Fluency And Resilience In The Digital Age
Learn why digital resiliency is more important than ever before, and how it can help businesses capitalize on changing circumstances.
Digital transformation is no longer viewed primarily as a source of innovation by businesses. It’s become a prerequisite for business continuity, allowing teams to function from anywhere and businesses to quickly adapt in the event of a COVID-19 emergency.
While remote working is here to stay, a hybrid working paradigm is the way of the future. This new way of working is revolutionary, and the faster companies adapt, the higher their output will be. As businesses transition from the Respond to the Renew stage, their key focus should be on increasing digital resilience through digital fluency. In the long run, businesses can reduce risks, adjust quickly to change, and emerge stronger from future crises.
What is the definition of digital literacy?
For starters, it is a mistake to believe that a digitally literate individual is someone who can perform basic internet duties such as reading emails and searching for relevant information.
Simply, digital literacy refers to a person’s knowledge of technology and their ability to apply it to increase productivity. Consider digital literacy to be similar to learning a new language. Essential words will suffice for a novice student. A person who is fluent in a foreign language, on the other hand, will be able to get by and comprehend the intricacies of the language, as well as to conduct deep, meaningful conversations, read books, and even create books and poems in that language. As you can see, digital fluency aids in a variety of tasks, including discovering new information, unleashing creativity, and increasing productivity. It has a multiplier effect on the employees and, as a result, on the company.
“Digital fluency is the lynchpin to unlocking worker agility,” according to a 2020 Accenture study. The digital fluency framework, according to Accenture, “predicts and explains 54 percent of a worker’s ability to be flexible.” According to the Accenture Global Digital Fluency report, only 14% of businesses are digitally mature. Because their workforce has learned to be agile, these organizations reap significant benefits in terms of innovation, employee experience, and consumer value.
Many digital transformation attempts are lacking a key component: digital fluency. In most cases, I would say that it is a lack of digital infrastructure, culture, leadership, and skills, rather than technology, that is preventing an employee from thriving alongside technology.
Digital literacy in the workplace can be difficult to achieve, especially in a large company with hundreds of employees. Companies must take into account each employee’s age, history, education, and current level of digital literacy. Although the problems go beyond Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), they also involve change resistance, Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), change management tracking, and a continuous change process, among others.
Businesses must give the necessary digital tools and training to their employees, as well as leadership and cultural support, in order to build Tech intensity, or an organization’s capacity to adapt and integrate the latest technology in order to establish its distinctive digital competency and trust factor. As a result, firms must examine typical change management practices (e.g., Prosci Change Management).
Your digital workforce’s technological quotient (TQ) + Digital operations + Digital foundations + Digital leadership and culture make up a digital fluency framework.
Any business’s adoption of digital literacy must begin with the identification of several Digital Personas. Each identity has its own set of requirements and level of digital fluency. Companies can overcome the digital skill gap and gain greater agility by identifying these people in the workforce. Most of the personas would fit in at a high level based on existing understanding and varying levels of digital prowess of the workforce:
There are four different types of digital persona archetypes.
- The Collaborator from afar
- The Self-Controlled Achiever
- The Team Player Who Can Adapt
- The Innovator Who Never Stops
Closing the Gap in Digital Literacy
The COVID-19 drew attention to the digital achievement gap or the difference between high-performing digitally savvy businesses and under-performers.
Digital transformation allows a company to become more efficient and adaptable to change, while also providing new experiences for employees and customers. The cloud, for example, is one of the emerging technologies that can help businesses pivot fast in the face of change and allow for the democratization of AI, robotics, and worker self-enablement. However, someone must be in charge of the company’s digital transformation. So, how can businesses go about tackling this massive task? Here are five strategies for identifying and closing the literacy gap in the workplace.
1. It’s Critical to Adapt
When it comes to digitally reinvent a firm, the first step is to recognize the paradigm change. The easier it is for employees to enhance their digital abilities, the faster the company’s executives respond. Leaders must collaborate with employees to provide the necessary digital infrastructure, culture, leadership, and skill-development opportunities.
2. Lay a Firm Foundation – Rethink the CIO’s Role
Employee understanding of how digital platforms and tools can enable rather than hinder performance growth is key to a company’s digital transformation. They must be made aware of the benefits that these technologies provide before they will be willing to make the switch. Furthermore, small and large firms must provide enticing new experiences for their employees in order to assist them to become more tech-savvy.
CIOs must develop a tech-forward strategy that permits a higher and quicker rate of growth as technology become business partners for enterprises. Furthermore, CIOs must now do more than merely meet with the C-suite. They must learn in-depth and nuanced knowledge about how to create a digitally rich work environment that benefits people and, as a result, the company.
Technologies provide individuals with the necessary skills and change the way people work in order to benefit the company as a whole. Digital technology is changing the way we work, but don’t worry: it isn’t attempting to take our jobs. If anything, it demonstrated that humans are an important component of the workforce, which is a win-win situation.
a. In this new era of human-machine affinity, businesses must modify their approaches.
b. Create a strategy for humans and intelligent machines / Bots to collaborate to boost productivity, creativity, and growth, as well as assigning work to people and machines while balancing augmentation and automation. Create project-based teams and assign skills to new positions.
c. Create a Composite AI culture, processes, and rules (Human + AI-powered personal digital assistants / Bots/robots collaborating). We may already see the Machine taking on the role of customer or action initiator, as well as intermediary approver and decision router. We may soon witness a machine-to-machine transaction in the context of day-to-day operations and decision-making.
d. Develop and implement “Systems of Knowledge and Learning Experiences,” starting with simple on-demand digital learning experiences and other specialized programs, and continually assess, re-skill, up-skill, and certify the workforce to lead now and in the future.
3. Make the switch to cloud-based software.
Large firms must migrate to cloud-based applications and devices in order to properly zero in on their digital edge, especially in this fast-changing world. Employees can easily access information that can help them make informed decisions, be more intuitive to changing business needs, and improve their work quality. Cloud services provide the flexibility needed to scale up business needs and enable employees to easily access information that can help them make informed decisions, be more intuitive to changing business needs, and improve their work quality.
Furthermore, cloud-based programs give resources that enable AI and other technologies that assist in identifying business prospects, resolving operational issues, and providing excellent customer service.
4. Boost Your Technological Intelligence
A company’s Technology Quotient must be raised in order for it to be digitally fluent (TQ).
To accomplish so, the organization must first analyze each employee’s digital proficiency. This allows companies to better understand their employees’ excitement, competence, and worth as it relates to various technologies. The organization will gain a good grasp of how eager and willing employees are to improve their TQ through questionnaires, digital exams, and even opinion polls.
Companies must assist employees to understand that they are honing their abilities by improving their digital literacy once the assessment has been completed. However, before training employees, employers must acknowledge that each person is unique and that a one-size-fits-all strategy would not work. There are a few things to think about:
- How enthused is an employee about the new working model?
- To be digitally efficient, people must have the necessary skills and competencies.
- Employees must comprehend the need of being digitally savvy.
- Make a list of skills to prioritize, balancing technical, judgmental, and social abilities.
- Utilize VR, AR, and AI to cater to their eagerness to learn and expedite instruction.
Companies must approach employee enablement, information sharing, and learning from a holistic perspective. They can arrange one-on-one training sessions with upper management, utilize a visual aid to assist people to grasp the process better, give the convenience of online classes, bring in industry experts and host workshops, and so on. The goal is to use a variety of training approaches and to provide unwavering support throughout the process.
Companies must develop and deploy “Systems of Knowledge and Learning Experiences,” beginning with simple on-demand digital learning experiences and other specialized programs, and continually assess, re-skill, up-skill, and certify their staff in order to lead now and in the future.
Businesses must develop continual feedback loops between the work, skills, learning, and credentials required–both for today’s jobs and tomorrow’s occupations–to be successful in this journey of Tech Intensity and raise the Technology Quotient. To drive career advancement for all workers, including frontline and knowledge workers, as well as new graduates and those already in the workforce, businesses must define productivity much more broadly–inclusive of collaboration, learning, and wellbeing–in Hybrid Workstyle and AI Augmented work environments. All of this must be accomplished with a degree of flexibility in terms of when, where, and how individuals work.
5. Fine-tune the journey as needed
Companies must first assess their employees’ digital literacy and then construct a baseline measurement of their existing digital literacy level, as with any strategy. This metric will be used as a yardstick to track the company’s progress in terms of digital literacy. It will also assist businesses in recognizing and addressing any roadblocks. As a result, this statistic can be tweaked based on what works and what doesn’t for the employees and the firm.
Organizations might use a Digital Skills framework to make this baseline measurement easier. It could be the subject of the future post.
Is Digital Fluency Enough on Its Own?
Being technologically literate, according to the research firm IDC, isn’t enough. Companies must also begin to be digitally resilient.
Previously, digital resiliency was only linked to online literacy and cybersecurity. Still, in recent years, digital resiliency has come to represent how quickly and easily a company can operate in the face of adversity, changing to the current circumstances without financial or reputational harm, all while protecting its customers.
Digital resiliency is more important than ever before because it allows businesses to recover faster and move forward in the face of potential interruptions. They also assist businesses in capitalizing on changing situations. And being digitally fluent is the only way for a company to become digitally resilient. Simply put, digital firms that establish their company’s optimal digital capabilities to support their plans, regardless of the source of disruption, will not only survive but prosper during difficult times.
So, how does a business become more digitally resilient? Investing in digital infrastructure is a good place to start. Businesses must invest in digital tools and technology, data, analytics, and automation to stay ahead of the curve. Furthermore, firms must plan for the future by implementing data-driven decision-making in order to deal with potential unpredictability. They must also identify and address any company weaknesses, adapt to fast-changing client expectations, empower staff with digital fluency, strengthen cybersecurity, and maintain financial liquidity.
Businesses should engage in digital literacy to take advantage of this opportunity and develop stronger as a result of this adversity. This will aid organizations in fast recovering from disasters and gaining a long-term competitive advantage.
The past year has demonstrated that being digitally savvy is the way of the future. It allows employees to gain a skill set that can transform their careers, help them explore new job opportunities, and open them up to more unique markets. It helps create flexibility in the workplace, helps companies solve many challenges, and paves the way for employees to gain a skill set that can transform their careers and help them explore new job opportunities, and open them up to more unique markets.
To summarize, I believe that digital resilience is a strategic need for every organization seeking to maintain a competitive edge in an unpredictable environment. Improving a company’s digital fluency can help it establish long-term digital resilience, increase staff efficiency, and maintain stability if done correctly.