There is one area often overlooked when developing employees: digital skills. Yet, research shows that much of the working week is unproductive because of insufficient digital skills.
In a successful business, people work together in unison. Even so, each employee needs the skills to succeed and the potential to develop.
It is the team leader’s responsibility to grow and equip the team. Yet, there is one area often overlooked when developing employees: digital skills.
A Digital Skills Shortage
A McKinsey poll found that 21% of the average working week is unproductive because of insufficient digital skills. Put another way, this is equivalent to a year loss of $10,000,000 for companies of a 1,000 or more employees.
Despite companies from different sectors investing large sums in the latest productivity and training software, only one in ten American employees consider themselves proficient at using productivity tools like email, collaboration systems, or project management software.
The digital skills gap is responsible for up to $1.3 Trillion of lost time in the United States economy every year, and this is one of the most prominent risks to the sustainability of business.
And, this gap will increase as new technologies become available, which means those companies without a proactive attitude towards developing digital skills will fall behind their competition.
Closing the digital skills gap and increasing workplace efficiency is a leadership responsibility.
However, it is the team leader who must create wide-ranging plans to develop the digital competency of their teams, and to develop skills for the future.
Closing the Digital Skills Gap
Here are five actionable steps team leaders should routinely tackle:
- Assess training challenges first. What’s holding your team back? Are they having trouble with those tools they use every day? Once you’ve identified a specific gap, it should be assessed and put right.
- Decide how best to deliver learning and development. Keep in mind that easy, mobile training — courses, in-house or e-learning — will be most effective. Try to tackle those critical areas that are causing large amounts of decreased productivity across your company first.
- Begin by preparing your workforce to fill the previously identified skills gaps using structure training, and if necessary, make new appointments to fill those gaps.
- Create a training plan for each employee to ensure the team is suitably skilled to perform today, and that their knowledge stays ahead of the competition.
- Reassess your needs frequently to make sure your plan remains efficient for the unique challenges your business faces.
Team leaders must work with their human resources department to make sure employees have the capability to propel productivity in the workplace.
So, identify your best employees and work closely with them to improve the performance of the entire team, and evaluate your competitors for a company skill gap comparison.
In today’s digital revolution, a commitment to employee development reflects successful team management, and can make all the important difference between a business succeeding and a business failing.
Has your business identified any digital skills shortages? If so, what are you doing about it, and how are you improving productivity? Please do share your experiences in the comments.