4 Essential Skills For The Digital Era

4 Essential Skills For The Digital Era
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Summary: The rapid progress of digital transformation across industries has expanded the list of necessary digital skills for work. Learn why now is the time to reconsider your digital skills training and which skills are essential to keep your teams competitive.

Building Strong Teams In The Modern Workplace

The pandemic put digital transformation in fast-forward mode, and if you want to keep up, it’s time to rethink your employee training.

Your employees may have adjusted quickly to the shift to remote work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re proficient with critical digital skills for work. If you’re like a lot of organizations, you see room for improvement.

According to recent research, many companies are doing more upskilling and reskilling training post-pandemic to support new processes and technology. Over two-thirds (68%) of organizations polled said they use training to handle changes within the organization. Another 65% use it to train employees on new technologies.

It’s time to redesign your employee training programs to make sure they don’t just conform to the new working environment but also help people thrive in it. Let’s discuss how you can get your team ready for the future of work by offering courses in the top digital skills for workplace success.

Digital Skills Examples

Technology has been changing how we work for a long time. People use it to do their jobs every day, so don’t they already have the skills they need?

The truth is, tech is continually evolving, and so is the way we use it. No matter what sector you’re in, there is modern tech skills training that could benefit your team and boost productivity in your organization.

Here are a few examples of how even tech-savvy employees could benefit from upskilling:

  • A salesperson who used to visit or host customers on-site may have already been using CRM software to track metrics and transactions. But now, they need to learn how to engage with prospects online, follow up with email, and be just as personable in virtual meetings.
  • A team leader may be comfortable keeping up with their direct reports in between team meetings through a messaging app. But now, they need to learn to manage a remote workforce through task-tracking software.
  • Employees are comfortable working with digital files but are not quite sure how to handle safety and protect sensitive data now that they’re accessing the company network from an outside connection.

In each of these scenarios, capable team members are being stretched as their knowledge of basic digital skills falls short in current workplace demands.

You can assume they’ll get up to speed with on-the-job experience and hope for a short learning curve. Or, you can speed up their learning and ensure your company is ready to take on today’s work effectively and safely.

Essential Digital Skills For Work

Evolution in how tech works and the ways we use it affects all industries. You need to train your team on all these changes to stay competitive. Upskilling and reskilling are also crucial to supporting and retaining top talent in today’s flexible workplace.

Digital skills will be important to your company’s growth going forward. So, where should you focus your training attention?

While each organization will have some specific needs, there are general skills that everyone can benefit from. And they aren’t limited to practical technical skills. Soft skills will also be important as you move to digital-first communication in many circumstances.

Here are 4 essential digital skills for work to build into your L&D strategy.

1. Technical Skills

The most obvious training to include teaches employees how to use the tech they rely on to get work done. The content may focus on the basics for people who aren’t familiar with working online.

These employees might need primers on basic tools and functions, including things like how to host and join a virtual meeting or how to create an online presentation using Google Slides.

You should also consider your need for more advanced technical skills training. Your new working models may require you to implement new tools that even more tech-savvy employees aren’t familiar with. For instance, if most of your training is now done via eLearning, get people up to speed on the Learning Management System (LMS) you’re using to host your training.

Whatever tech you rely on, make sure your team knows how to use these tools to their full potential.

2. Processes And Efficiency

Digital skills require more than a basic understanding of the technology involved. To ensure critical tasks don’t fall through the cracks, establish and communicate best practices for using your digital tools.

For instance, say your remote employees are all working on asynchronous schedules. Since daily project team huddles are not an option, you start using task management software to track progress and make crucial handoffs.

To make it as effective and efficient as possible, you’ll need to train employees on the platform’s features and functions. You’ll also want to coach the team on company-specific processes for moving projects through the platform. For instance, who takes what role? How and when do they report on their part of the project? How does a task get handed off from one employee to another?

Determine guidelines, and then train people on your processes and procedures to keep work running smoothly and avoid confusion.

3. Cyber Safety

Remote work means more company files and information are being accessed online. And that puts you at a greater risk of having sensitive data stolen. Educating your team on how to protect company info and processes should be a top priority.

In a study of cybersecurity readiness, employees were asked questions about their knowledge of cybersecurity best practices, online safety habits, and ability to recognize security threats. They were then tested on that knowledge.

One surprising (or maybe not so surprising) outcome was that 60% of employees who failed the quiz had reported that they felt safe from online security threats. When it comes to protecting sensitive information online, many people don’t know what they don’t know.

To keep your company and its data secure, include courses on topics like:

  • Secure remote working
  • Online privacy and protecting your data
  • Password protection
  • Malware, ransomware, and viruses
  • Network security and cloud computing
  • Data breaches
  • Internet of Things (IoT) attacks

A company data breach can end up costing you big—and could pose a threat to your company’s continued success. Training your teams on cyber safety is crucial as you take more and more of our business online.

4. Online Communication And Etiquette

Ensure that employees’ online communications reflect well on them and your business. Most people understand the need to be professional and respectful in the office. Communicating and doing business online are no different, but may not be as intuitive.

It can be frustrating for customers to receive an email that doesn’t answer all their questions. Team members can be equally frustrated by an email or message that doesn’t give the full details they need to do their own work. And an online meeting that takes an impolite or defensive tone can hurt business relationships.

Avoid these missteps by training people on proper online communication and etiquette. This can include topics like:

  • Writing effective emails
  • How and when to respond to customer requests
  • Being professional in virtual settings

Teaching these often subtle soft skills will help your employees put their best face forward—with both colleagues and customers.

Use The Right Tools For An Effective Training Strategy

There’s no question that the future of business is going to be heavily influenced by technology. Just as technology continuously evolves, so should your digital skills training. Review your course content regularly and update and enrich it with new topics as needed.

How you train your content is as important as what you train. With the rise in flexible working situations, you want to ensure you’re equipped to train your remote workforce and your in-office employees with engaging, effective content.

Choose a Learning Management System that lets you supplement or adjust content easily to provide an up-to-date and consistent learning experience for all your employees.

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