Insights into the ideas and innovations that are transforming project planning and delivery

  • February 22, 2018

How to build a digitally savvy workforce in E&C

We all must acknowledge:  The time for digital transformation in the E&C industry is now. But, this proclamation requires more than simply investing money into software, hardware, or applications—you also need people to adopt, implement, use, and optimize the technology.   People are still at the heart of business. How people leverage technology can significantly improve and advance the way business is conducted. The pressing challenge remains: in an industry with a labor shortage, how do you attract digitally savvy talent?

Download: Five Keys to Unlocking Digital Transformation

Why the need for digital talent?

Technology has moved beyond simply changing processes and how things are managed. Digital transformation has spearheaded roles that never existed before in E&C, including: the BIM Manager, GM of Innovation, and Digital Delivery Officer. Technology will continue to be critical in the next wave of growth in the industry. Employees in the industry will need to be upskilled to help manage and implement digital transformation, and organizations must attract talent eager to harness the power of technology.

How technology drives productivity

Organizations rely on a competitive edge in an industry driven by productivity gains. Margins continue to dwindle, the industry is becoming more fragmented, and there’s a challenge to recruit talent and a skilled workforce. These obstacles, amongst others, are impacting the rate of productivity and efficiency. Technology helps empower productivity gains by creating a better flow of information across the supply chain, improved efficiency through standardization, reduced costs, and efficient project delivery.

Should everyone be trained to be an expert?

The simple answer is, no—not everyone needs to be at the same level of competency. The degree of training and digital savviness will depend on the role type, function, and level of interaction with technology. The workforce can be segmented between highly skilled experts with specialized skills and those who simply need to be aware that the systems or standards exist. Investing in a phased certification program—ideally provided by the vendor—will help upskill the workforce based on their competency requirements.

Establishing digital talent within an organization

The biggest perceived technology challenge is a lack of qualified employees, according to recent BCG research. So, how do you encourage and grow digital talent? Organizations must invest and nurture the existing workforce’s skill set and eagerness to innovate, while recruiters need to evaluate tech savviness in their hiring criterion. For example, Bechtel created a program called the Future Fund to encourage their employees to innovate and promote emerging trends and technology. The Future Fund provides an opportunity for the workforce to unleash ideas that will help increase productivity and reduce costs across projects. Read the full case study here. The bottom line: digital transformation is a culture shift that will impact the entire organization. Digital transformation is migrating from the traditional ways of working and will require the support and commitment from everyone, ranging from C-level staff to new hires. Want to know more? Read the full case study in the report.

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