Last updated: 25.10.13

SMEs 'must' improve digital training

Results of a survey conducted by TalkTalk Business indicate that small and medium-sized enterprises, also known as SMEs, need to introduce better digital training in the workplace in order for employees to succeed.

According to this survey of 1,000 UK employees from various sectors, 44 per cent would prefer to look online for information about a specific firm, while 42 per cent of respondents expect SMEs to have their own mobile website.

The survey results also highlighted areas of training around digital tasks that could be improved, with 15% of employees questioned in cities across the north of England and Scotland were revealed to be struggling to carry out basic digital tasks such as word-processing.

Meanwhile, around one-third said they thought proper training and development around IT skills would give them a boost within their career and open up new opportunities.

Managing Director of TalkTalk Business Charles Bligh noted that the internet has undergone significant changes over a relatively short timeframe and businesses can no longer get away with simply having a website, rather that they needed to be "effective online" and make a conscious effort to do so.

He added: "Employees are crying out to improve their digital skills and by making just a few small changes to things like your email and web address, you can boost your chances for growth."

TalkTalk Business worked along the digital skills charity Go ON UK to launch a campaign in the north-east of the UK that aimed to improve digital capabilities across the region.

Newcastle-based fashion retailer Jules B is an independent business that changed their business strategy to account for the growing popularity of retail online, with 60% of their organisation refocused on online shopping.

Tom Baxter, Head of Ecommerce and Development at Jules B, said the future of the business and its growth is a main priority for them, and having a "functional, aesthetically driven website that represents the ambitions of the company and what it stands for is critical".

Earlier in 2013, video specialist company simpleshow conducted their own study which showed that 52% of learning and development managers use digital training methods to educate employees in a more interactive and engaging way.