Did you know that employees are desperate for new digital skills to stay competitive in the workforce?

Did you know that almost all people who work now are filled with anxiety, worried they will be useless, over the hill with old skills, in less than two years?

And I'm not talking about baby boomers or even, Gen X, I'm talking about Gen Y and Gen Z. Yes, even those in their early 20's are scared they can't keep up.

Many are spending their own money to go to classes and develop skills to keep up so they wont find themselves on the outdated shelf, to be swept in the garbage heap, even before their first gray hairs sprout on their heads.

How do I know this?

I've been getting calls requesting coaching from younger individuals who want great careers and need to be at the top of their game. They are all breathless with the speed of change and with the abundance of AI they think will push them out. They want help, and they want it now.

I started to search for information to help them and below is some of the best around.

I interviewed Sarah O'Brien, Global Insights Director for LinkedIn's Talent Solutions Business and Todd Rovak, CEO of Capgemini Consulting North America. Collaborating on the  Digital Talent Gap Report they point the way to what needs to be unlocked for future success. 

Tapping into data from 530+ million Linkedin members along with Capgemini's worldwide cross-sector research program they pointed to areas of concern and ways to move forward.

Here's some of what they found to help meet employees needs and desires to advance their careers in this digital age. Employees are:

                        * Desperate: For new digital skills

                        * Anxious: They will be redundant in a few years

                        * Frustrated: They're not getting training in their companies

                        * Conflicted: They want both hard and soft skills to succeed

                        * Determined: To be in organizations that will help them grow

In my interview I was so appreciative of their in-depth research. We discussed today's concerns and ways out of the present dilemma.

It's to create learning organizations that will provide the right mix of digital skills. The hard skills of advanced analytics, automation, artificial intelligence and cyber-security are side by side with the soft skills of comfort with ambiguity and increased collaboration.

To retain digital talent, organizations need to create a "digital-first mindset."

Most of the best and the brightest talented professionals want to join ambitious teams who operate in an entrepreneurial manner, working faster and smarter, helping each other.

Soft skills are life skills. They're making a strong comeback from decades ago when Peter Senge's book "The Fifth Discipline" was  a best seller. It's as important today as it was in the past.

The Digital Talent Gap Report is revealing. It needs to be read by all leaders who want to stay relevant in this complex and exciting time of change. 

Offering learning situations at work where employees can thrive in an environment of freedom to create, fail, learn, experiment and produce is how to retain the talent needed for success.

What do you see as other key issues to address in today's digital workplace revolution? I will be interviewing more creative innovators over the next weeks. Let me know if you have suggestions.

Published on: Nov 28, 2017
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