Digital technology has completely changed the way we work – however many smaller businesses that lack digital skills are being left behind.
In a recent study by Lloyds UK Consumer Digital Index 2018, the findings show that there are 4.3 million people in the UK alone with zero basic digital skills. These skills can range from answering emails to uploading a document to a company’s Google drive – now essential skills in today’s labour market.
More needs to be done to make sure that the digital skills gap doesn’t become a skills crisis. By creating a digital culture in the workplace and training employees with the right skills, businesses can benefit in a number of ways.
Digital Skills can increase business productivity
With the correct training, employees can use digital technology to become more productive at work. For example, digital documents can be created, stored and accessed in a more efficient and easier way than printed paper versions, but only if employees know how to find them, use them and share them confidently. If they have a hard time doing this, it has a knock-on-effect on how employee time is used in the workplace – with consequences for business productivity.
Digital skills can help to develop a competitive edge
According to Microsoft, in the next two decades, 90% of jobs will require some form of digital skills, and there will be a much higher demand for technical skills to give businesses a competitive edge within their market. By investing in the right training for your employees, they are more likely to outperform their peers at rival organisations – helping your business stay ahead of the competition.
Digital skills can provide new ways of working
Technological advances will continue to provide new and better ways of working. Businesses that embrace those changes will reap the benefits of a highly satisfied workforce, keen to collaborate, communicate or create using new tools that allow them to do their jobs more efficiently. This could include better access to remote working, relevant software and cloud-based applications or widening the availability of online training.
Digital skills can help increase revenue
Most businesses now recognise the need for a strong online and social media presence to help increase recognition and revenue. Traditional forms of sales and marketing are becoming outdated as consumers turn towards digital channels to make that final purchase. Most buyers now consume online content like blog articles, short videos, online reviews or social media posts to finalise their purchasing decisions. If businesses hope to increase revenue they need to be where their customers are, using a range of digital skills to engage, persuade and drive demand through their preferred online channels.
Digital Skills allow businesses to build customer relationships
Consumers now spend more time on digital channels and there is high demand for an improved online experience. Businesses need to respond to changing expectations, engaging with their customers and building relationships through a diverse range of channels – these could include email, social media, mobile apps and more. It’s important that employees have the right skills and ‘netiquette’ to ensure the online customer experience is a positive one.
The Tess Group is eager to help your business become more digital to improve efficiency, customer relationships, productivity and much more.
We also offer short courses for the employed to help improve digital skills: Social Media level 3 (units only), NCFE Level 2 Diploma in IT User Skills, NCFE Level 2 Diploma in Digital Skills for Work, NCFE Level 1 Certificate in Digital Skills