Building the Foundation of a Digital Skilling Pathway with Skills Mapping 

Aileen Allkins - 3 min read

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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 in incredibly high demand and short supply. At the same time, innovative technologies such as automation and AI make leaps and bounds and offer businesses exciting new opportunities. However, without the right skills across teams, businesses will struggle to capitalize on these opportunities.  

Many enterprises are turning to in-house upskilling programs to solve the skills shortages. The CBI reports that nearly 7 in 10 firms are investing in training to upskill their current workers. But upskilling is a broad term encompassing a wide array of means.  

Even within digital upskilling, multiple skill areas 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” 

Businesses must first ensure they have clarity over which skills they have and 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 practical terms rather than following ‘nice to haves’ or getting caught up in the buzzwords around the following 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 look forward to the digital transformation plans for different people, teams, and departments and pinpoint the skills that people will need to learn to use new technologies introduced to their work properly.  

The Right Skills at the Right Level 

An essential part of digital skills mapping is considering at what level new skills are needed. For example, while it can be beneficial to have a senior individual trained in data science, if their seniority and broader responsibilities mean they are unable to put their skills into use on a day-to-day basis, it can negate the value of their skill set, especially if the business is lacking more junior staff with the same skills.  

Similarly, senior executives need more skills to lead from the front in driving digital transformation and deploying new technologies in the business. In that case, it can limit the value of 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. Organizations can ensure that growth and innovation are maintained by establishing skilling initiatives in parallel with adopting new technologies and the business functions or service offerings they facilitate.  

This requires careful planning and understanding of the short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Still, this comprehensive approach to planning digital transformations and the skilling needed to support them achieves growth objectives. 

Keeping People on Board 

Skilling initiatives are not only helpful in 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, businesses need to offer the career opportunities and personal skillset investment that employees are looking for.  

Investing proper resources 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 and that their employer is committed to their future success. 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 in identifying and undertaking the digital skilling pathways that will play a vital role in achieving your commercial and digital transformation goals. 

Speak to one of our team members today to learn how Elev8 and TalentWize can be the next step in your business journey.