Employee development in the context of digitalization – Part 1

The digitisation of the world of work poses many challenges for both workers and employers. After the first 4 phases of the Candidate Journey, the targeted job search, the submission of the application to the company, ideally mobile, successful participation in the selection process and the acceptance, onboarding is now on the agenda. The accompanied entry and integration of the new employee and thus the commitment to the company. The focus should be on employee development right from the start. Here, too, the HR team is challenged.

In our two-part series on the subject of employee development in the context of digitisation, you will learn how the learning environment is changing for employees and what role HR management plays in employee development in the digital age.

Digitization changes jobs and requirements

The transformation towards a digital world of work is changing jobs, but above all the demands placed on employees. In addition, more and more new jobs will be added and old ones will no longer exist in their present form. Due to ever faster developments and innovations, the half-life of specialist knowledge is decreasing more and more. The majority of entrepreneurs even estimate that the so-called Generation Z will perform jobs that do not even exist at the moment. Generation Z includes all those who were born around the turn of the millennium and are therefore still under 20 years old at the moment.

This means that training and further education for employees already during onboarding is becoming increasingly critical to success. The lack of professional but above all technical and media knowledge of employees in increasingly narrow applicant markets can quickly become a stumbling block for digital transformation in a company. Employees must therefore develop on their own responsibility in order to get the jobs they want and to keep them. This requires not only subject-specific skills, but above all skills such as creativity, soft skills, emotional intelligence and mental flexibility. Only then do employees have the chance to assert themselves in the digital world of work.

Lifelong learning and staff development as a basic prerequisite for digitisation

Lifelong learning is becoming increasingly important in order to adapt to the rapid developments on the market. It must be a constant companion in everyday working life and an integral part of the digital working world.

Old, long-term planned seminars are no longer promising for the future. Increasing complexity, short-term and rapid changes as well as more specific demands on the employees demand lifelong learning and largely on their own responsibility. However, HR management must ensure that employees have sufficient leeway and flexibility for this in their daily work.

In order for new employees and colleagues of the core team to find their way in the digital world, further training and education are indispensable. They must increasingly diversify their skills and acquire new competences in addition to their existing ones and open up new specialist areas. A popular alternative to long-term training courses is therefore continuous learning during working hours. This is where colleagues train their colleagues and pass on the know-how from their respective fields. Training on the job is therefore of central importance. The framework for understanding and methodical tools can be acquired at universities while working.


In the future, working life will no longer depend on what one can do or what knowledge one has acquired, but on which skills one will have to learn in the future and which new areas of responsibility will expand one’s own job within the framework of digitisation. Your own workplace is increasingly becoming a daily training centre and your own colleagues a coach.

In the short term, employees will have to expand their skills more often and in smaller units in order to survive in the new world of work and not be an obstacle to digital transformation in the company. The HR team plays a key role in providing employees with the necessary structures and opportunities for lifelong learning.

In our second part on the topic, you will find out what role HR management plays in the digital world when it comes to further qualification of employees and what tasks HR managers have to cope with in this context.

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