A comprehensive strategy, which addresses shifting human capital needs, is essential for successful digital transformation. Many organizations, however, are neglecting their skills and talent requirements when they plot their journey into the new digital economy. This oversight could jeopardize their digital migration.

Less than half the 700 international business leaders we surveyed in 2015 said their organizations had a strategy to manage and develop the skills and talent necessary for a digital environment.

While the competences these organizations require will vary according to their different industries, some skills are going to be essential for all enterprises. Almost every worker will need to be able to work with mobile technology and social media services. Often they will have to collaborate with intelligent systems and automated processes. Personal skills, such as the ability to communicate, negotiate and co-operate with workers from within and outside the organization, will be important. The capacity to solve problems, find alternative solutions and identify new business opportunities will be highly prized. Specialized skills for new jobs such as digital copywriters, IT scrum masters, data analysts and user-experience designers will be much needed.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, managers throughout the organization will need to be able to foster collaboration and innovation and push decision-making to the edges of the enterprise. To ensure the organization has the necessary skills and talent, managers will have to broaden their approach to resourcing human capital. Social media networking sites, mobile apps and electronic job boards will be essential tools to attract young digitally-savvy workers. The digital ecosystems within which organizations operate will offer opportunities for learning partnerships. They’ll also provide new talent pools.

Managers will need to constantly re-evaluate and source the skills and talent they require for a digital work environment that is likely to be highly fluid. Training and development will not only have to concentrate on digital competencies. They must also be built on digital technology to ensure they’re available online when and where workers require them. Continually improving digital user experiences must be provided to workers to attract and retain key employees.

Key steps to building human capital requirements within a digital transformation strategy include:

  • Aligning the workforce and human resources strategy with the goals of business.
  • Co-ordinating workforce planning with the organization’s digital transformation objectives.
  • Experimenting with flexible approaches to work using proven digital technologies and tools.
  • Engaging the workforce to reinvent business processes and capabilities using powerful digital technologies such as data analytics, the Internet of Things and virtual reality interfaces.
  • Defining the digital skills gap within the workforce and cataloging the required talent and competencies.
  • Developing skills within the workforce using ubiquitous training and development technologies such as social media platforms and open online forums.
  • Nurturing leadership attitudes and behavior that fosters a digital culture.
  • Heralding the new digital working environment by engaging with the workforce using collaborative technologies, encouraging feedback and innovative thinking, and starting to push decision-making to the edges of the organization.

For further information about the impact of digital technology on the workforce, take a look at these links. They’re full of useful information.

Being digital: Embrace the future of work and your people will embrace it with you

Change or be changed: Shaping the IT workforce of the future

The Impact of Technology on the Future of Work: From Looking Digital to Being Digital

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