Addressing Digital Skills Gaps in the Virtual Workplace

Plethora Learning | Blog Author | Mitali Murdeshwar
Mitali Murdeshwar November 11, 2021
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The rise of the virtual workplace in the last two years has led to extraordinary advances in the way organizations are functioning. Sadly though, not all are equipped to handle this unexpected boom in digital work which has led to several challenges.

One of the most important issues that has occurred through all of this is the emergence of digital skills gaps. Employees across countries, geographies and industries are finding it tough because many organizations haven’t done enough to develop their employees’ digital abilities.

The problem of digital skills gap is huge. According to Salesforce, 14 G20 companies could face a crisis of nearly $11.5 trillion in GDP growth if they are employing workers who are not skilled enough for the digital age. For the workforce of 2021 and beyond, digital middle-skill jobs pay much more than their non-digital counterparts, and most of the new job postings call for comprehensive expertise in digital processes.

So, while digital skills are a must to drive business in virtual work environments, unfortunately, there aren’t enough employees who have them. This is a general issue not specific to any one industry and needs to be addressed keeping in mind the overall future business milieu.

How can companies go about creating an effective L&D strategy to take care of the digital skills gaps in their workforce? Below are some steps:

  • Conducting a Training Needs Assessment

This is an important step for every L&D program. A training needs assessment helps organizations by providing them with the right knowledge so that they can make well-supported decisions on what kind of training opportunities their employees need. In case of digital skills gap training needs assessment, there are certain questions that need to be answered like:

  • Is there a drop in productivity or performance in any particular field of work in your organization?
  • Have you introduced any new digital processes in the recent past?
  • Are there any new tasks your employees will be performing for the first time?
  • Have you created any new resources to help employees in this transition?

It’s good to initiate discussions on these topics so that you can help your employees understand where exactly the gaps lie and how they can be addressed through your learning programs.

  • Conducting Interviews and Surveys

One way of answering the questions mentioned earlier in the article is by conducting interviews with your employees. Interviews provide you with the chance to have personal interactions with employees and ask them specific questions.

While you invest in remote work environments, there are multiple learning solutions you can harness to enhance productivity and efficiency. But for this, you need a better understanding of the skills that your employees may need to perform in their role. Once you have the information, you can begin to build learning solutions, performance support tools, and other ways to increase the efficiency of your workforce.

Like interviews, another method that works is gathering data through surveys that allow you to gain more information on employees’ thoughts about their digital literacy. Surveys help you achieve qualitative data for insights on employees’ needs and wants for digital skills.

 

If you’re looking for a complete and effective solution to digital skills gaps, your organization can opt to create a full-scale L&D program accompanied by a library of technical courses. There are carefully curated and customizable plans in the market in the form of thousands of ready-to-use, in-demand courses that perfectly align with specific training needs, offering training flexibility.

Providers like Plethora can help businesses enhance digital literacy and future-proof their workforce by providing access to thousands of digital, web, IT and software courses to ensure the right people have the right kind of skills.

Learn how Plethora can help you upskill your employees.