With the introduction of technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), mobile apps and more, the business functions of government are becoming more automated. While fears of machines taking over the world -- or at least our jobs -- are unfounded, the type of work government employees will be doing is changing dramatically. Additionally, there is a huge learning curve needed for employees to adopt these technologies to ensure they live up to their promise of greater efficiency and cost savings. The common denominator for managing all of this change? Training.
In a recent survey, 43 percent of Federal IT professional respondents said that one of the reasons their IT environments were not optimized to meet current demands was insufficient investment in training. Organizations need to take full advantage of budgeted education stipends to get holistic training for management and employees to ensure they get the most out of their technology investment. Investing more in training up front can save money down the road by avoiding the need to re-tool or even scrap systems to better fit the skill sets of the workforce.
While budget is frequently a scapegoat for lack of training, it no longer needs to be a barrier. Promoting employee engagement, reskilling workers and improving the federal hiring process are all part of the President's Management Agenda. With this administrative focus there will be more funds and time available to provide needed training.
More than just training people on how to use technology, the federal workforce needs to be trained to work alongside technology. With machines handling the mundane tasks, people in the federal government can now focus on higher value work, which many times means a different skill set. Take for example contact centers. With self-service options, people are no longer calling into centers to get addresses and phone numbers or even to request forms or account status. They can get that online. Now when people call into a government contact center they have questions that could not be answered online or have more complex issues. This means the people manning the phones and email need to be able to do more than read a script. They need critical thinking skills and access to a wider variety of data to help the citizens that reach out.
All of this means that reskilling the federal workforce is going to be a huge undertaking in the coming years. At GovEvents, we're happy to be a resource for employees and managers looking for the right events to power this evolution in the workforce. Our site is continually updated with events - virtual and in-person - that help federal workers grow their technical and professional knowledge as well as make connections with people that will help them continue to grow to meet the new challenges of serving U.S. citizens.