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Digital Upskilling: What it is and Why Employees Need It

In 2019, the Pew Research Center conducted a study on US residents and their digital knowledge. It consisted of a short quiz of digital literacy questions that covered topics like phishing scams, cookies, and two-factor authentication. On average, only 40% of adults answered the questions correctly. This study sheds light on a widespread problem in America — the digital literacy gap.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways companies can try and close this gap. One solution: Digital upskilling.

What is Digital Upskilling?

Digital upskilling is the process of teaching people how to think, act, and thrive in a digital world. It involves providing employees with the opportunity to gain the tools and skills they need to adapt to a world with ever-changing technologies. Apart from teaching technicalities such as how to use a specific device or navigate a particular software, digital upskilling also ensures that employees have the fundamental knowledge required to understand new technologies, should the need arise.

Why Do Your Employees Need It?

In recent years, there have been big strides in improving digital literacy, especially in the workplace. However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown the business industry just how underprepared it was. Businesses have had to fast-track their implementation of digital technologies to cope with the shift to the online platform. This leaves many employees struggling to keep up with the changes. It’s no longer IT departments alone that require digital literacy training.

And if you look at the leading careers in business administration, you would be hard-pressed to find one that hasn’t already been disrupted by technology. Human resources, for instance, is slowly moving away from manual processes to becoming a more tech-dependent department. One of the main uses of tech in HR is digital communication which has become non-negotiable in a highly agile and remote workforce. HR departments also rely on data analytics to improve their recruitment practices and retention strategies. That said, HR isn’t the only field that benefits from having a tech-savvy workforce. For some industries, it’s become a necessity.

Take a look at the education sector. The pandemic pushed educators and students to retreat to their homes and make do with remote learning setups. Teachers have had to learn to use video conferencing apps and online assessment tools, all the while trying to make their lectures more engaging for the students.

The same goes for the healthcare sector. Medical professionals have their hands tied with the multitude of COVID cases, making it difficult to attend to their other patients. This is why innovations such as telehealth and AI chatbots were implemented in the industry. But even so, many employees still struggle to cope with these new technological changes, partly due to the rapid shift.

How Can You Upskill Your Employees?

The best way to upskill your employees in the time of COVID is to provide online training sessions with interactive elements and links to additional resources. This makes it easier for your employees to digest what’s being taught. It would be best to get the entire company involved, as this improves how employees interact with each other and fosters an environment that values learning.

Focus on imparting knowledge about the devices and software that are commonly used in-house, but don’t neglect basic digital skills. These include the fundamentals of online communication, troubleshooting, and safety and security. When your employees are aware of the basic principles, they’re less likely to struggle when presented with new technology.

LearningZen has a variety of eLearning services that can help you and your employees take your business to the next level. We can help you build your company training program, while also ensuring that the content is relevant and engaging. Schedule a demo with us now!




exclusively written for

by River June

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