Digital technology is here to stay and brings with it opportunities to develop and enhance the workforce potential. From diversification to upskilling workers and engaging with skilled employees, the digital era is full of new and diverse ways of working. Here are a few ways businesses can use the digital age to their advantage.

Engaging a Diverse Workforce

New developments in the digital world mean businesses must adapt to a changing world. Employees need a strong digital skillset, which includes cybersecurity, coding and using social media to attract clients. This presents opportunities and a real need to enhance the skills of the current workforce to meet the needs of a digital environment. It is a world where younger and more tech savvy employees can support others. Using reverse mentorship techniques they can support mature workers who may not have received standard coding and internet user training during school education. Ensuring the workforce in a business is capable of adapting and using digital technology is vital to staying at the forefront of new developments in many sectors.

Recruiting in a Different Way

The internet enables businesses to source highly skilled workers from across the globe. Not only can online advertisements reach a wider footprint than newspaper ads, but hiring specialists sourced using digital means. The internet also offers opportunities for a more flexible working environment such as work from home, which may retain staff but also recruit those with specialist skills who may not consider a full-time position due to traveling distances. Remote working increases productivity in staff. Some businesses have also developed software to enable them to talent spot new leadership potential or match a post in recruitment. For example, Wells Fargo developed software to find the best banking talent and got better at recruitment and retention in the process.

Implementing Digital Training

Training can be done online these days using software programs and technology. This eliminates the need for in person instruction in many situations and is more cost efficient. Staff time away from the workplace is also minimized. Mandatory training is ideal for digital implementation as it is standardized and learner access can be monitored. Digital training has been shown to be more effective than in person teaching methods and opens up new opportunities and ways of learning that have not been possible in a traditional classroom environment. The Internet of Everything, according to Cisco, will see technologies integrate to enhance a learning experience, ensuring the right information gets to an employee at the right time. It will transform the way training is delivered in a working environment. Virtual Reality is an opportunity for many industry sectors but particularly medicine. It enables students and clinicians to practice techniques they need to do quickly but in a controlled environment. This has the potential to save lives

Using Technology to Improve Working Methods

Automated procedures and digital technology have the ability to change the working world for the better. One example is the monitoring of safety standards in the workplace. Rio Tinto has introduced sensors in the mine worker’s caps which detect fatigue, assess the state of alertness of an employee and, most importantly, prevent accidents. Journey management software can be used not just to monitor the travel times of employees, but also to improve their safety. Managers receive a notification if an employee did not check in at an expected time at a designated checkpoint. Airbus uses 3D technology with smart glasses to work on precision engineering. This demonstrates ways to save time and improve outputs in a business.

The digital age is here to stay. Both employers and the workforce need to adapt to be able to use the opportunities technology presents for the future of the working environment.