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Digital Transformation August 10, 2023

10 Ways To Get Employees Onboard With Digital Transformation

Writen by payanimedia

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Employees Payani Media

The COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to remote work have driven an increase in the adoption of digital transformation initiatives. As more businesses embrace these technologies, digital transformation has become a prominent focus, with statistics indicating that over 52% of companies plan to increase their technology spending in the coming year.

Digital transformation has the potential to alter the way businesses operate and shape entire industries fundamentally. However, this change process can be challenging, particularly for employees experiencing it firsthand. Therefore, employee adoption is a crucial factor in the success of digital transformation initiatives.

Although it is widely acknowledged that employees play a vital role in driving innovation and change within organizations, there are few established best practices for ensuring their successful adoption of digital transformation initiatives. If you are considering implementing digital transformation in your business, it is essential to establish strategies for supporting your employees through the transition. Here are some recommendations for setting your employees up for success during the digital transformation.

What is Digital Transition, and How can it empower Businesses?

The term “digital transformation” has been in use by companies and businesses since the mid-2000s to refer to the adoption of advanced technologies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business operations. While digital transformation does not alter the fundamental nature of a business, it does transform the way in which it operates.

According to a study, employees waste an average of 1.8 hours each day searching for and gathering data and information. Digital transformation can help businesses address this issue by providing employees with the necessary tools to improve their efficiency and allow them to focus on more strategic tasks. By streamlining processes and making information more accessible, digital transformation can significantly enhance productivity and efficiency within an organization.

Digital transformation can offer a range of benefits to businesses, including:

  • Increased employee engagement
  • Improved accuracy
  • Higher profitability
  • Improved customer support services
  • Agility and flexibility
  • Deter data insights
  • Increased productivity
  • Seamless collaboration

In 2019, nearly 64% of businesses had a website to provide customers with a seamless experience and increase profitability. You may be missing out on an excellent opportunity to improve your business and stay competitive by not considering digital transformation. Digital transformation can enhance customer experience, increase efficiency and productivity, and drive profitability. These benefits make it an essential consideration for businesses looking to thrive in today’s digital landscape.

Role of Employees in Digital Transformation

A strong organizational culture is the foundation upon which successful digital transformation must be built. However, many businesses fail to prioritize the development of their internal culture and instead focus solely on the short-term benefits of innovation. Establishing a solid organizational culture is essential for cultivating innovation within the organization. As employees are critical stakeholders who can significantly impact digital transformation efforts, it is essential to engage them in the process and ensure that their needs and concerns are taken into account. By fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration, businesses can set the stage for a successful digital transformation.

According to a study, approximately 90% of C-suite executives claim that their organizations prioritize the needs of their employees when introducing new technology. In comparison, only 53% of employees report that this is the case. Additionally, 71% of employees believe that their workforce is critical in supporting the digital transformation strategies implemented by their businesses. These findings suggest that there may be a disconnect between the perspective of executives and employees when it comes to the role of employees in the digital transformation process. It is essential for businesses to engage employees in the planning and implementation of digital transformation initiatives and to ensure that their needs and concerns are considered.

The data presented above demonstrate the importance of involving employees in digital transformation. To be successful, businesses must shift their focus from just the C-level executives to all employees using digital solutions in their daily tasks. It is essential to highlight the impact of digital transformation on employees at all levels of the organization and to involve them in the planning and implementation of these initiatives.

10 Ways to Get Employees Onboard with Digital Transformation

With 69% of companies planning to launch new digital initiatives in the coming years, it is clear that now is an ideal time to drive innovation. If you are considering introducing digital projects in your organization, it is essential to ensure that your employees are onboard and prepared for the transition. Here are ten ways to get your employees involved and support the success of new digital initiatives:

1.  Choose the Right Technology and Prioritize UX

Instead of triggering random acts of digital transition, you need to find the right technology to foster your transformation. The wrong choice of technology can help businesses create a working environment where employees frequently switch platforms, wasting time and multiple versions of the truth.

If the employees don’t find the technology comfortable or approachable, it will be difficult for businesses to drive the correct values from their efforts. By prioritizing the right digital tools and UX, companies can ensure workers feel comfortable using the selected digital strategy.

When choosing the technology for your digital transition, you can consider the following practices;

  • Build a shortlist of the high-rated technologies based on the feedback from actual users
  • Use your unique business case to find the right technology
  • Prioritize the right balance between your business needs and the features offered by your selected technology
  • Building a demonstration with an expert can help you understand what you can achieve from your designated technology

The bolstering adoption of the right technology can help businesses evolve and move forward during a digital transition. Experts say that prioritizing UX will make employees comfortable using the selected technology and translate into agility and confidence in their decision-making abilities.

2.  Give Employees a Voice in the Digital Transition

The digital transformation dedicated to C-suite executives can be the worst to get buy-in. Give your employees a voice in how your digital transformation strategies are designed and how they will ease your daily activities. You can engage your employees with new transitions by asking them to weigh in on the blind spots they’re facing.

 You can get feedback about the technologies and processes implemented by the higher authorities. What organizational demands and strategies do they struggle with? And what methods can benefit from being streamlined or digitized? All these efforts will keep your employees engaged, driving the success of your digital transformation.

3.  Have Remote Employees Aligned with Your Digital Transition Needs

Remember to align your remote employees with your DX needs if you have a hybrid working environment. Unfortunately, 20% of remote employees report feeling lonely and lacking a sense of belonging. Businesses need to eliminate these feelings from their remote employees if they want to align their digital transformation goals with the employees’ interests.

Ensure the availability of proper resources to help remote employees join conversations and meetings from wherever they’re.

4.  Share Your Vision with the Employees

Employees will become more excited about working with you on the digital transition if they understand the larger context of your vision. When employees know what you want to accomplish from your digitization, they tend to stick with the organizational goals and strive to achieve them. Apart from IT teams who are implementing the digital transformation, it is also critical for employees to understand your “WHY.”

Help your employees understand how digital transition can ease their activities by answering the questions like;

  • How will digitization improve the impact of the company?
  • How can the changes make business more profitable and grow faster?
  • How will digital transformation make the job easier for employees?
  • How innovation and digitization will improve customer experience?

You can ensure greater employee buy-in by highlighting the importance of your technology choices and how they will impact your business.

5.  Ensure the Proper Training of Employees

Lack of training is the biggest hindrance to the adoption of new technology. When employees don’t understand how to work with the latest technology, they will not be able to drive the intended results. Your employees may be concerned that new technology will slow down their well-honed process or mess up things. Targeted training programs designed to help employees understand every aspect of new technology are an excellent approach to overcoming such objections and concerns.

Most companies only provide a demo and think it is enough for everyone to understand the new technology. Undoubtedly, demos play a significant role in creating familiarity among teams and employees about new technologies, but they are insufficient to train them properly.

You must invest in training programs to get your employees onboard with digitization. This approach will help employees, and teams better understand what technologies are at their proposal and how they can benefit from them. It will also aid you in understating what steps they should take to make the most of newly implemented technologies.

When organizing training programs for employees, you can consider the following practices;

  • Dedicate a resource to answering employees’ concerns about your selected technologies. Having a support person available during office hours can help employees eliminate frustration, ensuring a seamless transition to the new system.
  • Use a variety of opportunities, such as written references, videos, audio, and real-time instructions, to help employees learn within their comfort zone.
  • Your employees may have a variety of perspectives. Ensure addressing every user’s need to help them familiarize themselves with the new system.

A study by the CBI highlighted that more than 56% of the companies said they did not have the in-house expertise to interpret the data. This discrepancy between actual abilities and technological goals presents the biggest hindrance to digital transformation.

Offering digital skill training can smooth the new transition and allow teams and employees to take advantage of innovation confidently. When you prioritize your employees and give them the opportunities to level up their digital skills, it can help you ensure a smooth digital transition at every stage.

6.  Encourage Two-Way Conversations

Most digital transformation projects fail after implementation due to a lack of employee engagement. Businesses need to ensure effective employee engagement during the implementation phase and in the post-implementation phase. It would help if you used internal communication efforts even after implementing the digital transition.

39% of the C-level executives expect the value out of digital projects and initiatives in 4 to 5 years. So, it is incredibly vital to determine the effectiveness of your newly implemented technologies. You should track how employees are adopting the new environment after the implementation. 

7.  Create a Rollout Plan

Design a deployment and rollout plan to make new technologies more consumable for your teams and employees. In addition to digital skills training, rollout plans can also prove beneficial in creating awareness about the newly implemented technologies.

You can incorporate feedback sessions, and hands-on guidance throughout your rollout plans to make them more effective. You can include the following options in your deployment plans;

  • Conduct formal assessments such as interviews, discussions, and surveys to show how digital transition can affect employees. When your digital transformation is in process, getting feedback from employees can help refine your strategies and make them more impactful.
  • Share and reward the success stories. For example, if any of your employees have a big win, capture the lesson from it and share their story with others. Showcasing how digital tools transform your workplace will help you become more successful in your efforts.
  • Connect with your employees throughout your rollout plan. You can use email check-ins to keep a pulse on how things are going.

Having a staggered rollout plan will give stakeholders enough time to understand the new system and accept the changes.

8.  Use Strong Leadership

The C-suite executives and leaders should set the tone to embrace the adoption of new technology. Redefine your language and attitudes to set higher standards for new technology in your business. The following leadership ideas can assist you in getting the kind of response you want from your employees after the implementation of new technology;

  • Participate in training programs, be knowledgeable about your digital transitions, and speak about the strategic aspects of new changes
  • Personally introduce the speakers discussing your digital transformation’s critical impacts and components.
  • Be optimistic and find positive ways to leverage the power of new technology.

A successful digital transformation requires more than choosing a new software and implementing it in your business. As a leader, you should take a greater interest in innovation and encourage employees to get the most from advanced solutions.

9.  Prioritize Your Employees’ Needs

Employees are your critical stakeholders when it comes to a successful digital transition. Despite this, most of the digital transformation projects are pushed through by C-suite executives. A report by PwC highlighted that only 53% of the employees say that the company prioritizes their needs when implementing new technology.

They are your employees using the new technologies in their daily business operations. So, it is essential to consider the new system’s impact on your teams and employees.

10.  Ensure Relevant and Timely Information Flow

Businesses think that their employees are well-informed even when they’re not. Only 49% of the employees say that they’re well-informed about the critical decisions of their company. Keeping your teams and employees in the dark is a surefire way to create an atmosphere of mistrust and doubt.

It is essential to ensure that the correct information reaches the right workers at the right time to make your digital transformation projects more successful. You can use effective and advanced communication channels to ensure the relevant and timely information flow about implementing new technology in your business.

The Bottom Line

Digital transformation can significantly impact how businesses perform their operations and connect with customers. Employee adoption is the most significant element of a successful digital transformation.

Preparing your teams and employees for a new change in your business can help them better understand the significant impacts digital transformation can have on businesses. You can organize different training programs and have a rollout plan to ensure your employees have uncovered every aspect of newly implemented technology. Prioritizing your employees’ needs is significant for a successful transition. 

When it comes to making your digital transition successful, effective communication with your employees is king. You can use two-way conversations to get feedback from your employees, share relevant information with them, and help them understand what you are trying to achieve from digital transformation. If you need help achieving your company’s digital transformation goals, please get in touch with us.