Survey identifies lack of key digital skills among employees
In the hustle and bustle of the hiring process, some things can occasionally fall through the cracks – an incomplete field on an application, for example, or a resume item about which recruiters ask no questions. Presumably, one would hope that assurances of new hires’ skills aren’t among any of the factors that get forgotten – but recent research seems to indicate that this may be happening more often than employers would like.
“As many as 80 percent of workers may not have all of the tech skills their job requires.”
Even more critically, this skills gap may stem from employees who possessed the necessary talents for the job when they were first hired but are falling behind the eight ball due to tech and digital transformation trends they don’t fully understand. Business leaders need to understand the gravity of this situation to determine if it’s an issue in their organizations, and then endeavor to rectify it using appropriate measures like a computer skills assessment.
Skills gap announced at Gartner conference
Gartner staged its ReimagineHR seminar in London Sept. 6-7, and this event served as the setting for the research firm to present its study on employee preparedness, based on surveys of business leaders all over the world. Per their responses, they believe 80 percent of their employees don’t have the skills for current and future positions and 70 percent lack the full spectrum of knowledge for their responsibilities right now.
Brian Kopp, group vice president of the Gartner HR-focused division, laid out the severity of the issue at the conference, again stressing the increasing importance of businesses embracing digital transformation and other major tech trends.
“More than two-thirds of business leaders believe that if their company does not become significantly digitalized by 2020, it will no longer be competitive,” Kopp said.
Steps to bring employees up to speed
Identifying a problem within your business is no good if you don’t follow up this discovery with definitive actions to solve it. To some extent, the next steps will be different for every organization, but several general practices can serve most companies quite well.
In an interview with Inc. magazine, Harvard University chief digital officer Perry Hewitt explained that it’s essential to immerse your staff in the latest workplace tech practices and platforms, rather than opt for a slow-paced or otherwise meticulous deployment. Certain subsets of digital transformation, such as social media, can benefit from formalized, dedicated training sessions, but for the most part, if the entire workforce is involved from the get-go, employees are more likely to cooperate and help one another master new techniques. Also, managers who aren’t the most tech-savvy shouldn’t be exempt from this type of immersion learning – arguably, it’s even more important for senior leadership to bolster their digital transformation skills.
“There needs to be a sense of where you are trying to go and how you will get there – as well as a vision of the fundamental change you want to make and how digital transformation can deliver it,” Hewitt told the news provider.
Keeping track of workforce progress in digital transformation training with the right data and methods of quantification also plays a vital role in overseeing the rollout of new and advanced platforms. Everyone needs to be involved in this continuous, ever-evolving assessment of performance. Last but not least, Computer Weekly recommended that HR take a leadership role in digital transformation. Even if they won’t be using certain tools as often as employees in other departments, HR team members must understand how all of them work as part of their responsibility to oversee and support the entire staff.