There are many items to check off the list when it comes to ensuring a smooth digital transformation (DX) for your business. However, employee training doesn’t often make the cut. This is unfortunate, because it means leaders are willingly leaving dollars on the table. If you want to see a quicker ROI from your digital transformation initiatives, it’s crucial to allocate a portion of the budget to continuous learning.
According to PWC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey in 2019, 79 percent of CEOs cited a lack of skilled workers as one of their top three worries. Thankfully, it’s not all bad news. The 2020 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report shows that 51 percent of companies globally planned to implement an upskilling program within their organizations; 47 percent said they will do the same for reskilling. This is certainly a shift in the right direction, but more buy-in is needed on a larger scale until we can expect to see significant change.
With an uncertain economy and IT budgets tighter than ever, company leaders should look to employee training as a long-term DX investment. Here are a few reasons to support the case.
Continuous training provides immediate cost-savings
Let’s pretend for a moment there isn’t a growing skills gap and you can have your pick of top-notch candidates across the globe. Even if that were true, it’s still more affordable for your company to spend those dollars training existing employees than it is to onboard new ones. If certain highly skilled tasks can’t wait, consider leveraging a solution like Team as a Service (TaaS), which can help you ramp up some of those DX initiatives while also providing hands-on learning opportunities for members of your internal team.
Culture matters, just not the way you think it does
You’ve read countless articles on how to create the ideal company culture, but how many of them focused on what really matters? All of those suggestions about gym memberships, onsite recreational activities, and catered lunches are out the window in our current climate. But if we’re being honest, those things never formed the foundation for culture in the first place, they were simply perks.
What’s really needed for an unshakeable culture is to work with people who are aligned with your core values and to treat them well. Part of this, again, involves investing in their learning and growth. Once your teams are aligned with your core values, it should be your mission to ensure that everyone is on board with your DX plans. This means being in the know about any major shifts the organization is undergoing, training on new technologies, and communicating throughout the entire process. If your employees are not up to speed, your plans will inevitably suffer. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Engagement is key
When you train new employees and provide continuous learning opportunities for others, you create a culture of confidence, which breeds innovation, productivity, and higher levels of employee engagement. The World Economic Forum notes that 50 percent of US workers consider themselves disengaged at work. “And one in eight workers is so disaffected by how they’re treated on the job that they actively work against the interest of their companies.” The same institution also projects that at least 54 percent of all employees will need reskilling and upskilling by 2022. Yet only 30 percent of employees at risk of job displacement from technological changes received training in 2019.
It is predicted that more than 1 billion jobs (almost one-third of all jobs worldwide) will be transformed by technology in the next decade. Company leaders can get ahead of this by providing learning opportunities for their employees, thereby ensuring that future challenges can be tackled internally. There is no shortage of videos, workshops, seminars, and online content, but you can also provide upskilling resources in-house. As an immediate skills-gap solution, consider options like TaaS, which can help you accelerate DX without overtaxing your employees.