Digital upskilling in 2023 is no longer just an exciting idea of the digital age – it is an absolute requirement for every business that aims to profit in this fast-changing technological era. Instructors need to ensure that every employee in a company is up to date with critical skills and any changes in popular choices.
While upskilling and reskilling have always been a part of every company’s learning and development programs, most people believe that digital upskilling only applies to specific technical and IT departments in a few companies and a few industries. However, this is far from the actual situation. In fact, this concept has taken over every aspect of a business, from its general workforce and strategy to its core operating systems.
In this guide, we will learn how digital transformation helps businesses grow in a digital world and improves employee loyalty by empowering your workforce. This guide will also walk you through the best methods to implement upskilling in your company!
Why is digital upskilling important for businesses?
Digital upskilling can help businesses identify their workforce’s shortcomings and provide the right training opportunities to remedy them. The important thing is to understand different digital upskilling examples, and while many people define them as basic coding skills, they are a lot more than that.
While the specific skill set you aim for will vary from employee to employee, anything related to technology that can improve a company’s processes falls under the umbrella definition of digital skills.
There are numerous benefits that a business can experience when they pursue the right digital upskilling strategy, including productivity benefits and a more skilled workforce. However, the key benefit is usually an increase in productivity and profits once a culture of learning and trust is ingrained into the existing workforce.
The need to upskill is more significant than ever for modern companies as new developments in AI and software, like robotic process automation tools, become central to a company’s survival and growth. To understand the impact of big data analytics on modern technology, check out our guide on the topic. If you wish to stay ahead of the competition, you must differentiate between fads and actual developments and implement any changes that can give you the edge.
Companies could start by upskilling employees on the importance of CRMs or social media marketing before moving on to programming and digital marketing skills. It is also essential to ensure that the company’s employees are comfortable with any new software you are implementing and receive adequate training before they are expected to handle the tool.
Here is a detailed look into some benefits businesses are likely to experience after implementing digital upskilling for their employees:
Increase in employee retention:
Good employees are nearly as essential to business operations as a good client in most cases, and most business owners know that retaining good talent can be very challenging. This is especially true for high-performing individuals looking to grow their skills and professional experiences, which is impossible in a dead-end routine.
Digital and general upskilling can keep the flavor of learning challenges alive for such individuals, leading to increased retention levels and greater productivity.
Improved productivity for remote workers:
While we will tackle the productivity benefits of digital upskilling for in-office employees in the next section, let’s start by looking at how these learning initiatives can help remote workers. Remote working lifestyles are increasingly becoming a popular choice for many professionals, courtesy of the advancements in technical solutions, especially post Covid-19.
However, it is possible to feel isolated when working alone for long hours. It can also be tricky when you constantly manage new tools that could be virtual interruptions to a workflow.
When managers address the learning gaps these employees feel by limiting the platforms for primary communication and sticking to advanced CRMs like Hubspot which are an all-in-one solution, employees can collaborate better regardless of the physical distance.
It is essential to include remote employees in L&D programs while respecting their professional and personal boundaries, which can be a challenge for some managers and instructors.
Improved productivity in-office:
Digital upskilling can help employees feel confident about their duties, leading to growth, innovation, and improved organizational productivity rates. In addition, once upskilled, employees may feel more confident about taking up new job duties, making delegation easier.
While we have already discussed the improvement in retention rates, it is also important to note that better-skilled employees are more valuable assets for a business with more impactful attitudes to problem-solving.
To cultivate a healthy workplace culture, it is essential to make sure your employees feel that their growth is valued and their contributions are appreciated, and digital upskilling can aid with that!
How can digital upskilling empower employees?
Digital upskilling helps employees to transform their personal and professional growth as they reach a level of comfort with their digital transformation. Some benefits include improved problem-solving and job confidence.
This form of upskilling could be based on learning new skills or improving upon older skills. However, it applies to any skills and knowledge that will enhance a business’s performance and address its digital skill gaps.
While we explored the benefits of digital upskilling for companies in the earlier section, let’s look into the direct benefits that employees experience.
If an employee is not confident about handling a job responsibility, it is more likely that they will fumble when put to the task. Digital upskilling can strengthen a worker’s soft skills helping them cultivate confidence and a positive attitude.
Having confidence in your abilities can benefit your personal and professional life, while your positive attitude can empower you to produce higher-quality work. In addition, by developing your confidence in the workplace, you can improve your reputation in your industry, making it easier to achieve your career goals.
Improved problem analysis:
Tapping into your problem-solving skills is essential to achieve optimal growth in your field. This includes identifying the issue after careful analysis and developing impactful solutions. This skill is essential when you are handling technology and data.
When employees learn to utilize new tools and software solutions as part of their digital upskilling training, they can strengthen their problem-solving skills using the best available tools.
What are the best ways to implement digital upskilling?
Digital upskilling is a sensitive endeavor that should be undertaken after carefully analyzing a company’s needs and skills gaps. It is essential to understand that it is not just a one-off process. Evaluating specific programs’ success, increasing employee engagement, and considering if skills are being implemented in-office is crucial.
Successful digital upskilling courses can lead to a high ROI, and here are some ways you can implement it in your own business and eliminate any skill gap:
Learning and Development Programs:
Suppose you are looking for a comprehensive solution to your digital upskilling plans. In that case, an L&D program is the best way to go, as it incorporates the needs of employees who wish to study in-person or online from another location.
Before you can start delivering training content to your employees with this medium, evaluating your workforce’s digital proficiency is essential to develop the right plan that handles pain points.
It is also essential to take a systematic approach where you understand that every individual in the workforce has a specific skill set. Understanding how each employee stands out and is held back will also require a lot of analysis, but you will end up with a stronger idea of the combined skillset. For instance, this is a look into the 13 common hurdles faced by beginner data scientists!
The best thing about L&D programs is that they are ideal for large-scale projects where you need to work with a bigger workforce. Teaching multiple skills and tracking performance in these scenarios is much easier and more efficient. These programs can be created on tools like iSpring Suite, and they can utilize seminars, workshops, and lectures and might include a few secondary online courses.
If you believe your employees will appreciate a change and challenge in the work environment to learn better, you can try digital upskilling with job rotation (also known as cross-training). This will have your workers performing new roles and utilizing new skill sets within the business.
It is an excellent route to follow if you wish to promote an employee or put them through an advanced L&D program, as it gives them the technical skills and knowledge required for better performance in challenging roles. It can also reduce training costs and improve workforce retention when you promote it within your company.
It is essential to ensure that trainers or senior employees supervise employees during this phase. Doing so maximizes the learning opportunities from this approach and limits any potential issues.
Digital training for remote workers:
Remote digital upskilling programs need to be implemented with a lot of care and consideration regarding remote employees’ personal and professional challenges. However, implementing these changes has several benefits, including increased productivity and employee loyalty.
It is also excellent to have in-office and remote employees collaborating on a learning program, as it helps bridge the internal distance within an organization.
It would be best to consider certain factors to ensure a successful remote learning program, including inclusion, continuous learning, and student-teacher interaction. It is also essential to evaluate whether the learned skills are being effectively applied. This requires the use of several assessment techniques and skill reviews.
Another way to approach in-office training that can be worked into a more extensive L&D program later is to get your employees to perform new tasks and pick on the skills they can improve.
This will require close supervision, and a diligent mentor can help new students scale their skillset much better. In addition, supervised guidance and direct contact between a junior employee and a senior colleague will result in faster and more effective skill transfer.
This method often teaches practical skills best learned through repetition, as students can improve their work with each consecutive try. However, it is also essential to note that while mentorships are perfect as a standalone strategy, they also work well as part of a training program.
Digital upskilling is an undeniable necessity for modern businesses, and it can be applied to one targeted individual or the entire workforce, depending on the situation. While focusing on hard digital skills is essential, it is also vital to consider soft skills for a better overall result.
If you’re interested in upskilling into the tech industry consider booking a free career consultation with an expert member of our team.