Workers Are Reluctant to Admit They Lack Tech Skills


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More than a third of workers need help with technology but almost 40% are embarrassed to admit it. Questionmark, the online assessment provider, is calling on employers to check what training their staff need to ensure they are taking advantage of the opportunities that innovations bring.

The new Questionmark report, “How to build a tech-enabled workforce” sets out how technology is transforming every aspect of business. Employers recognize that their future success depends on being able to incorporate new technologies into their business processes. However more than a third of workers feel they do not have the requisite skills to use technology properly.

The report also identified four challenges employers face in creating the right training programs and establishing which team members need further support:

  • Workers have different needs – workers will struggle with some skills more than others. A one-size-fits-all approach to training is unlikely to deliver, and wastes resources.
  • Some employees overestimate their ability – employers have hired employees that claimed to be “digitally capable” only to discover they were merely “digitally confident.”
  • Others underestimate their ability – older workers assume they are less capable than their younger counterparts. The evidence shows this is often not the case.
  • Employees are scared to ask for help – more than 40% of workers fear that their needs will be considered too basic, according to research by training company SLT. Research by the National Skills Coalition shows that workers who lack the skills they need spend time and energy trying to compensate for it. They depend on co-workers or family members or continue to use old paper-based systems.

Lars Pedersen, CEO of Questionmark, said: “The future success of a business will directly correlate with its ability to make the most of technology. Employers must ensure that their staff understand how to use the latest developments. Training has a major role to play.

“By testing staff before the training begins, employers can decide which team members need it. Training programs can be tailored to their need. Further assessments can give leaders confidence that the training is working.” 

Measuring current skills gives employers the information they need to build an adaptable workforce. They can focus technical training on those that need it most. They can make better decisions on team structures, personal development goals and recruitment. Crucially, they can identify cultural barriers to change and work toward nurturing a responsive and agile culture.

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