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  • CEOs are keen to upskill employees, yet one in five haven’t started the journey yet, PwC found.
  • Today’s employees need to become “lifelong learners” and digital citizens, experts told Insider.
  • This was part of Insider’s virtual event “CEOs on How Talent Drives Transformation”, presented by ProEdge, which took place Tuesday.
  • Click here to watch a recording of the full event.

The business case for actively coaching, mentoring, and upskilling all people across an organization is clear.

“The cost of inaction around upskilling and often reskilling is going up,” Annette Richardson, founder and managing partner of consulting firm Richardson Partners LLC, said during Insider’s recent virtual event “CEOs on How Talent Drives Transformation” presented by ProEdge, which took place June 29. “We saw with COVID-19 that we could potentially lose a decade of human gain.” 

“This concept of leaving no one behind is really important,” she added.

The panel, titled “Mentorship and upskilling — the two keys to a high-performing workforce,” was moderated by Chris Weller, senior editor of strategy at Insider, and featured Richardson and Suneet Dua, chief product officer at PwC.

In the consulting firm’s recent “Hopes and Fears 2021”survey, 77% of PwC employees said they want new skills, while 60% are worried about digital automation.

CEOs are really concerned about “the key skills of their individuals — but one out of five CEOs in our survey showed that they haven’t done anything about it,” Dua said. “We’re trying to help companies work through the how,” he added.

Dua said that in the context of a hybrid workforce and remote work being here to stay, employees have to be performing at the highest level. 

“Your employees have to become what we call lifelong learners,” he said. Once there, he added, “they will graduate to be a digital citizen. That’s where we then transact with automations and bots on a day-to-day basis.”

Dua said PwC has over 270,000 people currently being upskilled and there are about eight to 10 digital disruptive technologies in the world that are going to create these new skills.

“Let’s dispel the myth — it’s not hard to start,” he said. “You don’t have to start with everybody. You should start now.”