By Chloe Gottschalk

Did you know that  90% of executives believe their company pays attention to employee needs when introducing new tools or technologies, yet only 53% of employees believe the same thing? Quite the disconnect! At MPS, we call the practice of training on digital tools for maximum effectiveness “Digital Fluency, and we believe it’s one of the five key disciplines that individuals must focus in order to maximize their productivity, yet abundant research indicates the majority of employees aren’t receiving the training they need when it comes to their digital tools. Workplace technologies are constantly evolving, and it is up to both employers and employees to take it upon themselves to ensure they are equipped to be successful.  

Think about in your career – how many times have you been handed a digital tool, such as software Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Teams or a new piece of hardware like a new smartphone, and been expected to learn how to use it on your own? Or perhaps you received basic training that covers the tool’s features and benefits, but not training on how to specifically use that tool related to your role and goals? If your company is still relying on these outdated forms of digital training, it’s time to consider a new trend in the business community: upskilling 

Upskilling is the process of developing your current employees by teaching them new skills, rather than outsourcing or replacing them. How does this connect to Digital Fluency? If your current employees are unfamiliar with one of your digital tools, the most beneficial thing to do for your organization is to provide them with role-specific training surrounding that tool, and here’s why. 

It reduces your organization’s turnover, which saves you a lot of money. 

According to the Center for American Progress, the cost of replacing an employee can be anywhere from 16% of their salary for an hourly position, to 213% of their salary for a highly trained position. These costs accrue from the hiring process (recruiting, interviewing, screening), the training process (onboarding, time of other employees), and a loss of productivity as the new person gets in the groove of their role. Replacing a lost employee is a very expensive process, and the lower your employee turnover is, the more money your organization will save in the long run.  

It improves employee engagement and satisfaction.  

With the constant progression of automation and digitalization, employees are beginning to wonder if their current skillset will be ‘enough’ a few years from now. If your organization is willing to invest in your employees to help them strengthen their digital skills, they’ll not only have more trust in the company and its leaders, but they’ll be more engaged with their work, too. After all, isn’t everyone more productive when they’re not worried about their job being at risk? 

It will attract new talent. 

According to a Gallup report, 87% of millennials and 69% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers rate ‘professional and career growth and development opportunities’ as important to them in a job. Employees want to know that they’ll have something to work towards in their role and giving them the opportunity to develop new skills is the perfect way to ensure that need is met. Upskilling is also a great selling point when you’re recruiting new employees or positions. 

It will lead to higher customer satisfaction.  

This is pretty self-explanatory: when your employees are happy, their customers will be happy, too. If your employees are developing new digital skills, have a higher sense of job security, and are more trusting of your company, it will undoubtedly show in their work. Additionally, when your employees are up-to-date on the industry’s newest technology or trends, it will allow them to make the best recommendations possible to your customers. 

Implementing an upskilling process for your organization will lead to a variety of benefits that are even more expansive than the basic ones listed here. Technology will never stop progressing, and expecting employees to learn how to use new, evolving tools on their own is not only unrealistic, but it will negatively impact employee productivity, as well. Additionally, the basic ‘features and benefits’ training that most employees receive does not address or advise them on how to use the tool for their role-specific responsibilities, ultimately wasting the time and money of everyone involved.  

If an organization is truly focused on upskilling their employees, they will put a greater emphasis on role-specific training so that employees have a clear idea of how to use best use a tool for their role. When an individual is digitally fluent, their workflow will improve, and they’ll be more aligned with the organization’s goals and outcomes. If you’d like more information on Digital Fluency training, contact us today to learn more about our Microsoft Tool TrainingYou can also take our Productivity Assessment to get a better idea of where you’re at with Digital Fluency or reach out to us for a more in-depth assessment around the topic as well. 

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