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Digital upskilling's impact on productivity, collaboration and growth

Upskilling, which is sometimes referred to as “right-skilling” or “new-skilling”, is the process of teaching workers new skills that are applicable to their current roles and delivering continuous education to help them advance on their current career path.

Companies invest in upskilling not only because of positive and tangible impacts, but because technologies are changing.  Our 27th Annual Global CEO Survey found that 69% of CEOs agree that GenAI will require most of their workforce to develop new skills in the next three years. 

Read on to learn about:

  • Potential positive impacts of upskilling on productivity 

  • The automation example for upskilling impact

  • Digital skills, innovation, productivity and your skills gaps 

The potential impact of upskilling on productivity

When you provide your people with the skills and tools to help streamline everyday work, you can free up time that can be spent on value-add activities like function-specific creative problem solving and collaboration. Carving out dedicated time for your people to learn how to apply new skills and technologies can help them innovate, save time and deliver better value to customers while advancing their own careers. 

Adopting business automation technologies, such as GenAI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) — and upskilling your workforce to implement them — can empower your organization and provide paths to transform value chains and business models. How? By standardizing and automating repetitive tasks, reducing errors, improving productivity, and innovating. You should give people what they need to solve the problems they’re closest to — and help their teammates do the same. It’s an initiative that aligns individual goals with organizational objectives. Particularly when it comes to GenAI, fostering a culture of experimentation can result in better human-AI collaboration and advanced use cases.  

How can automation increase productivity in the workplace? 

Upskilling your staff in automation tech has the potential to deliver a quick return on investment on training dollars, boost productivity and drive efficiencies across roles and departments. Some function-specific scenarios include: 

  • Finance personnel could automate portions of financial statement analyses or monthly reconciliations.  

  • Marketing staff could automate the pulling of lead data from multiple, disparate sources and then use AI to normalize and align that information according to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) standards. 

  • HR staff could automate employee data tracking and review performance management processes across disparate systems and create a centralized repository. 

  • Customer service could employ GenAI to support filling out service tickets and to provide access to data from company documents on the company’s line of products and services to assist with frequently asked questions. 

Learning how to leverage automation in business, especially when it comes to routine tasks, can change how work gets done — which, in turn, can free up personnel to focus on more strategic activities while reducing errors and time spent on time consuming tasks. 

Digital skills, innovation, productivity and your skills gaps 

Automation is far from the only skill your employees should learn. Finance employees who learn to build data roadmaps and customized data visualizations can help streamline balance sheets and other finance processes. Using data to pinpoint underlying organizational needs can give HR professionals better information about the kind of upskilling required to fill skill gaps. And IT’s data skills can make a bigger impact when combined with soft skills that foster creativity and innovation.  

Data visualization, design thinking, agile project management, AI and data management are skills an organization can benefit from. If employees understand data, automation and other future-forward skills, they can make a big impact — both within their departments and in the organization as a whole. Productivity improvements and increased speed to insights could provide the boost your company needs to help spur growth

Related upskilling content

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Accelerate your employees’ learning and help drive scalable impact for your business with ProEdge, a PwC product — an intuitive, AI-powered learning platform that leverages hands-on experience and aggregated content to prepare your learners for real business challenges. 

Take the first step on a new path toward transforming both your organization and the learning experience of your employees.

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