Digital skills are vital in almost every modern company, and it’s important to keep your workforce up to date with the latest developments in technology.
Despite this, recent data from the UK Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport found that almost a third of all vacancies within the IT and Computing sector were due to skill shortages, revealing a workforce in serious need of training when it comes to digital skills.
In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the best strategies your company can use to ensure that their staff’s digital skills are up-to-date, protecting your business from talent shortages in the future. Find out how you can give your company an amazing digital transformation.
The digital world can be confusing and overwhelming at times, and it can be tricky to know exactly which areas to focus on. Whether it’s complicated supply-chain software, user experience tools, or search engine optimisation programmes, it can be tricky to work exactly where to place employee investment initiatives funds. When deciding where to allocate a budget to enhance your team’s digital skills knowledge, it can be challenging to know exactly how to spend it.
With that in mind, one of the best first steps you can take is to conduct a survey amongst your team to find out which skills they would most benefit from learning. Often, teams that use particular software or specialised digital skills may have a ‘wishlist’ of new digital technology they’d like to learn more about but might feel unsure about bringing it up themselves.
Starting things off with a survey allows you to get a fresh and clear view of the exact areas to focus on. You can even go a step further and ask your team to demonstrate how they think they could achieve more company goals if training in certain areas took place.
This can make it much easier to justify larger budget allocations, as you will be able to understand and present the exact benefits to the broader company as a whole. Surveys are a fool-proof way to get a clear view of the key decisions that will lead to immediate impact when it comes to digital upskilling.
Asses company skill gaps and risks
Once you have a solid understanding of your team’s needs, it’s good to contrast that against the broader needs you have as a company. Be ambitious and think about the long-term aims of the company.
By doing this, you can go further than just filling short-term digital skills gaps and can instead build an in-depth digital strategy that allows you to scale quickly with no digital issues down the line.
You may find that many of your goals as a company overlap with the areas your employees are looking to develop their skills in. Spending more time thinking about what you want to achieve from upskilling your staff’s digital skill set can pay dividends in the long run.
It’s also worth assessing the risks of failing to plug digital skills gaps. Cybersecurity is one of the most important areas to upskill employees in from all departments and disciplines. Despite this, it can often be overlooked. For example, small businesses that don’t have large IT departments are less likely to be targeted by a cyber attack.
However, a lack of investment in cybersecurity competency training can lead to devastating consequences. According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021, 39% of businesses reported cyber security breaches or attacks in the past 12 months, demonstrating the risks that are facing companies with basic digital skill gaps.
Keep an eye on new software and tech
New software, updates, and tech products are constantly emerging, and keeping an ear to the ground can allow you to stay ahead of the curve.
Almost all areas of digital skills are constantly evolving. New tools in graphic design tools, digital marketing software and new security programmes are continually emerging. Keeping in the loop can allow you to make savvy decisions when it comes to budget allocation.
Choosing courses or learning programmes that are focused on the latest versions of software or technology is vital, as failure to do so can lead to serious gaps in knowledge opening up soon after the training is complete.
Set up progression and upskilling strategies
There can often be clear paths of progression that learners can follow when it comes to digital skills. For example, programmes and software like Microsoft Excel and Google Analytics set out levels to determine how talented users are.
Understanding the paths of progression that learners are likely to take before assigning them to particular courses can allow you to ensure that you’re getting the highest amount of benefits possible.
Set clear goals and targets that will be achieved following each course and module. Giving team members the chance to learn new skills, new technologies, and digital soft skills can unlock a massive amount of potential, so being ambitious with these targets can be incredibly beneficial.
You can even set up follow-up sessions after the training to find out how it’s benefitted them in their role. Sometimes, digital skills training can take a little time to make an impact, so letting workers set reasonable targets following the training can allow you to track progress and work out when to trigger the next training session.
Find education providers that go the extra mile
Using all of the above strategies will allow you to give your team the digital knowledge boost they need. For those who are looking for a fast and effective digital refresh, using a dedicated workforce training team can make a huge difference.
Working with workforce training specialists can allow you to tap into a range of different courses, giving you the chance to seal your digital skills gaps once and for all. Using interactive e-learning to learn specific skills can be ideal for companies that are using remote working, as this allows employees to learn how to use new digital tools without having to travel long distances for face-to-face training.
Teams that go the extra mile can help you get the best training at the best time and help you set up long-term, detailed training plans, and programmes. Keeping your team’s digital skills up to date can be a continuous programme, so working with dedicated trainers is essential.