How can organizations work proactively and implement modern IT solutions to strengthen and drive digital skills?

This blog is based on a webinar Storyals did in January 2021, about driving digitalization and increasing digital skills within organizations. Martin Wallgren, Group CIO at Gulf Agency Company (GAC), a global logistics company based in the United Arab Emirates, shared their best practices and how to succeed with digital workplace transformation.

We give you the 5 best practices of how to increase digital competence in your organization:

1. Get management on board

To increase digital skills across a whole organization or large department, it is crucial to get management onboard first. Building digital skills can’t be a matter of merely the HR or IT department. It’s a matter concerning the entire organization and the initiative must be sanctioned by the top management and key people within the organization. In today’s digital workplace, everyone must be able to organize and join digital meetings, locate and share digital notes, and efficiently use Microsoft 365 apps such as Teams, Forms, Planner, etc.

In his role as Group CIO, Martin Wallgren has very successfully been driving digital adoption within GAC and made sure that staff has relevant digital skills.

“When I first joined GAC, I had to start with going through five basic training modules,” says Martin. Everyone has to, regardless of where in the organization they work”, he adds.

To implement that kind of learning policy across a global organization requires company management to first be aware and understand the necessity of continuous learning, but also to act as role models themselves. Various parts of the business, such as HR, IT and Market must then work together for the policy to have an impact across the board.

In short, to succeed with building digital skills, management must be fully on board and make the entire organization responsible for continuous implementation and compliance.

2. Implement a Learning Management System (LMS)

Education used to be associated with classrooms and physical lessons, led by a teacher in front of a large whiteboard. The phrase “I’m on training that day” was frequently used in workplaces across the globe. Nowadays, education has moved online and classrooms have been replaced by a digital learning platform – a Learning Management System (LMS). There are different types of LMS. At Storyals, we work with LMS365. The benefit of this platform is that it is perfectly integrated with Microsoft Teams and can be used for both digital, and traditional classroom, learning. LMS365 also gives users the opportunity to create their own courses, assign training to specific users and follow up to ensure it gets done. It’s important to choose an LMS that suits your organization and consider what you want to get out of it, before making the investment.

At GAC, we now have an entire department working with content and maintenance of the learning platform. They also make sure that people finish the training they are supposed to on time, Martin Wallgren explains.

“An important part of our corporate learning policy is to do certain training modules annually. This we do for two reasons: 1. To ensure that all staff has the right competence – in some cases required by law. 2. Everyone is forced to learn how to use the LMS, which then makes it easier to roll out other training as needed throughout the year. For GAC this is one of our important keys to success.”

3. Ensure users are familiar with your LMS

As mentioned in the above step, it’s essential that everyone is familiar with and can navigate in your LMS. Like at GAC, it’s good to make certain courses mandatory, adding the requirement of an annual refreshment. Examples of mandatory training courses could be concerning company security policies, brand values and corporate culture or customer service. When everyone is familiar with the LMS, it’s easy to roll out additional training and assign them to specific departments or employees.

“For us, it is a priority to always keep the learning platform professional and up to date,” Wallgren explains. If you have one bad user experience, you are reluctant to go back again. It is therefore essential to put both time and effort into the platform and make it feel relevant, attractive and user friendly. It’s not enough to merely invest in an LMS and expect it to fly.”

4. Provide employees with continuous digital learning

With today’s extremely fast development within tech, it’s necessary to create a corporate culture of continuous learning. In recent years, Microsoft has launched new features and apps at a crazy pace, and to keep up, regular training is required. Nowadays, training doesn’t take place in classrooms off-site but should be available on-demand directly in your LMS. Preferably, in the form of short training modules you do at your own convenience, or even as micro-learning – a short video of just a few minutes. Easy to learn, easy to apply!

As an organization, you are responsible to provide employees with relevant digital skills and opportunity to learn how to use modern digital tools. GAC is working with Storyals to ensure their workforce has access to updated expertise and the training they need to work smarter using Microsoft 365. GAC has chosen the Storyals Lite subscription where users can find training through their own Office environment, as well as through the GAC’s Online Academy.

Everyone with a budget should set money aside for training. It’s all about getting employees to grow and develop. That will create a positive corporate culture and make employees want to stay, says Martin Wallgren.

5. Dare to make demands!

Don’t be afraid to make demands towards management, or your employees to be updated and have the right digital skills. Also dare to make demands to your suppliers – whether it is Microsoft, Storyals or any other supplier you are working with. Make sure your work with suppliers that understand your specific needs – and are flexible enough to meet them. At Storyals, we always take our customers’ feedback into account and make sure to improve where possible. Subtitles in different languages were such a requirement from a Storyals’ customer, and now you can get our learning topics in various languages. At Microsoft, you can use their User Voice, where anyone can request new or improved features. If enough people make the same requests, it will eventually make its way to the product development teams.

Finally

If you need additional tips or advice in regard to increasing digital skills, feel free to contact us at Storyals! We are very passionate about what we do and have several years of experience in the global market.

Good luck with increasing digital skills at your organization!