To ensure a successful digital transformation, engage your employees. It’s all moving so fast. Over 85% of the jobs we’ll be doing tomorrow do not even exist yet. To ensure a successful digital transition, businesses need to grow more agile and actively enable their employees to acquire new skills.
Driverless cars, robots, artificial intelligence… Innovations that sounded out of reach five years ago have now been created in-house thanks to R&D efforts from businesses. The world is changing at an incredible pace, and technology is evolving faster than school curriculums!
The obsolescence that we thought was a threat only to our washing machines and printers is actually also applicable to our skills. In the span of two and a half years, half of our skills become obsolete (Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2017). In other words, it would take a total of five years for us to become totally obsolete.
Continued skills renewal is a pressing need
Consider, for instance, client relations: new communication channels have transformed the way we sell products. In the age of information overload, we need to find new ways of reaching and interacting with users online. For example, through chatbots, clients receive answers to many of their questions in real time.
Interpersonal skills have also been profoundly transformed. In the last ten years, we have started interacting with clients in new ways. Previously, we expected a sales executive to know how to have a phone conversation. Today, we ask them to write in Internet-slang and to offer solutions within seconds.
In shops, too, it’s no longer a matter of selling a product – what you are now selling is a brand universe that the client can seek out next experience online.
Bridge the gap between personal and professional
This new context has also shaped our own behavior. We no longer want to wait! We’re now so used to Wikipedia, YouTube and Google that when we hit “search”, we’re annoyed if we don’t find the information we’re looking for within seconds.
This is widening the gap between our personal and our professional lives because businesses are far from having all successfully completed their digital transformations. And even among those that have, many have preserved old management styles with heavy and opaque processes.
This maladaptation of the business world to new practices has generated employee confusion and disengagement. Management faces a huge challenge to bridge the gap. In the same way that schools are experimenting with new learning models, businesses need to reinvent themselves to facilitate knowledge sharing and to build their employees skills.
Read also: Is your company Millennial-ready?
Favor self-directed learning
Learning has become crucial for talent retention. It turns out nine out of ten managers are not satisfied with the pace at which their employees learn (Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2017). It’s up to companies to support employees’ skills acquisition by providing opportunities to both, learn new skills, and put them into practice quickly.
In the IT space for instance, coders are constantly learning: they adapt continuously to new systems and languages. From the very beginning, they make it a habit to visit e-learning sites and keep their skills up to date. This self-learning model can be extended to all kinds of professions (marketing, finance, manufacturing, etc.).
The acquisition of new skills needs to be seamlessly integrated into the daily work lives of employees. The age of predefined “training times” in a room as a top-down transfer of knowledge from an instructor is over.
Flatten your organization
To achieve this, we need to go from vertical, hierarchical and immobile organizations to horizontal organizations that function as a network and are constantly in motion. People work more efficiently when they are organized into project teams that come together and move apart according to the company’s needs.
When you work on a project, you acquire new skills. When you leave the project, you leave your mark on it. In short, peer-to-peer collaboration and knowledge-sharing is the cornerstone of a successful project and a successful business.