Someone somewhere has called digital literacy a language. And no doubt it is a potent and powerful one. It’s a language that organisations in the digital age are using to communicate, collaborate and compete for information. But fluency in digital literacy is founded on the robustness of the user’s digital skills.

In that sense, digital skills are fundamental building blocks. And uncovering and developing these skills is a crucial endeavour for any organisation.

Organisations like yours that embrace this tenet will be quick to see success. So here are some basic steps that will help you get started, so you can prioritise your next actions:

Step 1. Think about basic skills that all of your employees must have.

A level of digital awareness is required from every employee. It is important to reflect on the collective basic skills that help employees stay productive and complete their tasks optimally.

Consider these questions as you define the basic skills for your employees – Do you use certain software packages? What about core solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM), payroll systems or a knowledge base? Perhaps you utilise spreadsheets? Are there apps that help you do business on the go? What about collaborative tools? How do you log onto these systems while being aware of the security protocols in place?

Step 2. Reflect on how these basic skills tie in with your organisational goals and objectives.

In this step, consider what level of skills is required for operational excellence. Think about short-term and long-term growth plans, and evaluate these against your organisational objectives.

In most cases, you will consider refining and adding to the list of basic skills developed in Step 1. Consider these questions as you do so: How quickly do you wish to adapt to new and emerging technology? How comfortable are you working with different tools, and different features on different tools? What about working with different devices – mobiles, laptops or tablets? Do you find learning intuitive and simple or complex and cumbersome?

Step 3. Define the existing skills gap by evaluating the job roles in your workforce.

Now consider what skills are required that are specific to the job roles in your organisation. Go rung by rung – at the functional, team and job-role level – and evaluate the skills. This activity will help you attract the right talent. It will also help you optimise your talent management, training and onboarding procedures.

Further, define the skills gap. Take into consideration the employees who are currently working in your organisation and baseline their level of skill competence versus the skills required for the jobs at hand. The skills-gap matrix will give you a very real idea of your status and show you which skills are missing to match the competence level you require.

Step 4. Enable your workforce by facilitating learning, training and up-skilling.

In this step, contemplate how to overcome the skills gap and raise the competence levels of your employees. Consider a variety of methods – hands-on workshops, formal training sessions and bite-size micro-learning modules, as well as experiential on-the-job learning. Encourage learning through an organisational culture that should be both supportive and goal-oriented. And use this approach to enable employees to get excited about their up-skilling journey.

Without having clear knowledge on how to proceed and what considerations to make, any digital transformation effort you undertake may seem daunting. But with the right strategic partner and a sound strategy, you can uncover hidden opportunities. See how Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia achieved this and unleashed the power of its people and systems.