How to empower employees with digital upskilling

By Sunjay Randhawa

In recent years, digital transformation initiatives have gained momentum, with organizations looking to improve their productivity and profit margins. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for these developments and made the necessity for a digitally competent workforce more apparent than ever. 

For numerous companies, the requirement for employees to use digital tools has accentuated the gap between the skills people have and those they need. Services such as robotic process automation (RPA) are central technologies driving innovation and growth. As they become more available, it’s increasingly apparent that a workforce that can upskill in line with these solutions will be most prepared for new developments.  

By 2025, it’s estimated that some 97 million new roles will emerge because of adaptation to the division of labor between humans, machines, and algorithms. A modernized workforce—one that has expanded its human capabilities to complement automation platforms—will be able to take best advantage of the opportunities provided by this tech. 

With the nature of global change increasingly unprecedented, upskilling should be a priority for your business. Not only do digital upskilling programs create a better skilled and more adaptable workforce, but they boost employee engagement and performance.  

For those that embrace a growth mindset, digital upskilling can begin a path to lifelong learning, close the skills gap, and see workers contribute further to a company’s overall success. 

Here’s how to empower your employees through digital training and upskilling.

1. Invest in learning and development 

Upskilling your workforce in line with automation solutions can foster an environment where more intelligent business decisions are made, and workflow is more efficiently automated. This will support business continuity and provide an improved customer experience. 

To do this, employees must take steps in professional learning and development to improve their content skills and match their agility to the speed of innovation. Courses and certifications in RPA promote competencies in the management of automation tools and teach their application in the world of work. 

Learning to combine RPA and AI technologies through the management of a hyperautomation platform allows employees the flexibility to input the required expertise and analysis to automate methods while deploying bots for more repetitive processes. Equipping your workers with these skills and supporting their development will empower them to grow and add value to your business in the process.  

For a personalized approach, machine learning could be integrated into your retraining process. Training can be tailored to your employees’ specific needs and adapted to their learning style as they progress in their career. 

Alternatively, have your employees embark on a certification that allows them to achieve their learning goals through a combination of self-paced e-learning and instructor-led classes. Here, they will be able to enroll in a course that fits their personal schedule. 

Having the foresight to invest in learning will show your employees you are dedicated to improving their capabilities. It will also boost future productivity by anticipating and preparing you for the digital transformation of the workplace.

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2. Close the skills gap with new career opportunities

Technology should always assist rather than replace the workforce. Indeed, AI and other automation tools create more jobs than they eliminate. However, new career opportunities can only be taken up when the gap between work and education is sufficiently bridged. 

Retraining your workforce to meet evolving demands is a more cost-effective approach than hiring new employees when fresh needs arise. Preparing your employees with detailed training outfits them with the relevant expertise to apply for new internal jobs. Additionally, it will see employees adapt better to workforce automation where it becomes part of their existing roles. 

Pinpointing relevant future competencies and the careers that will stem from these harnesses digital talent and narrows the skills gap. A forward-thinking business will create new roles as demand for automation-based skills grows. The existence of new job titles or positions for employees that have upskilled will incentivize the training process. 

As IT automation becomes the norm, your organization may see job creation opportunities elsewhere. For example, in the programming of AI systems, cost-benefit analysis of machine performance, and evaluating the ethical implications of automatic processes. 

3. Plan for the future

Meeting digital transformation challenges requires more than taking action in the present. It’s an ongoing process that relies on constant re-evaluation. It’s essential to monitor your employees through their learning to make sure they’re making progress and acquiring transferable skills. 

When workers have completed their courses and certifications, employers should keep an eye on technological developments and invest in updating their workforce’s skills where necessary. They should also routinely assess individuals to ensure levels of competency are being maintained after retraining. 

Consider using collaboration tools and Trello alternatives to keep up to date with where your employees are in their upskilling journey. This will help you monitor the process and provide any improvements as they’re needed. 

Collecting real-time information as you embark on your upskilling efforts will make the process more efficient over time. Indeed, this data could be used to create job-matching tools and individual development initiatives. 

Automated processes are a disruptive innovation. They have altered the industry’s competitive patterns and the way consumers and businesses operate. Equipping employees with the necessary digital skills allows organizations to stay relevant. However, given the recent speed of technological innovation, it’s crucial to encourage a shift in thought alongside an upgrade in skillset. 

Evaluate the best online meeting platforms with which to check employee progress. Maintain contact and make sure workers are staying positive throughout the retraining process. Those that are receptive to ongoing learning opportunities will add the most value to your business in the long term. In planning for the future, the assumption should always be that new technology is imminent.

4. Stay dedicated 

Technological change is both fast and unpredictable. With dedication, upskilling your workforce can be the most economical way to meet new and emerging consumer demands. As your organization learns to embrace automation tools, its efficiency and productivity will increase. 

Offering retraining to existing employees will not only reduce future costs but improve employee loyalty. This means workers will be more likely to stay with your company after they have acquired the relevant skills to make them greater business assets. 

Motivating people to embrace new ways of working prepares your business for potential change. With the right mindset, employees will adapt more comfortably to changing circumstances and be more willing to engage in retraining processes.

Put these four top tips to work today to see how they benefit your business.

About the author

Sunjay Randhawa is the head of global digital and demand generation at Automation Anywhere. He is a seasoned marketing leader with over eighteen years of experience leading and scaling demand generation and digital marketing strategy initiatives (paid and organic search, lead generation, display, social, affiliate, mobile) for small to large companies globally. 

Cover design: Vignesh Rajan

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