How to Successfully Manage the Human Element of your Digital Transformation
When we talk about the digital transformation of industry and companies, it can be easy to focus only on the need to update technologies and processes and omit everything else. For a truly successful and sustainable digital transformation however, successful management of the people within your organisation is just as, or perhaps even more, important.
While factors like timeframes, budgets and projected ROI are important in building a framework for your digital transformation, all your planning will fall by the wayside if the human element is ignored. Your employees, after all, are the ones who will be utilising the new technologies to implement your digital vision. So how can you successfully manage the human element of digitalisation in your company?
Keep the lines of communication open
Digitalisation can be a scary process for employees. There may be misconceptions among your team that they may eventually be replaced by a machine, or older employees may be concerned that they will not be able to keep up in a highly digitised environment. The best way to avoid confusion and a fear of the unknown is by frequently communicating with staff across every level of your organisation.
In fact, it has been found that companies with senior executives that communicate with all employees are 8 times more likely to achieve transformation success compared to those who don’t employ it.
Communication can be done in the form of regular email blasts, team meetings or an easy to access FAQs page or database of information. Some topics worth broaching include how digitisation will affect employee workloads, targets, timeframes, bonuses and job security.
Make sure that your employees know communication is a two-way street: while it’s great that you are providing information, employees should also feel like they can approach you with any questions, concerns or suggestions. By keeping your employees informed every step of the process, you can keep morale at an all time high as well as increase acceptance and success of your digital transformation.
Promote ongoing learning
With digitisation comes the need to grasp new skills and processes. In order to retain as much of your staff as possible, encourage ongoing learning. This can be done by investing in the resources such as Q&A sessions, FAQ sheets and refresher training to help employees stay abreast of technological developments. Encouraging upskilling in the form of apprenticeships or short courses is also a fantastic way of ensuring your workforce keeps pace with technology.
While we are talking about digital transformation, it would be wrong to believe that technical skills are the only thing employees will need. The World Economic Forum has identified soft skills such as creativity, people management, emotional intelligence and coordinating with others as being vital for the workforce of the future. Encouraging collaboration and social interaction between different departments, as well as more formal training sessions, are all good ways of promoting soft skills during digital transformation.
Investing in your employees also makes them feel empowered and more sure of their role within the company. If you are at a loss for where to begin, your HR department can help you identify the capabilities of individuals within the company as well as understand where the skill gaps are.
Promoting a culture of learning allows you to future-proof your company by encouraging constant upskilling and growth.
Work alongside change agents
Change agents are employees who lead by example and drive your agenda. In this case, you want to choose a select few change agents who understand the benefits of digital transformation and how to utilise technology for ongoing company benefit.
While some change agents should be key players in the company such as managers and supervisors, you should also look beyond the senior-most level. Your IT department in particular has the expertise needed to provide internal training and support to others on the implementation of your digital shift. Create and assign roles to members of your IT department, but also, highlight other employees who are readily embracing your digital transformation. By praising employees who are exploring the benefits of and championing digital transformation, you can also inspire their peers to become involved.
Finally, don’t shy away from choosing disruptors as change agents. These individuals are creative mavericks who can provide constructive criticism and unique perspectives on implementing digital change.
Remember that no matter how advanced or spectacular the new technology is that you are implementing, people will always be the backbone of your company. A human team will always connect better and deeper with customers, are more capable of creativity and innovation, and possess unique talents. While digital transformation is enabled by technology, it is ultimately led by people.
Let Ai Group Talent Solutions help you future-proof your business and manage your digital transformation successfully. Our innovative solutions include graduate and internship programs as well as an industry-leading Higher Apprenticeships program. Equip your business with the talent you need today – contact us to find out more about our Higher Apprenticeships here.
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