in its life cycle. Now it is in a period where it has to change or learn to swim, otherwise it would sink. What path should the company take – this question was the basis for the new HR strategy and the knowledge strategy – she said.
Taneva-Veshoska explained that learning organizations have the distinction of systemic and strategic thinking.
-What is important for any company is to survive, to be good on the market, be productive, have competitive advantage, offer unique products and services. The improvement of the company depends on its resources and how these resources will be transformed into capital through a holistic approach – Taneva-Veshoska said.
Applicable knowledge should be the main focus of each company when developing company centres for learning, innovation and development, which can be founded in the company itself or in cooperation with a training academy.
Ivica Pesovski, technical director in one of the fastest growing training companies in the country Brainster explained which are the most in demand skills today.
-Some of the most popular academies are those for IT. It is important to mention that we do not take any training for granted, we monitor the students’ feedback weekly, we monitor the feedback of our instructors, we actively follow the needs on the labour market and adapt our programmes. As you can see on our website we constantly introduce new modules and eliminate others. Informal education gives us opportunities to react to the labour market demands. It would be a major challenge to do this in formal education, in the college we will launch in September – Pesovski said.
He explained that until this autumn they offered academies for technical skills, such as programming, data science, graphic design, marketing, but now they also offer other skills that are classified as digital, such as Human Resources Academy and Project and Product Management Academy.
-There is a lot of interest for all of these and people have already found work or were promoted after a few months – Pesovski said.
The panel also included a video address by two researchers and data scientists from Oxford University, Fabian Braesemann and Fabian Stefany, who explained how digital transformation and data from various platforms can have an impact and be used to improve the labour market.
The three-day Skills4futureWeek conference which started on Wednesday is organized by UNDP as part of the Bridging the Skills Gap to Create New and Better Jobs project.