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Meeting The Talent Demands Of Digital Transformation

October 2021
Elena Barla
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How to get the most out of your current work force in a tech-accelerated world

Over 70% of the companies that try to digitally transform their business end up failing. Why? There are many reasons, but one of the important is the growing gap between existing and necessary skills to support and sustain the transformation. For companies, the ability to upskill and reskill their work force is a challenge that must be met head-on.

Although the latest technology creates powerful business opportunities, it also widens the skill gaps, specifically in industries like retail, IT, consumer products, financial services, and health care, where a skilled work force is much sought-after.

Likewise, for employees, the further digitization of certain professions and roles is inevitable, and everyone will have to adjust to the increase of digital technology in the everyday running of their companies. According to research from the World Economic Forum, 65% of the skills and roles that companies will be hiring for within the next decade do not currently exist.

As technology becomes integrated into nearly every facet of our lives, we inch toward a brand-new post-pandemic digital landscape wherein digital technologies are a dominant part of our daily lives.

The transformation applies not only on the company level, but also on a sector level, with experts anticipating that sooner than we think every sector will become x-tech (proptech, medtech, fintech, etc.). Regardless of whether you’re a sales manager, recruiter, doctor, teacher, engineer, or farmer, your profession will be digitized one way or another. So how can employees prepare themselves and their company to become tech-accelerated?

The Solution

To quickly adapt to this necessary yet challenging new normal and conditions, companies are not only looking to digitally transform their business but are also seeking a digitally agile work force and employees with all the relevant skills.

This is the time to invest significantly in employee upskilling so that they become more productive but also to hire new talent that possesses these skills. The war of talent is on.

In addition to being constantly on the lookout for new talent that possesses these skills, this is the time to invest significantly in upskilling current employees so that they become more productive and effective. The war of talent is on.

Universities are updating their curricula to reflect this new reality. The knowledge gained through an academic degree also needs to be continually supplemented and updated with industry knowledge and advancements, which feeds into the talent paradox.

All of this has led to a boom in industrial/corporate training programs, which will only grow bigger by the minute. Learning such applied NextGen skills helps prospective candidates and existing employees enhance their competencies, enabling them not only to take on new challenges but also stay job-relevant.

Upskilling and reskilling a work forcestrengthens corporate identity, employee engagement, and performance while enabling company strategy execution, agility, and transformation deployment, which ultimately increases the company’s overall competitiveness on the market.

As Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, says: “An organization’s ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

“An organization’s ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

Steps To Take

When leaders think about investing in technology, they should think first about investing in the people who can make the most of that technology. A company’s ability to adapt to a digital future depends on developing the next generation of skills, closing the gap between talent supply and demand, and future-proofing your transformation process.

Leaders must prepare sufficiently before embarking on a digital transformation journey by ensuring they have a detailed transformation plan in place that aims to drive the company forward at the right pace and with the help of the right people.

They also need to be diligent in understanding their companies’ pain points and cultural constraints that could hinder digital transformation by successfully assessing the current skills and competencies of their work force and mapping them against their current and future needs.

Finally, they must prioritize innovation and digital strategy on their corporate agenda by focusing on ways and methodologies that will improve innovative thinking and a digital-first mindset among their employees.

Stanton Chase has more than 30 years of experience in helping leaders assess their teams and bring out the best in their employees. To find out how our consultants can help your company upskill and reskill your work force or pursue outside talent that can help with your digital transformation, don’t hesitate to contact us.

About the Author:

Elena Barla is a Director of the Stanton Chase Athens office. 

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