We’re using technology in all types of industries.
For instance, manufacturing companies are implementing robots to handle repetitive tasks like picking and packing. Creative industries take full advantage of creating digital content and products through software. Even the transportation industry is evolving the way we get from one place to another with all-electric vehicles.
But none of this is possible without digitally literate employees. Cultivating digital literacy in your company comes with many benefits. Let’s look at this in more detail below.
The Benefits of Improving Digital Literacy
Improving digital literacy throughout your business is essential to stay relevant and competitive in your industry. In addition, it can transform your team and its workflow.
For one, your employees’ cyber and physical safety will benefit. If your team doesn’t know how to program a machine, it’s at risk of malfunction, resulting in serious injury.
Also, as your employees spend more time online, they’re vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. All it takes is one employee to grant access to business software to a cybercriminal for the entire operation to go down. If your employees understand how to spot and eliminate these threats, you can continue leveraging digital technology for your business.
Moreover, improving digital literacy inspires employees to be more motivated, creative, and productive in their roles. The better their digital skills, the more opportunities open up, which can be incredibly empowering. It could even lead to their long-term loyalty to your company.
The benefits of improving digital literacy are massive, while the disadvantages are almost nonexistent.
How to Foster Digital Literacies in Your Company
Ready to foster digital literacy in your company? The following tips can get you there:
Evaluate where your current employees are with digital literacy
A great first step toward fostering digital literacy in your company is evaluating where your current employees are with digital literacy. Find out how comfortable they are with technology, ask how they feel about digital tools in the workplace, and talk about what they would need to improve their digital literacy.
It’s also essential to understand how each of your employees learns so that you can provide support and encouragement that works for them. Converse with each employee about how long it usually takes them to learn something new and what kind of learner they are.
When you know where your employees are with digital literacy, it’s easier to bridge the gap to where you want them to be.
Create a development plan for each employee
Fostering digital literacy in your workplace requires you to ensure your employees get better. Creating a digital literacy development plan for each employee is the perfect step.
Sit down with each team member and define goals for the digital skills you want them to grow. Then, devise a program for growing them.
Their program can include traditional educational opportunities, company-provided training courses, shadowing other coworkers, and taking on additional digitally-related responsibilities as they progress in their plan.
Creating a development plan unique to each employee will make their digital literacy journey more manageable.
Implement digital literacy in your onboarding process
One of the best ways to foster digital literacy in your company is to implement it in your onboarding process. You can ensure an employee grows at least the basic digital skills needed to thrive in your workplace with intentional training from their first day of employment.
The best onboarding process introduces new hires to company policies, clarifies their job responsibilities and expectations, teaches them about company culture, and connects them to coworkers and upper management.
Training and guidance are also integral in the onboarding process to ensure new hires are equipped with all they need to do well in their roles. So, if digital literacy is essential for them to excel in their roles, implement training opportunities in the onboarding process.
Make digital literacy a priority when someone is hired at your company.
Encourage them to learn outside of the workplace
Your employees aren’t going to learn everything about digital literacy inside the workplace. So, encouraging them to continue their education outside the workplace is crucial. The level of digital literacy you want your employees to have to thrive requires them to take some of the learning into their own hands.
Converse with them often about new trends, tips, and technology, and motivate them to explore and experiment with these things. You could also provide resources for traditional educational opportunities, like tuition reimbursement, free certification courses, or a discount on specific classes.
Learning inside the workplace is great, but continuing that education outside the workplace is even better.
Promote peer-to-peer learning
Sometimes, people have difficulty learning from a manager, teacher, or an online course. It’s important to realize that everyone learns differently. And one way your employees may learn is through other employees.
Promoting peer-to-peer learning is a brilliant idea. Let your employees know that you encourage them to learn from one another. Support them in taking classes together. Allow them to shadow one another in their respective roles. You could also allow certain employees to lead digital literacy training throughout the year.
Your employees may learn better when a coworker teaches them. So, give them that option.
Provide in-depth training for every tech tool you use
Every tech tool should come with training, whether with your company from day one or just been introduced.
You may have to backtrack a bit, but providing in-depth training for every tech tool you use in your company is essential. Of course, every employee may not need to be trained in every tool. However, every tool needs an extensive training course to ensure your employees know how to use it, its benefits, and why it’s in your workplace.
If you want your employees to feel empowered by the technology in your workplace, ensure they’re adequately trained to use every tool.
Consider creating a comprehensive digital literacy training program
It may be worth it to make a general digital literacy training program and require all your employees to go through it to ensure they’re educated on various digital literacy topics.
Consider creating a comprehensive digital literacy training program. Develop classes and courses that teach basic digital skills like internet research and email etiquette, all the way up to higher-level skills like data analytics and artificial intelligence.
Developing a training program specific to digital literacy will take time, but it might be exactly what your team needs to ensure everyone embraces technology rather than resists it.
Welcome feedback from your team
It’s essential to know whether or not your efforts to improve digital literacy are working. That’s where feedback from your team comes in. They can let you know from their mouths what’s working and what isn’t.
Welcome feedback on your technology, training classes, and digital literacy-related. Also, follow up with each employee on their development plan. See how they’re progressing and what you can do to support them better if they’re having trouble.
Genuine feedback from your team is critical to ensure you’re offering the support necessary for a better understanding and use of digital tools in the workplace.
Improving digital literacy is forever
Your efforts to improve digital literacy in your company should be ongoing. In other words, improving digital literacy is forever. There will always be new technology, trends surfacing, and advice for leveraging digital tools in the business.
The day you stop improving digital literacy is the day your company falls behind. So, maintain your development programs for your employees. Keep learning as a leader. Be on the lookout for digital trends and new tools, and always add opportunities for your team to dig into digital literacy.
As the world becomes more digitally focused, your business must do the same to remain relevant and ultimately grow. Improving digital literacy can transform your team, internal operation, customer relationships, and brand. With the tips above, you can foster digital literacy in your company and evolve on all levels.