How Employee Training Can Improve the Digital Skills Gap

Effective employee training leads to employees being more confident in their digital skills and businesses experiencing increased productivity.

Published on 20 August, 2015

The digital skills gap is a problem that may be costing companies in the United States as much as $1 trillion per year, according to Entrepreneur. This is a result of the increasing need for technology savvy professionals in a variety of industries combined, with a lack of training most employees receive.

In order to fix this issue, companies should consider hosting or outsourcing employee training sessions. When employees become more confident in their skills, businesses can experience increased productivity, creativity and leadership.

How common is the digital skills gap?
According to Inc. Magazine, approximately 200 million Americans comprise the “digital workforce,” in which technological skills are required. However, only 1-in -10 workers in this field feel confident in their ability to use digital tools, reports Grovo, a video based training company.

“Companies should consider hosting or outsourcing staff training sessions.”

This report may be startling to business leaders, as it suggests that the average worker requires more training to do their job confidently. As a result of lack of education, employees may take longer to accomplish tasks, require more IT resources or make preventable mistakes.

It may seem as though only people employed in jobs that require a high level of proficiency feel insecure about their work productivity; however, many workers are unable to master the tools they need to succeed. In fact, among employees who use customer relationship management tools daily, nearly 40 percent report they are not proficient. These workers also noted a desire to learn more, reports Entrepreneur Magazine.

How the digital skills gap hurts business
According to the (ISC)² Global Workforce Survey from Frost & Sullivan, a quarter of companies that responded will outsource IT work due to a lack of qualified employees. However, this practice can be costly.

Additionally, workers who are not educated on best practices in technology can put a company at risk for cyber attacks. Nearly half of respondents to the Frost & Sullivan survey note that a lack of IT knowledge is the “key reason for data breaches” and disruption for customers, SC Magazine reports. Better training of employees can help reduce outsourcing costs and security risks.

Approximately 200 million Americans comprise the digital workforce.“Approximately 200 million Americans comprise the ‘digital workforce.'”

“Unfortunately, we are now facing new challenges and our skills and staffing challenge is growing,” Dr. Adrian Davis, managing director at EMEA, (ISC)², told the publication.

According to the IDC, nearly 30 percent of productivity loss is caused by factors such as digital inefficiency, reports Forbes. Seeing that the average American worker makes about $50,000 per year, and loses approximately 20 percent of productivity, they are costing the business $10,000 on average in total.

Ensuring that staff have necessary technological skills, by training them accordingly is a concern across a multitude of industries. Regardless of the field, having effective workers is a necessity. For example, Forbes suggested that the marketing and advertising industries are not evolving their talent pools at a rate that is keeping up with the evolution of technology’s expanding capabilities in the field.

Some may assume that the skills gap is limited to older workers. Only 14 percent of employees between 18 and 34 years old, however, consider themselves highly proficient with technology, Entrepreneur found in a recent survey.

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