Life-Long Learning Key to Closing Digital Skills Gap and Improving Employee Wellness

Career Climbers / 19th June 2019

With a recent report from the CBI highlighting that over two thirds of businesses have unfilled digital vacancies, The Myers-Briggs Company is advocating the importance of life-long learning this Festival of Learning (17th – 23rd June) to reverse the gap. Not only does an emphasis on continual learning and upskilling help to plug the gap, research from The Myers-Briggs Company also reveals it’s key to employee wellbeing.

Myers-Briggs’ latest study of 10,000 people across 131 countries, entitled “Well-being in the Workplace”, compared workplace well-being across geographies, occupations, genders, personality types and age. Led by Dr. Martin Boult and Dr. Rich Thompson from The Myers-Briggs Company, participants rated the effectiveness of a wide range of activities for enhancing their well-being. Overall, two of the top five most effective activities were ‘undertaking work where I learn something new’ and ‘undertaking challenging work that adds to my skills and knowledge’.

This highlights the importance for employees to consistently have opportunities to learn throughout their careers – something that employers can leverage to keep their workforce motivated while also upskilling workers to future-proof their businesses. We’re currently seeing a rapid pace of technological change, with statistics showing that there could be as many as 750,000 unfilled jobs in the European ICT sector by 2020. Companies need to retrain employees at increasingly regular intervals – something that is well worth the investment considering the importance of learning for workplace well-being.

John Hackston, Head of Thought Leadership at The Myers-Briggs Company, commented: “Learning should never stop and there is real benefit for companies that place an emphasis on training and upskilling. Not only will they keep their employees engaged, they’ll also be in prime position to upskill their workforce to face future business needs. However, to be really successful, employers should consider employees as individuals and recognise that personality greatly impacts motivation to learn, how people learn and how they then apply learning.”

Hackston continued: “Different people approach learning in different ways. For example, those with a preference for Extraversion may be naturally disposed to take in and explore new concepts by talking them through and will likely have a large range of different interests. On the other hand, introverts may prefer to work out new ideas by reflecting on them and might prefer to focus in depth on particular topics. Upskilling is an important opportunity with dual benefits for both employee and employer, but investment, time and care should be taken in planning how it will be implemented amongst employees so that everyone can enjoy the positive effects.”

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