We are in the midst of a digital revolution, and it’s no longer possible to experience the world without technology. We have gone digital with how we communicate and socialize, how we shop and pay bills, and naturally how we work, too.
Organizations face the challenges of these dramatic shifts when it comes to keeping their workforce up to speed. It can seem like everyone is well-adapted to tech in the workplace, but there is still a major experience gap when it comes to the amount of technological experience, knowledge, and understanding that employees have—their level of digital literacy.
In the workplace, digital literacy is an employee’s ability to effectively use and make sense of technology, such as electronic or digital devices, media, and other tools, to help them be more productive, solve problems, or communicate. While most people have quickly adapted, and technology use in the workplace has become second nature, it is important to recognize that not everyone is equally digitally literate. That experience gap matters, not only to how each person picks up on and adapts to technology, but also to how they use it, so technology skills cannot be taken for granted.
The youngest generation are sometimes called “digital natives,” having only known a world filled with smartphones, social media, and other technology, but that doesn’t mean that all of them have had regular access to computers and devices. Older generations are often referred to as “digital immigrants,” meaning they were brought up before the adoption of digital technology and have had to learn to adapt and change, and though many of them have fully embraced technology and become highly proficient, some might not be fully ready to make a digital transformation in the workplace.
The benefits of digital literacy in the workplace are plentiful. At the most basic level, technology allows employees to be efficient, productive, and even self-sufficient. Today, employees can update their information or submit vacation requests or expense reports at their own convenience through HRIS systems, important meetings can take place remotely and instantly from anywhere in the world, and mobile apps can be used on a smartphone to find out where the next job assignment or site location is. Everything from documenting medical information to placing online lunch orders has been digitized. Workplaces and employees are more connected than ever, and having a tech-savvy workforce can help you make the most of new technology.
Introducing and implementing new technology is only half the battle. Aligning new technology with your workforce and helping employees develop the necessary skills are essential, too. As the use of technology increases, businesses must quickly adapt. Download our FREE Digital Literacy in the Workplace Guide, which provides tips on how to help employees meet the challenges and opportunities of digital world.
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