Training teams to tackle and improve the digitization processes of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is one of the main objectives of the Spanish Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR). The transition to a competitive society and productive tissue was an option a few years ago, but the health crisis caused by COVID-19 has made it a necessity.

The items destined to complete the digital transformation of citizens and workers, especially in SMEs, account for 11% of the €69,500 million in non-repayable funds Spain expects to receive over the next two years from the Next Generation EUEuropean Fund. It is financially and objectively the most ambitious instrument ever approved by the European Union (EU).

We have already received the first 9,000 million euros in pre-financing and expect to land a first regular transfer before the end of this year.

The goal is to increase the annual gross domestic product (GDP) by two percentage points in the period 2021-2023 and create 800,000 jobs. To do this, the PRTR is fed by four main arteries: the ecological transition; digital transformation; social and territorial cohesion; and equality.

As for the digital plan, the country plans to allocate €4,066 million to the digitization of SMEs and €3,593 million to the post promoting digital skills.

The latter’s priority is to promote the digital transformation of businesses and society. “It is a program that targets the entire population. It consists of four axes: digital training for citizens, the development of digital skills for education, training in digital skills in working life for both workers and the unemployed, and promotion of specialists in information and communication technologies (ICT). )” explains Jose Fuster Andrés, European Funds Director at Banco Sabadell, in the webinar NGEU Funds: team training, necessary for the digitization of SMEs, organized through Banco Sabadell’s HUB Empresa.

Why technology transformation is crucial

“We don’t live in an era of change, we live in an era of change,” says Lluc Guarro, Manager at Roca Salvatella. Social changes are becoming shorter and faster.

The internet revolution has revolutionized the way people live and work. The advent of mobile phones has ushered in the era of the interconnectedness of people, which has given way to the interconnectedness of things. And in the same way, companies are increasingly linked to their customers.

“Disruptive changes are being experienced in an increasingly shorter period of time. Now the environment is uncertain. Crucially, companies have the ability to evolve constantly.

The key is no longer to be big, but to be fast and flexible, something that also applies to employees,” says Guarro. In the so-called dating society (data society), it is critical that companies and employees adapt new technologies to their industries and their intra-work and customer relationships.

The most important competences for the digital worker

The European Commission’s target is for 80% of the community’s citizens to have basic digital skills by 2030. Guarro lists the most important:

  • Strategic vision: employees must use the technologies and data and how they come to shape production models that are increasingly malleable and undergoing transformation. It is about “sniffing, exploring, adapting and measuring”.
  • Information management: It is important to know how to access the company’s information, as well as to be able to understand it in order to get the most out of the job. It is the ability to “search, access, organize and share”.
  • Digital communication: in the age of social networks, it is imperative to have an online interaction strategy with the customers. “The information has to be very direct and the messages very specific”, explains the Manager, who summarizes it as “talk, create, share and participate”.
  • Networking: The situation resulting from the pandemic has revealed a paradigm shift in the labor ecosystem. The traditional vertical hierarchy is evolving towards more cross-cutting projects with greater cross-departmental collaboration and new external alliances. It is summarized in “connecting, co-creating, breaking and coordinating”.
  • Continuous learning: it is important to be constantly on the move to be better prepared for the inevitable changes. Automation and digitization will destroy millions of jobs in the coming years, but also create new ones. That’s why it’s crucial to prepare now for this leap into tomorrow. It is the competence to “evolve, relate, test and be self-directed”.
  • Digital knowledge: it is about the competence that makes it possible to put everyday technology into practice in the work environment. The verbs that define it are “understand, use, apply and translate”.
  • Customer focus: take advantage of the momentum and opportunities offered by the digital age to open new channels of communication and interaction with customers, with whom it is necessary to “understand, empathize, communicate and satisfy”.
  • Leadership: it’s important to drive change from above and set an example for the rest of the workforce. This is done by being “self-leading, empathetic, motivating and exemplary”.

How to start this digital evolution?

From Roca Salvatella, they recommend taking a series of actions that will help advance this paradigm shift:

  1. Use Google to explore
  2. Attend expert talks, such as those hosted by TED Talks
  3. To hear podcast to be updated
  4. Find YouTube tutorials on digital skills
  5. Encourage the use of internal management applications at work, such as Google Workspace
  6. Keep social media up to date
  7. Connect with the customer and increase feedback through, for example, online surveys
  8. Be a leader to share knowledge with colleagues
  9. Have a desire to learn and improve
  10. Read books and access courses, many of which are free
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