Read time: ~4 mins
Everyone comes into contact with technology, but few have the language to talk about what it means and why it matters. From content marketers to software engineers, all employees needs a basic understanding of key technologies to communicate effectively, drive digital transformation, and achieve business outcomes. They need tech fluency.
In their webinar, Tech fluency: How to build tech skills for all, Ashley Kinney, Pluralsight Senior Product Marketing Manager, and Simon Allardice, Creative Director and Principal Author, share actionable tips to help you implement a tech fluency program and build buy-in from leaders and learners.
What is the difference between tech fluency and tech literacy?
In general, tech literacy, or digital literacy, refers to the ability to understand and use technology. Tech fluency takes it a step further. Tech fluency means having a broad, conversational understanding of key technologies (like cloud, big data, AI, and blockchain) in order to collaborate, innovate, and make decisions.
At Pluralsight, when we talk about tech fluency, we mean cultivating technological fluency at all levels of your organization in order to empower everyone to enter critical conversations. As a result, you unlock greater communication and productivity.
5 tech fluency program tips
How do you drive a tech fluency program that works at scale for technical and non-technical roles, and individual contributors and executives alike? Here are 5 tips for launching your own tech fluency program.
1. Create a goal for your tech fluency program
Start with a goal. What do you want to achieve with your tech fluency program? Here are some examples:
- I want to give everyone in the workforce equal access to information for more efficient collaboration.
- I want to create a continuous culture of learning across the organization.
- I want to prepare the organization for a large-scale digital transformation that involves new technologies.
- I want to upskill and reskill existing talent to fill open roles instead of hiring from outside of the organization.
2. Decide which tech skills and topics to focus on
After you’ve created a goal for your tech fluency program, consider the topics and skills you want learners to walk away with. Take these three factors into account:
Your tech fluency goal
What topics will learners need to help you meet your tech fluency goal?
For example, if your goal is to prepare your organization for a cloud migration, you’ll want your workforce to understand how the cloud works and the value their role can provide during this shift. If your goal is to reskill existing talent to fill technical roles, you may want to focus on cybersecurity, agile, or software development.
Volatile tech skills and topics
Technology changes at a rapid rate. While you want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, you also don’t want to invest too much into a topic area or skill set that changes quickly. Certain topics, like cloud computing, strike the balance between relevancy and stability. Focusing on topics like this can help you maximize your tech fluency ROI.
The learner experience
Tech fluency is not compliance training. In other words, make it fun!
Encouraging employees to learn about certain tech topics adds value even if the topic isn’t tied to strategic organizational goals. Let learners explore topics, like the metaverse and extended reality, that drive engagement and create excitement.
To deepen learning, try creating discussion groups for certain courses or relevant podcasts, books, or YouTube series. This gives employees the chance to connect with new colleagues who share similar interests, and can open the door to future collaboration between teams.
3. Get executive buy-in for a tech fluency program
Driving engagement with an end-to-end tech fluency program involves more than video courses. You also need to support learners along their journey. And an executive partnership is one of the best ways to do that.
With executive support, it’s easier to make tech fluency an organization-wide initiative. Together, you can develop a multi-year learning plan that encourages engagement and measures goal progress. You might create learning cohorts, update team progress in monthly town hall meetings, or develop incentives for participation.
4. Develop a communications plan
Once you get executive buy-in, you need to get learner buy-in. Market your tech fluency program internally with a communications plan.
Start with some context: Explain why you’re implementing a tech fluency program. Tie it into individual and organizational goals. For example, a tech fluency program can boost an organization’s ROI, but it can also help individuals meet personal goals like transitioning to a new role or earning a promotion.
If you’ve gotten executive support for your tech fluency program, ask them to send the initial communication. When leaders promote a tech fluency program, you’re more likely to see buy-in from all levels of your organization.
5. Update your tech fluency program
Once you’ve rolled out your tech fluency program, use it to uncover organizational knowledge gaps and identify candidates to upskill into new roles.
As you go, make adjustments where needed. Are learners struggling with a particular module? What topics are gaining traction in your industry? Update your program to meet learner needs and keep up with new technological advancements.
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