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Artificial Intelligence in Focus: Reskilling and Upskilling in an AI-Driven Work-scape

By now, most of us would have experienced Generative AI and the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) phenomenon. The other buzzwords in this space are ANI, AGI and ASI which stand for narrow AI, general AI, and super AI respectively. While ANI is crucial to voice assistants, the AGI and ASI concepts are still unfolding.

Interestingly, AI is capable of almost anything, from predicting patterns to creating images, like the one below: (Image Credit: Bing Image Creator)


Beyond doubt, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the work landscape at an unprecedented pace. While AI is creating new job opportunities, it is also automating many tasks that were previously performed by humans. This means that workers need to be equipped with the skills to thrive in this new era.

Interestingly, there appears to be an increasing appetite for adapting AI-based solutions amongst HR leaders with 81% of HR leaders having explored / implemented artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to improve process efficiency in their organizations. Also, 76% of HR leaders believe that if their organization does not adopt and implement AI solutions, such as generative AI, in the next 12 to 24 months, they will be lagging in organizational success compared to those that do. (Source: Gartner

2023 saw a 33 % increase in standalone AI / ML use within HR processes, although only 12% of organizations are investing in AI applications. In addition to investing in AI / ML across HR process areas, only 14% of organizations (Figure 1) were aware that they were using AI / ML features within their HRMS environment. (Source: 2023-2024 HR Systems Survey - Sapient Insights Group)


AI Augmentation Enabling Transformation

Although the prospect of automation and AI-powered advancements tend to evoke fear of job displacement, the more prominent outcome is the unique opportunity it provides for human-AI collaboration and the possibility of entirely new job roles. In this context, AI augmentation is invaluable, as it leverages the complementary nature of human and AI capabilities. As AI-enabled automation of repetitive tasks frees up human workers to focus on higher-order cognitive functions such as creativity, problem-solving, and strategic decision-making, it is possible to synergize our strengths, leading to increased efficiency, innovation, and adaptability.

For embracing this paradigm shift, reskilling and upskilling efforts should focus on developing skills that complement AI's strengths, such as:

  • Creativity and Innovation through Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving by leveraging AI's insights to develop groundbreaking solutions

  • Communication and Collaboration by translating AI's findings into actionable strategies

  • Emotional Intelligence and Social Skills to foster trust and collaboration in AI-driven environments

  • Ethical Decision-Making and Bias Awareness to be mindful of ethical implications and social impact, to ensure that AI is used responsibly and ethically

By nurturing these complementary skills, it is possible to create a workforce that seamlessly integrates with AI, leveraging its capabilities to amplify human potential.

Endless Possibilities through Reskilling and Upskilling

While reskilling is the process of learning new skills to adapt to new job requirements, upskilling helps enhance existing skills to improve one's performance in their current job.

There are several reasons why reskilling and upskilling are important in the AI-driven workplace, such as:

  • Staying competitive: Workers with the latest skills are more likely to be hired and promoted.

  • Increasing job satisfaction: Workers who are challenged and engaged in their work are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.

  • Improving productivity: Workers with the right skills are more productive and efficient.

  • Reducing the risk of job displacement: Workers who are adaptable and can learn new skills are less likely to be displaced by automation.

Reskilling and Upskilling Programs in Practice

In the context of new age technology available to make work-life simpler and more productive, the possibilities for HR domain experts are limitless, especially when it comes to playing a critical role in helping organizations prepare for the AI-driven future of work.

Here are a few ways in which people leaders can leverage AI / ML technology for skilling:

  • Assessing skill gaps: Identify the skills that are needed for future jobs in the organization.

  • Developing training programs: Create or partner with training providers to offer training programs that teach the skills that are needed.

  • Providing financial assistance: Offer financial assistance to employees who are participating in training programs.

  • Promoting a culture of lifelong learning: Encourage employees to take advantage of learning opportunities.

Enabling Employee Engagement and Retention

Traditional methods of assessing skilling needs serve as an input for technology-enabled upskilling and reskilling. In addition to establishing the right trainee profile match for the reskilling / upskilling modules available, AI-technology can also help ensure maximum absorption and on-the-job application. What's more, close monitoring of progress and areas of improvement is also made possible thanks to technology. All this helps add on to the overall employee experience management, leading to lesser attrition in the workforce.

Of the various reskilling and upskilling programs available, here are a few examples:

  • Online deep-learning courses that teach a variety of skills, including AI, data science, and cybersecurity

  • Apprenticeships to learn new skills while receiving on-the-job training

  • Personalized modules for varied levels of experience and interest of skilling aspirants

  • Coding / developer bootcamps - intensive programs that teach people how to code / develop applications

In Conclusion

Reskilling and upskilling are essential for workers to thrive in the AI-driven world of work. By investing in employees' skills, organizations can improve productivity, increase employee satisfaction, and reduce the risk of job displacement. HR professionals can play a critical role in helping their organizations prepare for the future of work, which is not about humans versus AI - it's about humans and AI working together to achieve extraordinary outcomes. Fortunately, the statistics show a healthy trend with leaders showing keen interest in synergising through technology augmentation.

In addition to the areas mentioned above, here are a few more ways in which HR professionals can help promote reskilling and upskilling:

  • Create a culture of learning: Encourage employees to take advantage of learning opportunities, both inside and outside of the organization.

  • Provide easy access to training for employees: Offer training programs that are flexible and accessible, such as online courses or evening classes.

  • Recognize and reward employees for their accomplishments: Celebrate employees who have successfully completed training programs or taken on new challenges.

  • Use technology to support reskilling and upskilling: There are many technology tools available that can help organizations track employee skills and identify training needs.

By taking these steps, HR professionals can help organizations build a workforce that is prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the AI-driven work landscape.


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.