We’re facing a crisis of monumental proportions: a digital skills gap that if left unchecked could have disastrous consequences for your organisation.
But the good news is it’s not too late to act. By taking the time and effort to invest in digitally upskilling your workforce today, you can future-proof your business by ensuring employees have both the skills and confidence to thrive in the modern data-driven economy.
Why workforce upskilling is important
According to the World Economic Forum, concerned employers expect to offer both re and upskilling to over 70% of their employees by 2025. A figure that seems to hold weight when cross-referenced against Microsoft’s similar survey declaring how 69% of UK leaders surveyed also believe their organisation currently has a digital skills gap.
But workforce upskilling is a journey, not a destination. Yes, we know that sounds like a cliche (it is) although that doesn’t mean it’s not true. As technology advances at a lightning pace, the innovations of today are virtually almost forgotten by tomorrow as they improve, adapt or get replaced.
You’ve heard of planned obsolescence, right? The dubious tactic of building eventual failure into technology to encourage future purchases? So if hardware, software, frameworks, and strategies constantly need updating, then so do the skills of your workforce.
Build a learning culture that drives digital adoption:
Cross-training doesn’t mean everybody can or should do everything. It makes little commercial sense for your sales team to know your HR system inside out or your engineers to understand your accounting platform.
Obviously, it’s useful if employees working in the same dept can perform all or part of their co-worker’s jobs. But cross-training in this sense is about more than building a self-sufficient, agile team.
Its real power is it shifts employees' mindsets into a continuous learning mindset. By building the expectation to learn into everybody’s role, you encourage the anticipation to lean at all levels.
This might sound simple, but you’d be surprised at how many times our workforce upskilling experts hear feedback from learners that their organisation made it difficult to explore training funds, courses and opportunities.
If you want more people to learn, then choose a dedicated digital or physical regularly updated channel for all employees to explore their workforce upskilling options.
If someone in your organisation completes a course, gains a new qualification or learns a new skill, tell everybody and anybody who will listen.
Promote it both internally and to your wider community and champion their achievement at every opportunity. Not only will it reinforce a sense of achievement, but it also encourages others to follow suit.
Promoting everybody isn’t practical - you can’t have a team of managers without a team to deliver the front line work.
But it’s easy to create skills champions to act as a centralised point of training or knowledge. Not only does it help build a sense of worth, but it’s also a great way to ensure employees know where to turn to improve their skills and knowledge in niche areas.
Offering more money is a persuasive tool to stop employees from leaving for new pastures.
But according to a recent employee survey by the recruitment website Indeed, ‘needing more of a challenge’ was the number one reason (above salary increases) most employees gave for leaving roles.
So before you jump to immediately offering financial rewards for learning, see if extra responsibility, perks or industry recognition will work just as well.
We’re all busy. But if the future of your organisation relies on ensuring your workforce has the skills and confidence to function in the modern data-driven economy, you need to ensure they can learn on company time and ideally in a convenient space.
Asking your workforce to work hard all week then engage with extra learning after hours or on weekends breeds resentment and drives burnout.
By factoring self-development into the working day and organisation space, you get a better-skilled workforce and your employees get to further their careers by growing in a healthy sustainable way. It’s a win-win.
Upskill your workforce, today
If you’re serious about future-proofing your organisation against ever-evolving digital technology, UpSkill Digital can help.
No matter what stage you’re at in your workforce upskilling journey, we can advise, guide, build, deliver or scale a suitable training program to suit your needs.
Our network of highly experienced digital experts combined with experience gleaned from delivering powerful digital training programs to a range of global organisations, means you’re in good hands.
Empower your employees, future-proof your business, and maximise operational efficiency with UpSkill Digital Workforce Upskilling programme, today.
Talk to an expert today!