There is a chronic under-investment in training around digital subjects. This leads to employee turnover, a lack of innovation and a failure to keep up with digital evolution.
Every time I speak at a conference I am shocked. Shocked by how many of the people there pay for their own tickets. Instead of companies paying for training, employees pay out of their own pocket. In fact many are even required to take time off of work to attend the conference.
Although I am shocked, I am not altogether surprised. It shows a lack of understanding. A lack of understanding about the importance of investing in staff. Nowhere is this more true than when talking about digital skills.
The truth that makes digital training unique
We can moan about how management don’t get it. How they don’t understand our need for training. But we are the ones that need to get better at explaining. We cannot expect them to see the need, especially if they don’t come from a digital background.
After all, few of their other staff need the same level of ongoing training that we do. Although things change in other professions, they don’t change at the rate they do in our sector.
We need to get better at making this difference obvious. We need to put the rate of change in terms they understand.
For example the iPhone has only been around 10 years. We have only had apps 8 years. Responsive design has only been available to us for 6 years.
The fact that the iPhone has only been around for a relatively short length of time shows the speed of change in our sector.
We can also talk about the torrent of new technology emerging on an almost daily basis. Virtual reality, wearables, chatbots, AI, augmented reality etc.
Now you might not need to know about these technologies for your job. But you can explain that for every one your boss has heard about their are five more in your field that he hasn’t.
Of course he might not care that you are slipping behind in your skills. He might not even care that an under-investment in training leads to higher staff turnover. But he will care when he realises it will impact his bottom line.