Planning For Success After COVID-19: Digital Upskilling

2021-04-20 |  Asha Arul

What’s changing?

COVID-19 forced organisations to ramp up their use of remote digital technologies almost overnight. Whilst ad-hoc and improvised training was necessary in order to react quickly, it now remains to be seen how the global pandemic will actually change our ways of working in the long term.

In spite of this uncertainty, the pandemic did highlight the shortfall of digital skills and capabilities in the workplace at large, and the significant commercial impact of this. As the adoption of widespread digital tools, technology and channels begins to cement itself as the new standard in the post-pandemic world, the need to close this skills gap is more crucial than ever.

How will this impact you?

Failure to keep pace in a technology-driven market may render you unable to realise the true commercial potential of your workforce, as they are no longer able to meet the demands of the new, digital economy. You will need to equip your employees with not only the technical education, but also the cultural and emotional skillset, to cope with the emergent digital realities.

What do you need to do about it?

As digital ways of working are poised to be permanent fixtures, there are now clear commercial and strategic imperatives to be gained through the reconfiguration of your talent strategy.

1. Providing up-to-date and wide-ranging opportunities for technical training will give your workforce the confidence, vocabulary and means to operate efficiently in a digital environment. This will have an impact not only on productivity, but on the ability of your workforce to problem-solve in an adaptive way

2. Build a learning-centric culture which empowers workers to take their digital literacy into their own hands. Strategies such as incorporating “microlearning” (ie. small, ‘bite-size’ training modules) into the working day as a way to re-think traditional training courses has proven to be effective, as has the development of educational Communities of Practice, such as online forums for interactive training, or a community hub for shared experiences and learning

3. Consolidating the building blocks of ‘virtual emotional intelligence’ in your employees will empower them to strengthen their interpersonal skills and to maintain close working relationships, resulting in the improved management and collaborative capacity of remote teams. Achieving this may require a robust strategy for ensuring employee wellbeing, such as remote forums where you can uphold your organisational culture and ensure that professional relationships are kept strong in spite of any physical distance

4. Emphasising the importance of cultivating personal resilience in the near-term will ensure that employees are prepared to withstand the challenges that come with the new digital environment e.g. better mental wellbeing, improved management of the boundaries between office and home life, and a lower risk overall risk of digital burnout

Closing these knowledge gaps in your workforce will help you build the capabilities you need to maximise the potential of your employees, and to safeguard your business in an evolving market.

How can we help?

To gain a competitive advantage through your people, you must invest in your people. Identifying what skills your organisation will need in its future business model and investing in the growth of those skills will be key.

If you’re thinking about practical strategies for the digital upskilling and reskilling of your business as we enter a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic,  we can help you.

PEN are working with many clients to understand how to best approach a post-COVID world and identify the best strategies for each organisation.

If this or any of our other related COVID articles interest you then please get in touch with Helen Clark.

Further reading:

Planning For Success After COVID-19: Ways Of Working

What Does Your Organisation Need To Consider When Planning For Success After Covid-19?

Contact Helen Clark:


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