Digital transformations in the workplace

Businesses have been undergoing digital transformations for at least two decades, yet, many are still making the mistake of thinking that technology in and of itself will deliver desired results. 

Any successful digital transformation requires people to do things differently. And if staff aren’t given the tools or support to do that, then the technology is not going to deliver the expected outcomes. How one person learns a new solution, and how technology needs to support the way they do their job will likely be completely different to another person.

When planning the cultural change that needs to go alongside a transformation, there are several key elements to consider:

  • An organisation’s leaders need to be champions of change. They must take a step up and be prepared to say positive things about the transformation journey. If they are telling staff: ‘just do it how you’ve always done it’, the business will not get anywhere.
  • Make sure the technology is designed to make people’s lives easier. Technology should complement the way work gets done. Put something in that complicates what employees do, and they just won’t use it.
  • Offer incentives to adopt new systems. But remember that incentives look different for everyone.
  • People learn in different ways. Some might prefer bite-sized learning options, while others will prefer deeper-dive sessions. Offering options that work around people’s learning styles will help get the most out of the technology.
  • Timely and targeted interventions matter. Only looking at the process or delivering one training session at the start of a transformation won’t cut it unless they are followed up further in the journey, allowing for longer term outcomes to be realised. It’s important to consider what the right interventions will be along that journey to simply process and bring people up to speed, at different rates, will get each of them to where you want to be.

People, and the way work gets done, won’t change overnight, but with people-focused technology, champions of change, incentives and interventions, organisations can reap the rewards of a successful transformation.