What is digital upskilling and why is it important?
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
In a world of business that never stands still, companies are constantly seeking new ways to establish themselves within their given industry, and continue growing to stay ahead of their rivals. One unavoidable aspect of business growth in the 21st century is the utilisation of technology. Modern tech allows businesses to solve problems faster than ever, whilst also keeping the workforce connected in an increasingly remote landscape.
But with technology developing at such a rapid rate, it’s vital that business owners keep their employees up to date and clued up on how to use any new equipment that could help keep the company on the cutting edge. This is the process of digital upskilling. Let’s explore in a bit more detail exactly what digital upskilling is, and take a look at some of the benefits it can provide.
What is digital upskilling?
Digital upskilling is the process whereby workers are given training opportunities to enhance their knowledge of digital platforms, devices, and technology. With technology constantly evolving, this process will look slightly different now than it did just a few decades ago, when workers were first getting to grips with the basic platforms that are now second nature for employees around the world.
Now, with workplaces using technology in such advanced ways, a greater level of expertise is required to ensure businesses can remain competitive, and this is why digital upskilling remains a priority for many business owners. For example, the way we interpret and store data, our ability to collaborate on projects using the cloud, writing complex code or designing state-of-the-art graphics are all pertinent skills that businesses in all different industries need to have.
Digital upskilling isn’t just necessary for small businesses looking to find their way in an industry – some of the world’s biggest companies have also committed themselves to the process. For example, professional service company PwC is investing $3 billion over four years to help upskill their entire workforce, with a particular focus on training and developing useful technologies.
Benefits for employees
The benefits of digital upskilling are wide-ranging and truly transformative. At its core, the process can provide individuals with the ability to develop new skills and enhance existing ones, promoting creativity, innovation, and job security. It grants access to new tools in a variety of fields, allowing learners to become more proficient in their abilities and better problem solvers.
Additionally, it increases one’s confidence as they can easily access information, apply new methods of working, collaborate with others more effectively and learn from experts in their field faster than ever before. All of these things ultimately help to future-proof their career, with the world of work likely to continue to lean on technology to drive it forward.
Benefits for businesses
For businesses, digital upskilling can make them more competitive by enabling employees to take on challenges that require higher-level skills sets, contributing further to the growth of the company. Giving staff the opportunity to train and develop in this way could also improve employee retention, with one 2019 report finding 94% of employees would be willing to stay with a company longer if they invested in training opportunities.
While it may require an initial outlay, improving employee retention rates can mean you save on hiring costs, whilst having a more tech-savvy workforce can ultimately help to give productivity a boost and improve your bottom line.
It’s clear that in 2023 and for many years to come, equipping your workforce with digital skills will be crucial to the success of your business. The benefits of engaging in the process are two-fold, as digital upskilling can be advantageous to both the employer and employee. If more companies commit to investing in digital upskilling plans, it will ultimately lead to more competitive industries, greater innovation and ultimately better products and services for the consumer.
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