As revealed by a recent report from the Confederation of British Industry, which found that 77% of businesses believe access to skills threatens their competitiveness, shortages of necessary talent are having a material impact on businesses’ success and growth plans. This is particularly true of digital talent, which is in especially high demand and short supply, all whilst innovative technologies such as automation and AI make leaps and bounds and offer businesses exciting new opportunities. However, without the right skills in place across teams, businesses will struggle to truly capitalize on these opportunities.
In response, many enterprises are turning to in-house upskilling programs as their solution to the skills shortages. In fact, the CBI reports that nearly 7 in 10 firms are investing in training to upskill their current workers. But upskilling is a broad term that can encompass a wide array of means.
Even within digital upskilling specifically, there are multiple different skills areas that relate to various uses or types of technology and digital tools. So how can organizations ensure they are channeling their resources and skilling their people in line with their digital transformation plans, and ultimately coordinating skilling initiatives and tech adoption effectively to secure their continued commercial growth?
“By Failing to Prepare, you are Preparing to Fail”
To ensure that they are fully leveraging the possibilities of establishing an upskilling program within their organization, businesses must first ensure that they have clarity over which skills they have, and which skills they need to introduce into the workforce. This requires a focused effort on skills auditing and skills mapping.
Effective skills mapping requires businesses to think in very practical terms, rather than following ‘nice to haves’ or getting caught up in the buzzwords around the next skills trend. It also requires a granular understanding of the digital skills that individuals and teams possess. Talent management tools, such as our TalentWize platform, can help conduct and trap the results of this initial skills audit.
With this initial understanding of the skills present in an organization, businesses can then look forward to the digital transformation plans for different people, teams, and departments, and pinpoint the skills that people will need to learn in order to properly use new technologies that will be introduced to their work.
The Right Skills at the Right Level
An important part of digital skills mapping is considering at what level new skills are needed. For example, whilst it can be beneficial to have a senior individual trained in data science, if their seniority and wider responsibilities mean they are unable to put their skills into use on a day-to-day basis, it can negate the value of their skillset, especially if the business is lacking more junior staff with the same skills.
Similarly, if senior executives are unable to lead from the front on driving digital transformation and deploying new technologies in the business due to a lack of skills, it can limit the value in investing in digital tools in the first place.
Getting the Timing Right
The timeframe for digital skilling initiatives is also a crucial consideration. Efficient resource allocation is a core tenet of good business, and upskilling programs should be approached with a similar mindset. By establishing skilling initiatives in parallel with the adoption of new technologies and the business functions or service offerings that they facilitate, organizations can ensure that growth and innovation is not held back.
This requires careful planning and understanding of the short, medium and long term goals, but it is this comprehensive approach to planning digital transformations and the skilling needed to support them that achieves growth objectives.
Keeping People on Board
Skilling initiatives are not only useful for answering growth objectives. Skills mapping and ongoing upskilling opportunities help safeguard businesses against costly employee attrition. In a competitive talent market with a shortage of digital talent, it is important for businesses to offer the career opportunities and personal skillset investment that employees are looking for.
Investing proper resource and time into evaluating people’s skills and supporting their personal development with targeted skilling programs that open up new opportunities and proficiencies for their roles can ensure that people feel invested in and that their employer is committed to their future success. In fact, a staggering 94% of respondents to a LinkedIn survey said they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers.
How YNV Tech Talent can Help your Business
Elev8 digital skilling uses our talent mapping tool TalentWize to help you map and keep track of the validated skills within your organization. By providing a comprehensive view of the skills and the skills gaps present in your business, and matching this with Elev8’s leading learning programs, we can support your business to identify and undertake the digital skilling pathways that will play a vital role in achieving your commercial and digital transformation goals.