Upskilling – Digital Fitness and Digital Skills
For the digital workplace and work environment, managers and employees need an upskilling of their skills, which we describe as digital fitness. Digitisation know-how is often referred to as the ability to use tools and technology. It is much more than this.
„Digital Fitness“ is a special combination of attitudes, behaviours, skills, knowledge, methods, and abilities to successfully shape the changes and requirements of the digital world. With digital fitness, managers and employees are able to analyse unplanned and unpredictable events in an increasingly dynamic digital environment, find new decision alternatives and solutions, and implement new methods in practice. They have the knowledge to apply tools to communicate, collaborate and solve problems. They know the specific and effective design criteria for successful digital collaboration and can adapt these for their own context and team.
In all industries and in all business sectors, improving the digital skills of employees and leaders has become indispensable. A technologically savvy workforce helps your businesses with responding quickly to change and compete better.
With the shift to more digital interaction and virtual collaboration, digital skills have never been more important. Even if some employees return to the office after the pandemic, there will not be a complete return to the old way of working. This no longer works in the digital future. There has already been a reversible mindset shift. The use of digital tools and the speed of change will continue to increase.
Many companies have found that virtual work environments enable greater employee engagement, better task management, and scalability. Unfortunately, this sudden boom in digital work has also brought new challenges. Both employees and managers have a skill gap in their digital capabilities. Only if companies invest in building digital skills through targeted upskilling, they can remain competitive and agile, retain talent for the long term, and successfully manage digital transformation.
During the pandemic, it used to be enough to know how to use Microsoft Office and online meeting tools. But today, it is essential to increase employees‘ digital knowledge and skills- this means a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the processes of how digital tools and technologies can be used to communicate and achieve their organisation’s business goals. Employees need to improve their digital skills to effectively interact and collaborate with colleagues, partners, and customers across different media and channels.
Conduct an analysis
An Analysis gives you information about the digital skill gaps and needed upskilling:
- What new digital processes have you recently introduced?
- Are there new tasks employees have to perform for the first time?
- Are you seeing a decline in productivity, efficiency, or performance in a particular area of your business?
- How can employees be better engaged in the change?
- How do digital skills affect the role of employees in day-to-day operations, business processes, and productivity?
- Are there changes that would impact the digital skills that your employees need to perform their tasks?
Understand digital trends and the use of technology and tools in the workplace
Digital fitness involves both assessing technology trends for yourself, your company, and implementing digital tools properly. If employees hardly use the tools, the tools aren’t often the real problem, but the wrong understanding and use. Companies make the mistake to introduce tools top-down. Very often, employees are overwhelmed by the number of tools or communication channels. More tools do not make people more productive. A clearly structured digital workplace, where everyone knows how to work together, where to find what information, and where to share knowledge, does.
Analyse how digital technologies influence the way we work and what this means for everyone.
- Which technologies and tools in the workplace do we need, which do we not need or no longer need?
- Do employees use certain tools in the workplace now or in the future?
- What mix of tools makes us productive?
- What are the things that employees struggle with? What kinds of approaches does your company take to solve these problems?
- What guidelines for tool use do we have in place?
- How can tools be used as management tool?
Learn the specifics of digital communication
Digital communication follows different rules than communication in person. Digital fitness means knowing, reflecting, and using the best communication strategies for effective collaboration in the digital workplace.
- What are the differences between the various communication tools and platforms?
- Which communication channels do I use and when?
- How can I express my intention at a distance?
- How can I involve everyone and how do I stay connected?
Implement an efficient and „healthy“ digital work organisation
Digital collaboration requires an adapted work organisation (consider “time” and “place”): Asynchronous organisation ensures concentrated, undisturbed completion of tasks in an own schedule, which increases own productivity. Synchronous online collaboration, on the other hand, is important for generating ideas, solving problems together as a team, and fostering team connectivity. Too much asynchronous work threatens to break up the team. Too much synchronicity and being constantly „online“ has been proven to overload employees and lead to stress.
- What does successful digital collaboration mean for us?
- How do we find a good balance between synchronous and asynchronous collaboration and communication?
- How do we meet the requirements of our own processes and the needs of our employees?
- What is needed to ensure a high level of transparency and to keep everyone up to date without creating overload?
Develop an understanding of well-being in the workplace
In the fast-paced dynamic digital world, the topic of „mental health“ and „resilience“ – the ability to adapt to change – is becoming increasingly important.
Digital fitness therefore also means:
- Understanding why digital work quickly can lead to overload and stress
- Implementing a „healthy“ digital work organisation in the team
- Developing mental health routines
- Create a culture of psychological safety where everyone can talk about personal preferences and overload with confidence.
- Recognise the key characteristics and techniques for improving resilience and personal adaptability
Digital fitness starts with the right mindset. It is the foundation and crucial for a successful transformation. Mindset describes a necessary basic attitude, a way of thinking, own beliefs to accept challenges, to be open to changes, and not to stick to old habits. We are happy to support you. Please contact us.
Read also my current and new book „Digital Fitness for Managers: Practical Knowledge, Skills and Checklists for the New Hybrid World of Work“.