Just when many thought that technology couldn’t possibly be developing at a more rapid rate, the pandemic hit. Digital transformation in the workplace accelerated (and continues to accelerate) exponentially.
As remote work surged, so did the need for digital skills. Along with it came the digital skills gap. Now, there is a dire need for more workers who are skilled in newer technologies. And this gap is getting larger by the second.
In this post, we’ll talk about this digital skills gap and how to bridge it by improving your digital technology skills.
What Is The Digital Skills Gap?
The digital skills gap is pretty simple to understand. Technology is developing at a faster rate than workforces can keep up with. As a result, the pool of skilled workers (those who are able to understand and work with these new technologies) is smaller than the demand for it.
As such, future-proofing workforces is becoming a priority for many as digitisation continues to surge. However, it is not always that easy. There simply aren’t enough new potential employees to fall back on for the future.
So, how can this be addressed? It seems a daunting task but this gap can be bridged by making use of the resources, skills, and opportunities for success that we have had all along.
Improving Your Digital Technology Skills
1. Work On Soft Skills First
Of course, soft skills in a successful company will already have been near-perfected. But what about these skills in conjunction with digital skills and means of communication?
Interpersonal skills, like customer relations and engagement, can be looked at through a digital lens. For example, video calls or live chat functions may offer your clients flexibility and make you far more easily accessible.
A simple investment into technologies that enhance soft skills can make a world of difference.
2. Improve Employee Experience
Another simple thing you can do to bridge the digital skills gap is to improve the experience that your employees have at your company. Retention is a huge factor that you need to consider.
The longer you keep your employees, the more opportunity they have to learn the ropes and really get the hang of new technologies and digitisation.
Of course new employees are also key but don’t ever underestimate the power and value of your existing employees and their knowledge of the company.
3. Step Up Your Talent Planning And Hiring Process
This brings us to the talent planning and hiring process. For talent planning, you already know the strengths and weaknesses that your existing employees have. So, use them. Plan in advance.
For new employees, don’t just plan where you will use their talent. Dedicate a lot of time and effort to the hiring and recruitment process. You need to step this up if you want to attract people who can A) add to your workforce and B) help to train and improve your existing workforce.
4. Provide Training Opportunities
Here’s where training and development come in. Training opportunities for your workforce can make or break your company and its digital skills development.
Focus on providing constant training opportunities and developing and embracing a learning culture for your employees whereby technology and digital skills become part of the company culture itself. An employer that invests time and energy into its employees will always be recognised and rewarded.
5. Harness The Power Of Technology
This last point summarizes all of the previous points into one: embrace digital skills. Meeting new technologies with open arms will always help to bridge that gap a bit more.
So, harness the power of technology to keep upskilling your workers so that they can continue to develop their skills. This will enable you to cultivate a workforce that is able to adapt to changing times and new technologies. As a result, your company will become more competitive in an increasingly digital world.
Digitisation is the future, and we need to embrace it.
The digital skills gap, although intimidating, is something that can be bridged not by technology, but by people.
It takes a recognition of this – that we are capable of propelling ourselves forward and making this gap smaller – to create a successful, digitally-savvy company that is able to take new technological developments to task.
So, using soft skills, employee experience, talent planning, and training are all different ways that you can embrace digitisation and improve upon the digital skills in your company, starting from the ground up.