New Salesforce Digital Skills Research Unpacks How the Global Workforce Learns

3 mins read

DigitalCFO Newsroom | 20 May 2022

74% of Singapore’s workforce falls into “Future Learners” – people who feel prepared to adapt to change and are hopeful about their ability to keep up with the pace.

Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, has revealed new findings that outline different types of digital skills learners around the world, including Singapore. According to the 2022 Global Digital Skills Index, there are three key categories of profiles — Future Learners, Face-Value Learners, and Familiar Learners. Grouped based on learning similarities, these profiles aim to arm businesses with insights on how to help upskill employees more effectively.

Despite the growing skills gap, 74% of respondents in Singapore identify as Future Learners, referring to people who feel prepared to adapt to change and are hopeful about their ability to keep up with the pace of the changing world. 

“The pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation and therefore a widening digital skills gap. On the bright side, there is increasing awareness of the urgency to upskill, and growing optimism among employees around their abilities to learn new skills.” said Sujith Abraham, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Salesforce ASEAN. “For businesses as well as individuals, getting a deeper understanding into the different types of digital skills learner profiles can help us pursue more tailored and flexible training in order to help bridge the growing skills gap.”

1. Future Learners Are Hopeful And Agile

Future Learners (74%) 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. They also want to feel challenged, and learn continuously.

Despite Future Learners feeling most prepared and confident to thrive in the workforce, these employees want to feel challenged, and continuously learn — 94% globally 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 in turn creates new business opportunities to put newly acquired digital skills to use, and support talent retention.

2. Face-Value Learners Are Prepared For Today’s Skills

Face-Value Learners are workers who view themselves as prepared for today’s digital skills and are most comfortable in current working environments, resulting in them being less likely to be proactive in the acquisition of new knowledge like coding, encryption and cybersecurity, and AI. In Singapore, 11% identify as Face-Value Learners – these individuals learn best through visual and interactive activities, and from reading and note-taking throughout training.

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

3. Familiar Learners Are Just Starting Their Journey

In Singapore, 15% of respondents identify as Familiar Learners who feel prepared to adapt to change and develop the digital skills needed today and in the future. Operating at a beginner level across digital workplace skills, this group of learners are not actively developing current or future skills such as encryption and cybersecurity, or ecommerce and digital trade skills in the workplace. Familiar Learners are early in their digital workplace readiness journey and may be unsure of where to begin.

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

Salesforce’s Pledge To Bridge The Digital Divide Among Our Workforce

The upskilling journey should be a collective effort – employers investing in tailored learning journeys suited to various learner profiles, and workers taking charge of their own learning  with tools and initiative available. 

Resources include Salesforce’s free online learning platform Trailhead, which has helped more than 3.97 million people learn new skills for the future of work, including 85,000 in ASEAN, and its Trailblazer Community, a network of 15 million offering everyone an online platform to learn alongside Salesforce peers and experts wherever they are.