July 21, 2024

Eloy Zarriello

Innovative Mindset

5 Challenges of Workforce Transformation in the 21st Century

5 min read


The world has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Companies are no longer as powerful and influential as they once were, because smaller startups can now compete with them. The same goes for large corporations, which have to fight against smaller businesses that are more nimble and agile than ever before. While the internet has connected us all like never before, it’s also made it harder for companies to keep up with all of the new technology and processes required for success.

Not everyone is ready for the digital era.

It’s not just the young people who need to learn how to use technology. Many older workers are also not digitally literate and may be afraid of it. They may have been raised in an era when computers were still a novelty, so they don’t know how to use them for their jobs or even in their personal lives.

A recent study by Microsoft found that only 30{b863a6bd8bb7bf417a957882dff2e3099fc2d2367da3e445e0ec93769bd9401c} of U.S.-based employees say they’re “very confident” when using technology at work, while another 40{b863a6bd8bb7bf417a957882dff2e3099fc2d2367da3e445e0ec93769bd9401c} say they are only “somewhat confident.” In addition, more than half (54{b863a6bd8bb7bf417a957882dff2e3099fc2d2367da3e445e0ec93769bd9401c}) of Americans said they would feel more comfortable working with someone who has similar interests as them–and this includes their boss!

It takes a lot of time to train employees.

Training employees is a time-consuming and expensive process. It takes much more than simply sending an email with a link to a training module, and even when it’s done well, it’s often only effective for one person at a time.

Training is also difficult to scale because you have to invest in creating the content for each new hire individually. If your company hires 10 people at once who need training on some new software or process, then those 10 employees will all get different content during their onboarding period–which means that instead of spending money creating one great piece of training material that could be used over and over again (and therefore saving money), you’ll have 11 versions instead!

Employees are overwhelmed by their jobs.

If you’re like most people, you probably feel a bit overwhelmed by your job. According to research from Stanford University, the average worker spends 28{b863a6bd8bb7bf417a957882dff2e3099fc2d2367da3e445e0ec93769bd9401c} of their time on “unrelated work.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: according to McKinsey & Company, Americans spend nearly two weeks per year working on things that have nothing at all to do with getting their main job done.

That’s not even counting all those meetings that are supposedly about improving productivity but actually just waste time (or worse yet–they don’t accomplish anything).

So what can we do about this? Well first off let’s look at some ways companies have tried to help employees manage workloads:

Businesses are not investing enough in training and development.

Training and development is expensive. Training and development takes time, which means it can be difficult to see results immediately. Training and development takes place over a long period of time, so it’s not always effective or worthwhile for companies who need immediate results from their investments in people.

Finally, training and development may not always be the best use of company resources–if you’re hiring someone who already has all the skills needed for the job (and therefore won’t require any additional training), then investing in them isn’t necessary!

People have different learning styles and preferences for how they learn new skills.

Your employees have different learning styles and preferences for how they learn new skills. If you’re not aware of this, it could be a challenge to your workforce transformation strategy.

Learning styles are ways in which people process information, such as by seeing or hearing it; they are usually categorized as visual, auditory and kinesthetic (hands-on). For example:

  • A person with a visual learning style prefers illustrations or charts over words when trying to understand something new.
  • Someone with an auditory preference would rather listen than read about something that needs comprehension.
  • Those who prefer kinesthetic activity will learn best by doing things rather than just listening or reading about them

Companies must change their workforce transformation strategies to be successful in the 21st century digital economy.

Companies must change their workforce transformation strategies to be successful in the 21st century digital economy.

In order to overcome these challenges, companies must:

  • Understand the nature of these challenges and how they can be addressed.
  • Invest in new technologies that will help them achieve their goals faster, easier and better than before.


The digital era is here, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Companies must change their workforce transformation strategies to be successful in the 21st century digital economy. The five challenges we’ve outlined above are just a few examples of how businesses are struggling with this transition. However, there are plenty of solutions available for overcoming these obstacles–including training programs that allow employees to learn at their own pace and on their own time; gamification techniques like badges or points systems; and more innovative methods such as virtual reality simulations which allow workers to practice new skills in virtual environments before using them on real-world projects (or even other people!).

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