Survey responses show the importance for teams to close skills gaps to deliver an enhanced digital transformation.
In an attention-driven economy, a brand's digital experience is paramount. And it's only growing more important as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, with employees' attention stretched thin in remote and hybrid environments.
The pandemic has accelerated the need for brands to rapidly upskill and reskill employees to deliver the best digital experience possible, according to Forrester's report The Next Phase of Digital Transformation Is Brand Virtualization. Focusing on marketing professionals, the report says, "Teams are reskilling and refocusing on creating unique digital experiences to differentiate their brands and increase brand loyalty."
The same is true for talent development teams and for creating the best digital experiences for learners. While early months of the pandemic brought the need to translate in-person training and events to virtual training and events, the need now is for enhanced digital experiences that take learners' interest and engagement to the next level—for "true, deep virtualization," according to the study.
To create enhanced digital learning experiences, talent development professionals should capture learners' attention with programs that are easy to use and applicable to their jobs. Just as marketers need to deliver top-rated digital experiences to acquire customers and build brand loyalty, talent developers need to deliver excellent online learning experiences to make sure learners stay engaged and stakeholders can achieve their goals. But how do they create those digital experiences without the right talent in place on their team?
The study reveals that 48 percent of the surveyed marketing professionals said their top priority for 2020 was retraining marketing teams. However, even though the need for marketers with skills more applicable to digital transformation exists, those surveyed said content development, analytics, and design skills remain the primary three skills they look for when hiring new marketers, even over artificial intelligence, machine learning, and programming and IT skills.
"As the world of work is rapidly changing, there is a tremendous need for new, well-defined, and well-integrated skills with continuous learning being the platform," says Olga Deakova, a trainer at KRA Corporation.
When thinking about hiring for talent development teams in 2021, decision makers should consider the skills necessary for digital transformation, such as facilitating virtual training and instructional design. Taking it a step further, they should strategically think about the skills needed to both close the skills gaps on their team and take training programs as digital experiences further.