Technology has always influenced the way people live and work, but it has never been as impactful as it is today. It’s a simple fact and it’s not going to change any time soon because technology is accelerating and developing even more rapidly.
This is a big opportunity for businesses to embrace new models of work, but it is also a huge challenge as only the most flexible and agile teams will be able to grow and outperform competitors. It’s a matter of survival – those who keep learning and incorporating new technologies into their business processes will always stay head and shoulders above the rest.
But this is easier said than done, so you will have to work hard in order to make your organization better and follow the pace of technological changes. In this article, we will show you the fundamentals of new technologies and explain six practical tips for improving your team’s digital skills.
The Background of Digital IQ
Before we begin explaining how to strengthen the digital skills of your team, we want to discuss the background of another concept and show what makes it so influential. Of course, we are talking about digital IQ, a phrase designed with the purpose to assess the technological prowess of an individual or organization.
By the definition, digital IQ is how well a good company understands the value of digital technology and weaves it into the fabric of its organization. Naturally, businesses with higher digital IQ tend to perform much better than their less prepared counterparts.
It is, however, important to mention that digital skills have gone a long way. If you think that your employees are skilled just because they use emails, social media, and MS Office, you are so terribly wrong. Today, digital skills encompass a wide range of functions:
- Online communication with all of its tools and platforms.
- Content administration and website management.
- Data exchanges and transactions.
- Problem-solving skills.
- Legal affairs and online security.
As you can see, it is a broad portfolio of topics that require a fair share of learning and preparation. But if your team is ready to cope with all these functions, the entire organization will gain some substantial benefits such as:
- Business efficiency: Your company becomes more agile and productive.
- Communication: Digital skills guarantee faster and safer online communication.
- Automation: You can automate many processes and focus on business essentials.
- Cost reduction: Digital skills help you cut costs and build a more profitable company.
6 Tactics to Boost Digital Skills of Your Employees
You’ve seen enough about digital IQ, so now it is time to focus on the most important segment of our post. Without further ado, let’s check out six tactics you can use to boost the digital skills of your employees.
1. It all begins from the top
Introducing new technologies and forcing your employees to adapt is not the kind of process which happens naturally. On the contrary, it begins from the top and so it’s up to the management to be a genuine driver of the change.
A report shows that only 55% of business leaders are digitally savvy and it is a big problem because being digitally fit starts at the top before it filters down. As a senior-level manager, you should give your colleagues an example and be the first one to embrace new tools, apps, and platforms.
But this is not even your main task. First of all, you need to assess the current state of affairs and figure out what needs to be changed. Get acquainted with the latest technologies, identify your company’s pros and cons, and figure out which tools can make it better.
2. Create a thorough analysis of your team
The next thing you need to do is to analyze the situation in your team and understand the level of digital literacy among employees.
Jake Gardner, a human resource manager at Aussiewritings Writing, says most managers tend to discuss this topic with their workers directly: “This is the easiest way to cover a wide range of topics. You can learn more about their opinions, identify obsolete tools, and figure out which aspects of the business require immediate improvements.”
As soon as you notice that some tools are slowing down your team, you can start thinking about alternatives. However, you should also think about the ultimate goal, understand the purpose of the change, and define it very clearly. After all, objectives may vary and cover pretty much anything:
- Improve service and customer satisfaction.
- Speed up product delivery.
- Enhance internal communication processes.
- Reduce operational costs.
3. Find the right tools
Now that you understand the advantages and the pain points of your business, you can search for the best tools to upgrade your company as a whole. The Internet is packed with all sorts of professional platforms, so the biggest challenge is to make the right decision.
Generally speaking, you should always stick to well-known brands with a full set of customer support features. This means you should be looking for providers willing to give you a free trial, multichannel customer service, transparent pricing plans, and similar.
Besides that, you also need to check out users’ reviews. This is critical because you can discover a lot of interesting details coming from end-users who used to be in the same position as you. It’s just a word-of-mouth analysis that works well in all niches.
A nice example comes from the content writing universe. Namely, students looking for math homework help will always check out college paper writing service reviews such as Ultius review or EduBirdie review. They want a provider who guarantees the quality, which is exactly what you should do when choosing the right platforms for your team.
4. Organize a meeting to present your plans
Another important step in this process is to organize a meeting with your employees and explain the reasons for introducing new technologies. Why is it so important?
Well, no matter how amazing or productive a new tool might be, there are always individuals who will raise their eyebrows and call your decision into question. You need to prepare for negative reactions and patiently answer all of their questions.
In such circumstances, it is not a good idea to send a circular email and stop thinking about it. You must organize a face-to-face session instead to present your plans and explain the purpose of the change. Don’t forget to mention the benefits (no manual entries, less administration, etc.) your employees receive from it because it’s their biggest motive to embrace new tools.
5. Prepare for onboarding
A meeting with your colleagues to explain the novelty is just the beginning. Now you need to prepare for onboarding and organize quality training sessions. There are several ways to do it properly:
- In case you are using a complex new platform, make sure to organize one-on-one lessons with experienced mentors.
- Prepare video tutorials for less demanding tools.
- Organize webinars where employees can ask questions and discuss new programs in-depth.
6. Prepare for lifelong learning
The last piece of advice on our list is to prepare your employees for lifelong learning. As new technologies keep emerging, you can hardly stay on track by centralizing the learning experience. Instead, you should encourage a lifelong learning environment and inspire your workers to keep learning on their own.
Think about it for a while and you will realize that the company needs a long-term strategy. What is new today will be old tomorrow, so give your team members a general overview of your plans and let them research individually.
After that, you can schedule periodical meetings to debate the latest hi-tech trends and see how your staff is doing. And last but not least, you can offer incentives for agile employees who are eager to embrace the latest tools and programs.
Technology is changing the way we live and do business, but it is evolving so quickly that it’s getting harder to keep pace and follow the planned learning rhythm. This is why you need to create a brand new learning strategy and make your organization more productive in the long run. In this article, you could find out more about:
- The issue of digital IQ and its practical benefits.
- The basic types of digital skills.
- Six ways to improve your team’s digital proficiency.
Following our recommendations, you can turn employees into digital masters and boost business performance long-term. Don’t hesitate to use our tips and feel free to write a comment if you have other interesting thoughts to share with us – we would be glad to see your opinion about this topic.