Digitization, digital transformation or even Industry 4.0 are foreign words for many professionals or they are skeptical about these terms. Automation and digitalization still harbor great fears of losing one’s job, as we described back then in our article on “Will AI take your job?
The education level of the population would not be so bad, but we in Central Europe will experience one of the strongest changes due to digitalization. The high level of education should then also help people to adapt more quickly.
The industrialized countries are very strongly affected by digitization
According to the World Economic Forum, more than 35% of employees in industrialized countries will already have to respond to the changes. The reason for this is technological change and increasing automation. For example, there are already the first self-driving trains, trucks and cars, robots are taking over tasks from nurses and accountants are being replaced by algorithms and artificial intelligence.
These technological changes are naturally also changing the demands placed on employees. Further training and also the adept handling of new technologies are thus at the center if it is really a matter of wanting to employ one’s employees in the long term.
Digital training can be expensive
The digital transformation requires completely new skills and competencies. This retraining, further education and training of employees can be expensive in the process. It will also be a major challenge for managers. Digitalization requires a great deal of rethinking, new structures and employees must also be motivated to turn existing ways of thinking on their heads.
All these elements, the new leadership and the learning of these new methods need a lot of time and also a lot of patience. Thus, new learning models must also be applied in the companies in order to successfully accomplish this cultural change. After all, knowledge and the right corporate culture are a big part of a successful digital transformation.
However, since many elements of knowledge do not only come from external sources through further training, an active learning environment and informal learning is an essential component.
Companies must rethink due to digitalization
Europe generally lacks tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Alibaba and others. We have to focus on other values because our environment does not allow it. Governments are trying to attract such tech giants to Europe with more support for innovation and startups, but this may take time.
Companies in Europe have the potential to draw on a very well-educated workforce. Pupils and students are educated to think freely and we have the potential to get a head start there. Flexible working models, flat hierarchies, knowledge culture and also creating space for new innovations. These are important points where companies can distinguish themselves and use the potential of their employees.
Focus on soft skills through digital transformation
Surveys often show that people already think that in a few years, many routine tasks will be taken over by automation and machines. As a result, values such as the ability to work in a team, creativity and emotional intelligence are moving to the center of attention.
Companies like Google have been leading the way for years. They actively work with giving employees the freedom to develop. Tiresome tasks are taken over by the company and at the same time there are dozens of opportunities to network, exchange ideas, live out one’s creativity and also relax. This change from classic monotonous work to creative flexible working will also be a challenge for many companies.
Important skills for digital transformation
While we’re writing about new skills, we’ll also give you the 5 most important skills employees should have. These skills have proven to be central for successful digital transformation
1 Digital Versification – Digital Literacy
Of course, it is an important basic building block that employees can find, evaluate and utilize information with the help of communication tools.
2 Thinking like visionaries
Digital transformation requires thinking outside existing structures. This requires a certain degree of visionary thinking. Employees should have their own visions and actively share them with the team.
Probably one of the most important skills is the joy of experimenting. Digitization requires a strong culture of error and also the will to try new things. So anyone who enjoys experimenting and trying things out will have great opportunities and good results in the digital transformation.
4 Networkers and moderators
If a company wants to successfully master the digital transformation, it also needs a high proportion of facilitators in the team. These ensure that “digital immigrants” (people who have not grown up with the Internet) and “digital natives” (people who have grown up with digital tools) find each other. This is important to improve the exchange of knowledge and experience.
5 Menschen zuerst Mentalität
Factors are especially important in management. Digital transformation has a lot to do with the company culture and its employees. Employees should always be put first and their problems at the center. Digital transformation should not be a punishment, but should help the organization, and technology should enable and empower employees.
6 Understanding data
It will become increasingly important to deal with data. This does not mean that everyone has to become a data specialist or analyst. Rather, it is about the basic understanding of what it means, where it comes from, how it can be used and what can be read from it.
7 Strong interpersonal and communication skills
It is becoming more and more important to express oneself correctly and to enable the right communication in an international context. This requires empathy, manners, team player skills and much more.
As machines influence more and more of our lives and we get more of our daily tasks taken away from us, this also means that we should develop strongly in other directions. This will be a challenge for many, but digital skills will become an important building block of one’s career.