Data and Digital Transformation Accelerated by Invaluable Human Skills
The transition to a data and digital era workforce is a workforce transformation issue that's on the minds of HRDs, COOs, CTOs, CEOs, and boards around the world. It’s also a massive opportunity. In fact, PwC recently announced a $3 billion investment over four years to upskill their workforce to support this transition.
PwC's research found that 61% of the workforce is really positive about the impact of technology on their jobs. However, only 33% are being given opportunities outside of their normal duties to develop digitally savvy skills.
There is every reason to believe this gap will close, particularly with large organisations beginning to upskill and develop their workforce of the future at scale.
At a leadership level, DDI's research has found that organizations with digitally savvy leaders financially outperform those without by 50% - and those with digitally naive employees by 78%.
The gap is clear and the business case is strong.
Organisations will continue to make big investments to develop people at scale and upskill them to become a data and digital era workforce. It is critical that data and digital skills, and uniquely human skills, are prioritised equally.
Uniquely human skills give data and digital skills the commercial edge they need. They also make the transition much smoother for the workforce. Human skills give data skills and digital tools greater connection with people and therefore influence the business.
Three Emerging Jobs in the Digital Transformation
In their 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report, Deloitte found there to be three distinct types of jobs emerging – and of major note is the significant role of uniquely human skills, or soft skills.
Standard jobs: Roles that perform work using a specified and narrow skill set. Generally organized around repeatable tasks and standard processes. (Deloitte, 2019)
Hybrid jobs: Roles that perform work using a combination of skill sets drawing on both technical and soft skills. Historically, these types of skills have not been combined in the same job. (Deloitte, 2019)
Super jobs: Roles that combine work and responsibilities from multiple traditional jobs, using technology to both augment and broaden the scope of the work performed and involve a more complex set of domain, technical, and human skills. (Deloitte, 2019)
As these and other jobs emerge, there will continue to be skills gaps. Even the younger generations don't necessarily have the data and digital skills one might expect, let alone the soft, human skills to go with them. In an article last year Deloitte also found that only 12% of leaders believe UK school leavers and graduates have the right digital skills, down from 20% who said the same in 2017.
Critical Human Skills
When upskilling a workforce, reskilling a division, or training an early career talent cohort, here are three examples where human skills are invaluable in a data and digital era workforce. People need the skills and knowledge to:
Be curious and think critically when using data - e.g. Curiosity Mindset, Critical Thinking
Participate in eco-systems of agile, innovative working practices - e.g. Hyper-Collaboration
Give gravitas and meaning to data visualisations, insights and recommendations - e.g. Story Telling
This is a very small sample. It is these skills and many other uniquely human skills that will give data and digital skills greater connection with people, influence on the business – and make the transition and transformation to a data and digital era workforce a smooth one.