October 2023
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TD Magazine

Prepare for Digital Transformation

Monday, October 2, 2023

Employees are upskilling faster, and more frequently, than you may think.

Unsurprisingly, there's been an increased need for workers to add to their digital skill set since the onset of the pandemic. Econsultancy's Winning the Race for Digital Skills report reveals that 83 percent of the nearly 1,500 professionals surveyed said their company's growth depends on employees "rapidly" updating their digital skills.


"Added to the number of new disciplines (in marketing, e-commerce, and customer experience) is the increasing pressure on digital professionals to understand the mechanics of their trade: how the technology they use can be applied and what becomes possible as it evolves," says Stefan Tornquist, Econsultancy's senior vice president of learning. "This represents a new level of technical skill that was not required even a decade ago."

PwC's 2021 Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey found that employees were already upskilling a year into the pandemic. Forty percent of all responding workers reported that their digital skills had improved through the prolonged lockdown, while workers in India (69 percent) and South Africa (66 percent) were "very" confident they could adapt to new technologies in the workplace.

Econsultancy's report illustrates another sharp increase in how often employees need to update their skills. Eighty-three percent of respondents believe their skills need updating at least quarterly, while 60 percent think monthly training is appropriate.


The report features the 4C Model of Digital Upskilling, which is based on research, client interviews, and analysis of more than 35,000 professionals. The model highlights an approach for L&D functions to engage the highest share of employees in learning:

  • Adding digital skills is continuous.
  • Effective training is convenient.
  • Connected learners are engaged.
  • Cultural factors supercharge learning.

"Investment in learning is itself an expression of culture," Tornquist explains. "Live team learning may be the shortest route to instilling a powerful learning mindset, but all training should reflect core values of engaging and inspiring the individual while challenging them to add and use their new digital skills."

About the Author

Bobby Lewis is a writer for ATD; [email protected].

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