We live in a world where digital transformation is at the heart of everything we do. Organisations are at an inflection point where they have to either adapt to this digital wave to stay relevant or risk being disrupted. Moreover, these digital capabilities help organisations in enhancing productivity and achieving their growth targets. The current scenario necessitates an upskilling of the workforce to equip them to contribute meaningfully in their jobs.
As per a survey by CareerBuilder, 67% of employers said they were concerned about the growing skill gap. Due to the prevalent shortage of skills in the market, organisations have to unwillingly delay their open positions in search of the right fit. An efficient and more sustainable solution is to upgrade their existing skill-sets. Digital skilling will not only engage and retain the current workforce but will also be the sure-shot path towards organisational success.
Digitally-skilled employees can help organisations in unlocking their potential to use data for making informed decisions. Moreover, they can transform the existing processes to achieve higher efficiency and productivity. Digitally skilled employees can also help in offering exceptional experiences to customers and clients to build lasting relationships.
The world of AI and automation is an endless possibility, and we have only scratched the surface so far. As they will grow and influence significant changes in the way things are done, organisations can expect massive gaps in their skill-sets. For instance, AI-powered tools will take over the operational tasks of a recruiter’s jobs. The recruiters will be expected to focus on other strategic aspects of their jobs, like building relationships with hiring managers and engaging passive talent. Organisations will have to find innovative ways to upskill them and utilise their talent and experience.
Digital upskilling is more like a movement and needs to focus on transforming the culture and mindset of an organisation. While employees should be pro-active about their growth and development, the time also demands leaders to commit to their growth. As employee development will become a top agenda, here is how the L&D departments can support their organisations.
Identify Future Skills Requirements:
Apart from preparing an organisation for the future, digital upskilling is also a commitment to expand the internal skill-sets. The first step towards this direction is to identify the skills that will gain significance in the years to come. Organisations can examine the existing skills vis-a-vis this list to develop learning programs.
Make Individual Development Plans:
It has been established that when it comes to learning and development, one size cannot fit all. As essential as it is to involve every employee, it is equally crucial to understand that not every one of them will benefit from the same program. To make the intervention more effective, each employee should be evaluated differently to identify the skill gaps. Depending upon the role and interests, employees should be given exposure to AI, automation, blockchain, analytics and design thinking etc.
Use Technology to Impart and Reinforce the Training:
An organisation cannot foster a digital culture unless it walks the talk. For an organization to be ready to adapt to technological advances, it will have to take conscious steps to facilitate digital learning. Use of podcasts, gamification, multimedia content and mobile apps can help immensely to this effect. This will also enable the employees to take learning outside the boundaries of their organisations and learn on the go.
Enable Social Learning and Collaboration:
Employees can learn better through informal avenues. While classroom training is good for initiating a subject, employees can benefit more from informal learning experiences. Provide social platforms to allow the employees to share, collaborate and express their views through micro-blogging and discussion forums. Apart from accelerating the learning process, such platforms can also engage your employees and present new opportunities to them.
Digital upskilling is not about teaching the employees to operate a new device or tool. Organisations need to have a long-term view as technology will come and go. Digital upskilling is more about creating digital awareness and imparting capabilities to thrive and sustain in the digital world. It is also about preparing your employees to adapt to change and be open to infinite possibilities. This mindset is also imperative to creating a culture of lifelong learning.
Digital upskilling is a conscious decision to enhance the experiences of customers as well as employees. Organisations can achieve this with a long-term view of developing a program that is comprehensive, scalable and flexible.