3 ways organisations can boost their workforce strategy for a digital transformation

3 ways organisations can boost their workforce strategy for a digital transformation
Digital transformation is not a one-off project. Continuous innovation must become a core feature of the business. And it’s a process that starts from the top. Organisations which are about to embark on a journey of transformation need to make sure they have the right leaders, with the right approach, alongside the technology needed to drive success in the long-term.

To achieve this, an area which will require immediate attention is an organisation’s talent strategy – as business success relies on the workforce that drives it forward.

Here are three ways organisations can boost their workforce strategy to prepare for digital transformation:

1. Hire for learnability

Employers can’t rely on the immediate availability of IT talent, particularly in niche skills such as cyber security and big data where there are significant skills gaps. And, with technology developing at such a rapid pace, there’s an ever widening gap between the skills available and the new skills required to meet technological and business requirements.

Having said that, today, employability is less about what people already know, and more about their capacity to learn. The world of work is becoming less predictable, less structured, and a wider range of skills are needed. With this in mind, it’s crucial for organisations to hire people not just based on the skills they already have, but also based on their desire and ability to continually develop in-demand skills. In turn, this will enable them to remain innovative and responsive to emerging trends.

2. Identify transferable skills and foster a culture of development

In addition to hiring talent with learnability, organisations should also look to foster a culture of learnability within their organisation, by identifying and nurturing talent with transferable skills sets.

For employees to keep up-to-date with emerging digital requirements and remain employable, they need to be able to evolve their skill set and adapt to new areas, as business needs change. To support this, organisations should map out the existing skills of their workers; identify business areas where new skills will be required in the future; and look for people whose skills might be repurposed to fit these new roles.

These employees then need to be given the opportunity to upskill, work in other areas of the business (including non-tech related areas), and learn new skill sets through training and on-the-job experiences. This will help both employees and the organisation to keep pace with the latest requirements. It will also boost productivity and morale.

3. Develop Digital Leaders

To ensure your transformation programme moves in the right direction, it is important to develop NextGen leaders. After all, it is becoming increasingly evident that there is a gap between traditional ideas of leadership effectiveness and what it actually takes to drive sustained business performance in the digital age.

Organisations shouldn’t look to simply swap their leadership team with digital-ready millennial leaders. Instead, the 80/20 rule should be applied. Whether they’re looking to hire new leaders or nurture existing ones, 80% of the competencies digital-ready leaders need to have are the strong foundation of traditional leadership skills they’ve already developed throughout their careers. The additional 20% is made up of the capabilities that are now critical for modern and future leaders – such as the need to nurture learnability, accelerate performance and foster entrepreneurialism. With the right development programme, existing leaders and high-potential future leaders can be coached in these capabilities, creating digital-ready leaders that may be more advanced in their transformation journey.

To drive successful change at every stage of the digital transformation journey, organisations need to identify, nurture and develop their existing and future employees and leaders. Increased engagement, collaboration in more varied ways, and exchange of information should be championed. This will encourage broader thinking and learnability to fast-track the upskilling and reskilling of people.

To find out more, download our whitepaper Robots Need Not Apply: Human Solutions in the Skills Revolution.