The more digital the work, the happier the people?

According to a study by Gallup (in cooperation with Amazon Web Services) with more than 30,000 employees and 3,000 HR managers from 19 countries, the results are clear:

  • Je mehr digitale Skills die Arbeitnehmer*innen haben, desto
    • more they deserve,
      • In addition: 40 – 65% higher wages than employees who perform a job without a computer.
    • are more satisfied with their work situation,
      • 43 – 72 % depending on personal digital skillset
    • and report greater job security.

Self-directed learning, informal education, and employer-provided training play a more important role in learning digital skills than formal education.

  • 98% of employees who have participated in digital skills training in the last 12 months report at least one positive career benefit.
  • However, only 27% of employees with digital skillsets said they learned them in formal training.
  • Rather, they learned these skills through self-directed learning (56%), online videos (41%), informal on-the-job learning (37%), and employer-provided training (31%).

But digital workers cannot be lumped together. The study distinguishes three groups:

  • Basic digital skills (e.g., email, word processing, posting to social media).
  • Intermediate digital skills (e.g., drag-and-drop website design, application troubleshooting, data analysis).
  • Advanced digital skills (e.g., cloud architecture or maintenance, software or application development, artificial intelligence and machine learning)

The “higher” a person’s digital skillset is, the higher their wages and job satisfaction will be on average – that’s obvious. At the same time, it was striking that advanced digital skills benefited greatly from employer training. So it needs proper investment here.

The benefits of digital skills for employees are thus evident at a time when recruiters are desperately seeking workers with these skillsets. In this respect, the direction of travel seems clear …

As previous Gallup research has shown, job quality ratings and job engagement are closely linked, suggesting that digitally skilled workers* are less likely than other employees to engage in actual or silent termination. Amid concerns about a possible recession, digitally skilled workers* are more confident than others that their jobs are secure. With intense competition for digital skills around the world, employers can benefit from investing in employee training, creating a win-win dynamic that strengthens the business while developing the workforce.

To answer the question posed in the title: I would not draw this conclusion. These are average values and it certainly depends on whether they are knowledge workers, how the team is put together, what flexibility and training opportunities exist, and so on.

But one thing seems clear: it doesn’t hurt individuals to build increasingly complex digital skillsets on top of it.

And directed at companies, it can be stated: Investing in the further training of employees promotes satisfaction and competitiveness. In this respect a win-win situation in the existing system 😉

By the way, you can find the complete study as a PDF here.


Article published on piqd on Oct. 17, 2022 as a reference to the Gallup article Digital Workers Find Higher Pay, Job Satisfaction, Security

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