Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Skills the missing piece of UK’s digital transformation puzzle

UK organisations are hampering their digital transformation efforts by overlooking the people and skills aspects of transformation and focusing too heavily on technology.

New research published by Capita Resourcing reveals that 82% of HR leaders say their workforce needs to improve its skills in order to get the most out of digital transformation.

94% of HR leaders report difficulties accessing the skills their organisation requires to support its transformation objectives, and the research reveals that many of the most significant transformation challenges facing organisations are skills-related.

More than a third (36%) of businesses are suffering due to a lack of leadership skills and experience of running change programmes, whilst 35% are finding it difficult to predict future jobs and skills requirements.

Beyond this, 29% are held back by a lack of digital skills amongst their workforce and 28% are hampered by a lack of access to high quality digital talent.

More than 200 HR leaders at companies employing more than 100 people reported that their organisations have primarily focused on technology within their digital transformation programmes, in terms of resource, investment and time.

Only 33% felt that culture and people have been a key focus in their transformation strategies up until now, and only 35% stated that skills had been prioritised.

Geoff Smith, Executive Director at Capita Resourcing, said: “Our research has clearly highlighted that digital transformation is about so much more than just technology.

“Organisations must start to realise that transformation always needs to be workforce-driven, and it’s therefore essential that the HR department plays an important role, to identify and access the skills required at each stage of the journey, from planning and design, through the change programme itself, and beyond.

“In doing so, HR can protect and establish the right culture and behaviours within the workforce. HR leaders need to step up and work alongside their counterparts in IT to ensure that organisations take a holisitc approach to transformation.”

He added: “With access to high-quality digital talent so challenging, HR leaders need to adopt new thinking and embrace new approaches to bringing these skills in to the business. The organisations that enjoy most success in their transformation efforts will be those that can create agile workforces, adopt channel agnostic approaches to recruitment, develop their own talent pools, and instil cultures of continuous learning across their workforces.”

More than three quarters (76%) of HR leaders believe that HR has historically been an afterthought in digital transformation and only half are satisfied with their own involvement in digital transformation initiatives.

84% would like to take more of a leadership role in transformation initiatives but many are currently held back by a lack of skills and confidence.  A fifth (20%) cite a lack of leadership experience, whilst a similar number feel that a lack of time (19%) and a lack of senior support or sponsorship (18%) is preventing them from taking a central role.

Worryingly, two thirds (67%) of HR leaders say they are worried they are falling behind in their personal knowledge of technology and new ways of working.

On a more encouraging note, however, HR professionals do feel that they can have a positive impact on transformation initiatives by taking on a leadership role in a range of areas. These include ensuring that existing staff are given the opportunity to develop the skills that the business will require post-transformation (96%), and identifying current skills gaps in the organisation (95%).

Beyond this, HR departments can take a leadership role and ensure the success of transformation initiatives by creating and maintaining an agile workforce, conducting regular employee pulse checks throughout the transformation change process, and promoting a digital mindset and culture of learnability across the workforce.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £33.60 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.






Latest news

Refurbishment specialist appointed to multi-million pound fire and police business hub project

Office fit out and refurbishment specialist Overbury has been appointed to undertake a multi-million pound refurbishment of a new business services hub for Northamptonshire...

New partner promotion for BDO in the Midlands

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP has promoted 20 new partners across the firm with Jonathan Lanes named Risk Advisory Services (RAS) partner...

boohoo snaps up Debenhams IP for £55m

boohoo, the online fashion retailer, has acquired all of the intellectual property assets (including customer data and related business information and selected contracts) of...

Local leaders urge Boris Johnson to “deliver the whole of HS2 to level-up UK”

Leaders from along HS2's Eastern Leg have written to the Prime Minister, urging him to deliver both the local improvements and national connectivity which...

Multi-million pound orders see engineering firm embark on recruitment drive

Around £4 million of orders were placed in January at GAME Engineering, which specialises in materials handling solutions and security products for use in...

Related news

Plans submitted for Local Centre at new mixed-use development in Nottingham

Detailed plans for the Local Centre at the new mixed-use development at Teal Park in Nottingham have been submitted. Despite the economic problems surrounding the...

Refurbishment specialist appointed to multi-million pound fire and police business hub project

Office fit out and refurbishment specialist Overbury has been appointed to undertake a multi-million pound refurbishment of a new business services hub for Northamptonshire...

New partner promotion for BDO in the Midlands

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP has promoted 20 new partners across the firm with Jonathan Lanes named Risk Advisory Services (RAS) partner...

boohoo snaps up Debenhams IP for £55m

boohoo, the online fashion retailer, has acquired all of the intellectual property assets (including customer data and related business information and selected contracts) of...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close