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The #1 Tool in Measuring Workforce Digital Dexterity: A Mirror

By Craig Roth | December 13, 2022 | 0 Comments

Digital Workplace Applications

After five years of working with user surveys about digital dexterity I have consistently encountered one inconvenient truth: These surveys start out being about the users, but the results are as much about the company and people asking the questions.

Unfortunately, that frequently comes as a surprise to the owners of these surveys. In addition to supplying my own questionnaires I have reviewed many surveys written by clients.  And too many of them seem to studiously avoid questions that could reflect back on those administering the survey. For example, I see many questions about workers’ attitudes towards digital technology and their skills; vanishingly few questions about how the company culture, policies, or supplied technology influence those attitudes.

For the UTA Readiness Index I decided to divide the 16 questions into 2 parts to draw out this distinction: desire and ability. The ability statements are there to probe various barriers, such as “I have the technology I need …”, “I can decide how my work gets done …”, “company culture discourages …”, and “I am encouraged by management …”.

This distinction is important because, once the results of a user survey come in, those in charge need to decide what action to take. If workers are apprehensive about new technologies or don’t want to collaborate, it will be necessary to probe the roots of these attitudes and think about how to change them. But if the mirror points back at the organization, the challenge will be to change culture, policies, or technology delivery to help workers realize the level of digital adoption they are ready for.

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