Are we facing a global digital skills crisis in the workplace? Absolutely, according to a Salesforce study.
Salesforce released its Global Digital Skills Index 2022 and found that nearly three in four respondents globally say they do not have access to the resources to learn the digital skills needed to thrive in the workplace, now or in the future.
The numbers get darker in even circles like social media. While most (83%) say they have advanced or intermediate social media skills, two-thirds say they are unprepared for the social media skills the workplace will need over the next five years .
And if you think there’s hope for digital natives, there’s this: Even the majority of Gen Zers don’t say they expect to land digital-focused jobs: Only 31% of respondents Gen Zers feel “very equipped” for digital-centric employment right now. . Additionally, few Gen Zers report having “advanced” digital skills in areas such as coding (20%), data encryption and cybersecurity (18%), and artificial intelligence (7%) .
The lack of digital skills in the workplace likely worries digital workplace leaders and is expected to: 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of this year, and remote work opportunities will continue through 2023. Remote work = digital skills required. Digital is at the very heart of virtual work and connecting with employees.
Collaboration skills harm the digital workplace
According to digital workplace leaders, what skills are most important?
- collaborative technology
- Digital administrative
- Encryption and cybersecurity
- E-commerce and digital commerce
- Project management technology
However, they may be alone at the top: only 25% say they have advanced skills in workplace collaboration technology. Can’t Slack? Can’t access Microsoft Teams? Lacking skills in Google Workspace? No bueno for digital workspace success.
According to the Salesforce Index, even at the business owner level, only 16% say they have “advanced” digital skills to leverage technology that drives sustainable business activities such as tracking, measuring and analyzing climate data. within an organization. And, only 14% say encryption and cybersecurity skills are particularly important, and only 14% say they have “advanced” knowledge of the subject.
“There is a gap between the frontier of innovation and the skills needed to use those innovations,” Peter Schwartz, SVP, strategic planning and futures director for Salesforce, said in a report on the index. “That in itself is nothing new. But what is new is the scope of this innovation, its diffusion, its diffusion in all aspects of life. It’s hard to do almost anything these days without some form of digital interaction. »
Related article: Core Competencies for the Hybrid and Digital Workplace
How workplace leaders can deal with the crisis
Salesforce received responses from approximately 23,000 workers in 19 countries around the world. Their combined overall score for digital readiness? 33 out of 100. Salesforce measured this score using digital readiness, measured in terms of readiness, proficiency level, access, and active participation in improving digital skills. And only 28% are currently actively involved in digital skills training and learning programs.
They need help. Salesforce suggests the following action steps for digital workplace leaders to address the global digital skills crisis:
Leverage learning communities
Harness the potential and motivation of current employees to innovate through things like community forums. Salesforce recommends its Trailblazer community, but naturally there are technology communities in many areas globally that focus on specific technologies.
Investing in younger generations
Younger generations want to improve, according to Salesforce. Help them get there. Worldwide, 36% of Gen Z and Millennials are “very actively” engaged in learning and training, compared to just 22% of Gen Xers and 15% of baby boomers, according to Salesforce.
Promote training programs focused on the best digital skills
Don’t rely on the school curriculum to equip new hires with the digital skills needed to thrive in the workplace. According to Salesforce, recruiters need to focus less on established training programs and more on “real-world” digital skills.
“A new digital world presents a major opportunity for businesses to rethink what agile teams look like,” Salesforce officials said. “By developing training programs based on what workers believe makes them perform better in the workplace, companies can create a flexible work culture that allows all employees to connect, learn and grow from anywhere.”