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UpSkilling for the Digital Economy

Rachel Reed
4/29/21 10:30 AM

There is high demand for employees who can leverage new technologies as the economy leans digital, according to a fact sheet published by the National Skills Coalition (NSC) highlighting the skills gap across five major industries–most of which are considered essential. 

One-third (33%) of workers in the health and social work sector, for example, had limited or no digital skills.

The need for digital upskilling is underscored by the urgent reliance on digital-first services such as telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Why invest in employee training and education?

1. Innovation 

Employer-sponsored education creates an environment where ideas can emerge. Specifically within the context of a pandemic, employees who are provided with an opportunity to sharpen skills–particularly within areas that interest them–are empowered to contribute and provide fresh ideas. This is important now as companies are faced with the unique challenge of retooling practices to provide service and values in an economy that has become almost wholly digital overnight. 

2. Future Workforce

Providing training and education to upskill employees elevates employer brand for the future workforce. Being consistent and transparent during a time of financial strain sets up the future of your organization to attract quality talent seeking quality employment. The way your organization handles economic hardship will set the tone for the new era of work. "That transparency for building trust is so important right now," Jeanne Schad, talent solutions and strategy practice leader at Randstad RiseSmart, added; "trust is how we're going to get work done quickly. When we need people to be productive right now, it's so important to build their trust."

A LinkedIn report published April 21 found that employer brand messaging in posts began to change to themes of community, support and care in mid-March. "In short, it looks like messages that put people first perform best," the report said. 

3. It’s a form of self-care… for employers 

The impact of a health crisis requires a new level of problem-solving. Learning different skill sets can prepare workers for hybrid jobs — emerging jobs that require a blend of technical and soft skills, according to research. Employees can emerge more agile than ever, strengthening the organization as a resilient whole.  


Download: How Employee Recognition Influences Attitude & Behavior in the Workplace 

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