Learn how digital transformation is impacting the workplace and the proactive steps you can take to future-proof your organization.
According to the National Skill Coalition, as many as 1 in 3 workers lack the digital skills necessary to do their jobs. That makes digital transformation challenging unless business and HR leaders act now to change that statistic.
Even workers with strong digital skills may have fragmented knowledge. They may be highly proficient in one area while lacking basic skills in another. Getting your workplace ready for digital transformation requires assessing your digital maturity, identifying skills gaps, and taking proactive measures to prepare your team for the future.
You’ve probably heard that the majority of digital transformations fail. A McKinsey and Company study says that as many as 70% of transformations do not produce the desired results. Many organizations don’t prepare the workplace for transformation or foster a culture that supports change.
So, how do you do that? Let’s take a look.
How is digital transformation impacting the workplace?
Smart technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning, automation, robotics, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are fundamentally changing the workplace. Not only are they changing where people work — think a remote or hybrid workforce — but they’re impacting how people work, too.
Digital transformation is happening across 4 work areas:
- Business process transformation, such as automation, streamlined workflows, AI-enhanced platforms, and self-serve options, is changing the way work gets done.
- Business model transformation allows organizations to serve a wider customer base online or leverage cloud technology.
- Domain transformation creates opportunities to enter new markets.
- Organizational transformation impacts the cultural foundation and the employee experience.
Assessing your digital readiness
The “2021 Deloitte Digital Transformation Executive Survey” showed a clear link between a company’s digital maturity and performance. Companies with deeper digital capabilities are more resilient, better prepared to manage, and show significantly better financial performance.
Companies with deeper digital capabilities are more resilient, better prepared to manage, and show significantly better financial performance.
A digital readiness assessment can help you prepare your organization in 3 specific ways:
- Identify digital talent and skills gaps
- Build digital competence
- Future-proof your teams
To reach digital maturity, organizations must first do a skills inventory of existing employees. This can help identify skills gaps you need to fill by adding team members, outsourcing, or training. By sharing digital knowledge and preparing your workforce for digital transformation, you are setting the stage for success.
Create a culture of workers who are continuously learning new skills and evolving processes. This will future-proof your team to handle anything that happens.
How to prepare for digital transformation in the workplace
More so than technology, workplace culture can be the biggest hurdle in enacting workplace digital transformation. Digital workplace transformation initiatives must overcome employee emotional concerns and resistance to change. Workers worry that they may not be able to learn or master the new technology or that evolving tech may make their jobs obsolete.
To prepare the workplace for digital transformation, HR departments can take proactive steps to alleviate some of these concerns. That begins with building a culture that embraces change while supporting team members with the upskilling and tools they need for success.
Here are some of the ways organizations are preparing for digital transformation in the workplace.
Upskill your workforce
93% of CEOs introducing upskilling programs see increased productivity, better talent acquisition and retention, and enhanced agility.
Gartner HR research reports that 58% of the workforce will need new skills to manage the digital future. Upskilling your current workplace is essential for ensuring your workforce is ready for tech changes ahead.
The more comfortable team members are with new technology, systems, or process, the less fearful they will be.
Training your workforce is an investment and can take time. There’s good news here, though. A PwC survey reports that 93% of CEOs introducing upskilling programs see increased productivity, better talent acquisition and retention, and enhanced agility. Companies that have invested in training and become digital leaders report impressive results, such as:
- 72% average adoption rate for digital tools
- 84% increase in innovation
- 17% higher profit margin growth over 3 years
The bottom line? Upskilling pays off.
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Ensure clear communication
Often organizations make changes without taking the time to explain why a change is necessary. Yet, we all know that when workers understand the logic behind a decision, they are more likely to support it.
Organizational change requires clear and consistent communication to minimize apprehension. When team members understand the necessity for change and believe the organization will provide them with training and tools to make it happen, they’ll be more positive about moving forward. Transparency goes a long way in building confidence.
Involve team members in the process
Involving team members in the planning and process, providing them ample opportunities for feedback, and letting them help shape the transformation increases buy-in.
Organizational change can be challenging, but putting a priority on the people involved in the change is one key to success. Companies need to remember that it’s not just a technological change; it’s a people change, too.
Foster newfound agility
Over the past few years, employees have shown incredible resiliency. Office workers transitioned to working from home. Employees were asked to work in ways they never had before. Companies created new policies, procedures, and systems on the fly, and people adapted in remarkable ways.
HR teams can build on this resiliency and agility by reminding team members of how well they have adapted under stressful circumstances. This newfound agility is exactly what’s needed for digital transformation in the workplace — they already have experience.
Mastering digital workplace transformation initiatives
Implementing digital technology alone won’t produce the desired results if you don’t prepare team members for digital transformation. For business leaders and HR executives, providing the right foundation for employees to succeed is crucial.
A successful digital transformation requires leadership from the top and buy-in at every level of the organization.