Digital Workplace Transformation – Unlocking Success
Larraine SolomonNovember 5, 2020
Digital transformation is crucial in this day and age, and transforming a corporate intranet is a task that many organizations have had on their agenda. However, it tends to take a back seat to other priorities due to timing and difficulty. Luckily, 2020 has changed the way we work.
Research suggests that even before the coronavirus outbreak, businesses across the world adopted a remote work policy, where over 5 million U.S. employees are working from home at least half the time. Now, 42 percent of the U.S. labor force are now working from home full-time.
To facilitate this change, businesses are increasingly realizing that the future belongs to those with intelligent, efficient digital operations. Employees need easy and secure access to information, opportunities to collaborate to solve business challenges and the ability to make real-time decisions.
The key to success lies in the effective implementation of a digital transformation strategy capable of driving true organizational and cultural change while delivering business value. Developing and delivering a digital workplace and embedding change has become a key element of this.
Implementing a digital workplace should be simple
Digital workplaces centralize all employee information in one singular location, making it easy for employees to work and stay connected from anywhere, at any time. By implementing a digital workplace, you can align your employees, technology, and business practices all in one place. In many respects, COVID-19 has rapidly elevated digital workplace technology from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’ status.
From a technology point of view, a modern and social digital workplace can be surprisingly easy to bring to life. An effective social platform can be very easy to set up with little configuration necessary – the ability to ‘install before breakfast and you’re ready to go by dinner time’ has become a reality. With third-party integrations like Salesforce and Microsoft Teams, employees can quickly and easily leverage all of their online tools via a digital workplace to make it easier to get work done, serve customers more effectively and drive productivity.
If the technology is the simple part, how do organizations truly achieve digital workplace transformation? One of the secrets lies in creating a culture where all employees truly embrace technology.
Digital workplace transformation: 6 tips to ensure that employees embrace new ways of working
Digital transformation in the workplace needs employees to develop and feel comfortable with new ways of working. While many employees will immediately embrace new technology, others will take a more cautious approach.
Our 6 tips to encourage the necessary behavior change are based on practical experience:
- Senior leaders must lead from the front. The behavior of your leaders is key. Being a role model is about influencing others in a positive way. The best leaders know that it is not what they say that matters, but what they do. There is no point asking employees to adopt a set of behaviors if as a leader, you are not ready to adopt them first. Leaders need to be proactive and visible in a digital workplace, positively influencing everyone to act in a similar way.
- Communicate the ‘why’ of digital transformation. Digital transformation shouldn’t just be about the new technology. Gaining buy-in from employees involves creating an understanding of the business challenge, opportunity, or an aspirational goal that the organization is seeking to achieve. For example, the ‘why’ could be about creating new products and services, transforming the customer experience, cost reduction, supply chain changes or productivity improvements. It should be connected to real business goals with meaningful KPIs.
- Incentivize and recognize good work. At the beginning of your digital workplace transformation, employees will likely need continual, positive and public reinforcement to support ongoing good work. Highlighting and rewarding people that are proactive is a great way to encourage others to do the same. Creating and rewarding online fun activities such as quizzes and competitions can provide an extra competitive incentive for people to get involved.
- Create Change Champions. Sometimes known as ‘Digital Ninjas’, ‘Change Ambassadors’ and ‘Digital Warriors’, Change Champions are typically enthusiastic volunteers from all parts of the organization. Their role is to help foster stronger capabilities among colleagues to ensure that local colleagues feel confident and enjoy using their new social intranet platform. It can be a good way to provide additional support to a digital transformation project at no extra cost to the organization.
- Go where the energy lies. Different individuals adopt technology at different speeds, and it may be tempting to begin the digital transformation journey by focusing efforts on employees that are most hesitant and even resistant. Individuals in this category are often vocal critics of change. This can be a frustrating and time consuming approach. A practical alternative is to focus on ‘early adopters’ and an ‘early majority’ who are more likely to create positive energy, paving the way for other colleagues to come on board.
- Switch off or integrate other communication channels. The amount of information an average employee receives can be overwhelming, and this is exacerbated by the number of communication channels they are often expected to access. From emails to newsletters, Salesforce to Workday, and many more, it’s easy for business priorities to get lost in the noise. A good digital workplace will enable employees to access all of the information they need in one place. Being ‘brave’ enough to eliminate other channels such as the production of the company newsletter and the email cascade of important corporate messages will encourage a change in behavior, eliminate duplication and reduce costs.
Benefits of Digital Workplace Transformation
The transformative benefits of a digital workplace are likely to have a dramatic positive impact on your company’s revenue streams. From improved global talent attraction to increased productivity, employee engagement, problem solving and the ability to serve customers more effectively – the benefits of investing in new ways of working have never been clearer.
With the need for remote workers to understand and engage with your priorities using any digital device in every location, this trend is set to continue. A digital workplace provides simple, consumer-grade technology to support evolving business priorities, enabling workers to collaborate, communicate and connect with each other.
Digital Workplace Transformation is Game Changing
Technology alone cannot help a company achieve digital transformation. It is what the company chooses to do with that technology that truly creates a digital transformation. A digital workplace can transform business processes, connections, communication, and the employee experience.
Fundamental to success is leadership and employee involvement, powering an environment where workers can do their best work every day. Create the right conditions for the transformation to succeed, and the digital workplace will become game changing for employees, customers and business performance alike.