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Digital Transformation

New Salesforce Digital Skills Research Unpacks How the Global Workforce Learns

Quick Take: Salesforce’s 2022 Global Digital Skills Index revealed a growing skills crisis across the global workforce. This article introduces the latest data from the Index, including six distinctive learning styles for digital skills. The data also provides businesses with actionable insights to help upskill employees for jobs of the future.

‘The Great Resignation’ has taken every industry by storm, resulting in a global employment deficit of 92 million employees in 2021 alone. As a result, the global demand for workers with digital skills has never been greater.

Despite this demand, Salesforce’s 2022 Global Digital Skills Index identified that everyday digital skills among the workforce are lagging. Globally, nearly three out of four people believe they lack the resources to learn the digital skills required to succeed.

Globally, nearly three out of four people believe they lack the resources to learn the digital skills required to succeed.

Salesforce has taken a deeper look into the 2022 Global Digital Skills Index data, uncovering six “Digital Skills Learner Profiles” found across the global workforce. These profiles, placed into three categories — Future Learners, Face-Value Learners, and Familiar Learners — are based on learning similarities, and arm both workers and businesses with insights on how people learn to help upskill more effectively and quickly.

Learning is different for everyone: How to upskill for individual learning styles

The good news is that 82% of digital skills index respondents plan to upskill. Learner profiles help individuals self-identify their digital skills readiness, and provide recommended next steps to upskill based on their current level.

For businesses, it awards them the chance to get to know their employees and rethink training and development programs in a way that resonates. For both parties, it’s a collective effort to bridge the digital and learning divide that exists by empowering learners with the flexibility they need.

Future Learners are hopeful and agile

Future Learners, made up of the Established Skills Seekers and Proactive Learner profiles, feel prepared to adapt to change and are hopeful about their ability to keep up with the pace. This group learns best visually, through hands-on activity, and is most set up for success by proactively taking action to advance their digital skills.

Despite Future Learners feeling most prepared and confident to thrive in the workforce, these employees want to feel challenged, and continuously learn — 94% report they would stay at their company longer if the company invested in their development.

Empowering these employees with the resources needed to stay ahead of fast-paced technology changes and a competitive workforce will help build their careers. This could create new business opportunities to put their digital skills to use, and support talent retention with motivated employees.

What makes up a Future Learner? Take the Trail →

Face-Value Learners are prepared for today’s skills

Face-Value Learners, made up of Living in The Now and Unprepared “Prepared” learner profiles, are workers who view themselves as prepared for today’s digital skills and are most comfortable in current working environments. In the workplace, women (55-58%) represent a majority of these learners. Compared to other types of learners, these individuals learn best through visual and interactive activities, and from reading and note-taking throughout training.

For example, the Salesforce Digital Skills Index reports collaboration technology as an area of self-reported improvement, but only 25% of respondents in this group rate themselves as ‘advanced’ in those skills specifically for the workplace. Further, few Gen Z respondents in this group believe they are ‘advanced’ in areas such as coding (20%), encryption and cybersecurity (18%), and AI (7%), but recognize their importance.

To help close the digital skills gap among this group, businesses should invest in and incentivize  these employees to participate in training programs to address the critical workplace digital skills they acknowledge being moderately behind on.

 Who are Face-Value Learners? Take the trail →

Familiar Learners are just starting their journey

Familiar Learners, made up of the Everyday Skills Seekers and Timid Learners profiles, feel prepared to adapt to change and develop the digital skills needed today and in the future.

This learner group is operating at a beginner level across digital workplace skills and not actively developing current or future skills such as encryption and cybersecurity, or ecommerce and digital trade skills in the workplace. Represented largely by women (61-64%), Familiar Learners are early in their digital workplace readiness journey but may be unsure of where to begin.

Due to the hesitation faced by people who self-identify in this group, these learners will benefit by finding a mentor and connecting with Future Learners eager to help them develop the skills to succeed.

 See how Familiar Learners can start skilling up: Take the Trail →

Salesforce’s pledge to bridge the digital divide among the workforce

Salesforce aims to provide opportunities for people worldwide to learn digital skills as part of its commitment to help workers gain entry into the tech industry:

  • The Trailblazer Community is a network of 15 million people across the Salesforce ecosystem who help each other learn new skills and succeed with Salesforce. The Trailblazer Community offers an online platform to connect from anywhere, with more than 1,300 active regional and interest-based groups around the world.
  • Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform, has empowered 3.9 million people to learn in-demand skills for the future of work. With Trailhead, learners can skill up for free from anywhere and earn globally recognized credentials for careers in the Salesforce ecosystem.
  • Pathfinder Training Program is a workforce development initiative designed to train individuals with the technical, business, and soft skills necessary to pursue a career in the Salesforce ecosystem.
  • Trailblazer Connect helps people connect to mentorship and career opportunities through events and online resources.

The pandemic accelerated the pace of digital transformation, marked by a “sink or swim” mindset for companies worldwide forced to switch to a remote or hybrid model in a matter of weeks.

This switch revealed to businesses that everyone learns differently. Understanding the humans who make up the workforce can help companies work with individuals to build tailored learning journeys, based on their Digital Skills Learner Profile, to bridge the gap in a work from anywhere world led by digital-first interactions.

Explore further: Salesforce has launched a new Trailblazer Series on Salesforce+, bringing to life the unique stories and pathways of five individuals into the tech industry.

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