Re-skilling Your Workforce in the Digital Age

Re-skilling Your Workforce in the Digital Age

Virtually every industry is being impacted by the technology revolution and an increased reliance on data analytics. As a result, businesses of all sizes are being forced to rethink the way they work and turn to new technologies to remain competitive.

One consequence of this trend is that technology is taking over many administrative and repetitive jobs previously done by employees, dramatically reshaping the workforce and changing job descriptions in the process.

Despite fears that automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are putting jobs at risk, many roles will simply evolve as companies look to profit from their technology investment. With some of the more basic tasks off their plate, workers will instead be able to focus on more innovative activity.

To add to this, the rise of automation and more sophisticated analytics will see countless new roles created as employers seek digitally-savvy workers to help them master these technologies.

However, the modern employee will need to learn new skills in order to take advantage of these new opportunities. In fact, recent research by Capita Resourcing found that 54% of leaders think training and development for automation should be a major HR focus over the next five years.

The Modern Employee’s Skill-set

So what skills does today’s employee need to develop as their role evolves?

First of all, the modern employee will need to develop their analytical skills. The technologies that are becoming increasingly widespread will still depend on the way they are exploited and how the new systems that use them are actually designed. As a result, there will be an increasing need for employees to truly understand problems in order to configure technology appropriately.

Given the analytical requirements outlined above, it’s never been more important to be able to listen to and understand what is required to make effective decisions. This includes the ability to research, challenge and design intuitive solutions that deliver what the business requires.

But it’s not just about skills. As new technologies are gradually adopted, modern employees will need to embrace a ‘growth mindset’. This will give them the flexibility to successfully deal with the continuous improvement that is made to business processes and the agile development and rapid deployment of technology that will characterise modern digital businesses.

HR’s Role in Re-skilling the Workforce

Employees will look to their employers to help them develop the new skills they need as their roles change and evolve, regardless of the age of the employee. New entrants into the workforce may be more technologically savvy but they may not have the experience nor business acumen of their more established colleagues. Improvements in coaching, mentoring and also reverse mentoring would help to develop both new and existing staff.

It’s important for HR to note that training cannot be a tick-box exercise – it should be a continuous process based on collaboration and instant-access to relevant information.

HR must adapt training and develop systems to fit with employee expectations and deliver training effectively. However, there is work to do, with just 39% of non-managers surveyed by Oracle saying their organisation uses online and collaborative learning tools to promote their development.

By putting these new training approaches and systems in place, HR will help employees develop the skills they need to perform the new tasks that are required of them. This will provide organisations with the skills base they need to consolidate the benefits provided by emerging technology and ensure employees are in a position to be able to generate business value in the future.


If we can help you with this or any other HR issue, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our HR Team at HR Services Scotland Ltd on 0800 652 2610

For more information about the services that we provide at HR Services Scotland, please get in touch with us here.

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