Audit Wales invests in staff digital skills
In this blog, Audit Wales staff Victoria Walters and Alice King share what they’ve learnt from their work on creating a Digital Skills Framework for upskilling colleagues.
Digital technology already plays a major role in our work but in future, our dependence on technology is inevitably going to ramp up. The key to unlocking the potential of technology is staff confidence and digital skills.
We’re in a similar position to many other organisations around the world. We recognise we need to do more to grow our staff’s confidence in their digital skills.
So, we learnt from other organisations, and began to develop our own approach to digital upskilling.
"We did research on what was out there so that we could build on frameworks that already exist. Other organisations helped us, and now we want to share our learning too.
A really important thing we did was to survey our staff to figure out what digital skills they were least confident in. This gave us a much clearer idea of the issues we should focus on.
We then created a framework of skills set out in five categories: Foundation skills, Everyday working, Communicating and Collaborating, Handling information, and Transacting.
The framework sets out a core level of skills that we want all staff, at all levels, to develop. There are definitely pros and cons to this approach, and we did think at one point that we should maybe have 3 different levels of skills, or that we should specify skills for certain job roles. But ultimately, we thought we risked overcomplicating things, so we kept it simple."
The framework is available online to everyone in the organisation. It includes an explanation of what the framework is, how to use it, and staff are then guided down learning paths, which are curated sets of learning resources in Linkedin Learning.
"We’d piloted Linkedin Learning during the pandemic and seeing the flexibility it offered, and the positive feedback it received, we rolled it out to all staff. This platform seemed like the best option to link resources to from the framework itself.
I worked with the project team over the next few months to map the framework content to Linkedin resources and also create resources ourselves at Audit Wales which we then added to Linkedin Learning pathways.
During this time, we iteratively developed the framework by piloting and improving based on staff feedback we received. This enabled some positive improvements which made the framework less complicated and more user friendly.
Our IT team supported with creating the online page to host the framework, and smoothed out any niggles. And our Comms team helped us develop a launch plan which included a 'lunch and learn' event, launch article for our internal comms channels, blogs, personas and case studies, drop-in sessions and attendance at team meetings.
The project team brought individuals together from all areas of the organisation and was a fantastic example of positive communication and collaborative working."
To embed the framework, we’ve asked our managers to include it in their one-to-one discussions with their teams, as a standing agenda item.
Linkedin allows you to monitor which teams and individuals are using the framework, so we’ve great ongoing intelligence about the use of the framework. This is going to be great in helping us to iterate and improve the framework, and to help us target teams that haven’t yet engaged.
In the 2 months since we launched the framework, we’ve had great engagement with 160 of our 280 staff accessing the Digital Skills Framework and 249 activating their Linkedin licenses (which is a significant leap from where we were pre-launch).
We’re encouraging colleagues to share their learning and the ambition is to evolve, as digital skills develop, to version 2.0. We’ll keep you updated…
If you have any learning on digital skills frameworks that you’d like to share, or if you’d like to know more about our framework, please contact the team at HR.Training@audit.wales.
Keep an eye out for our report ‘Digital Inclusion in Wales’ (due out in early March), which reflects on issues and trends around the wider theme of digital inclusion.
About the Authors
Victoria Walters is the People and Organisational Development Manager at Audit Wales. Victoria has worked in Human Resources and Learning & Development within the private and third sector prior to joining Audit Wales, and believes in supporting individuals and their organisations to perform at their very best.
Alice King started her career at Audit Wales on the graduate trainee program in 2015. Since finishing the trainee scheme and qualifying as a Chartered Account, she has progressed to the role of Audit Lead, delivering a portfolio of financial audits across the Welsh public sector. Alice leads large teams of varying experience and is committed to developing her team members, including their Digital Skills!