Companies across all industries from manufacturing to technology, pharmaceuticals, financial, retail and healthcare are currently going through or planning out their digital transformation. Measuring the success of this change can be challenging, but no matter what industry you are in, companies who have undergone this change agree that there are five integral factors to support a successful digital transformation including Leadership, Aligning Workforce with Organizational Needs, Giving Your Employees a Voice, Digitizing Tools and Communication.
#1 – Leadership
One of the most effective ways to successfully drive change in a company is to have the right leadership in place. When undergoing a digital transformation, it benefits the company to ensure the leader has the right traits for the project such as being a risk-taker, change agile, forward-thinking or experimental.
Some companies bring in one or more dedicated executives or a technology consultant to drive specific initiatives dedicated to the transformation which has proven to be a more successful transformation. Not only do you need the right executive who will vocally support and lead the process, but you also need key leaders throughout the organization who drive the initiatives and can educate employees and business partners on the benefits of the changes. Having the right team in place is a big part of a successful digital transformation.
#2 – Align Workforce with Organizational Needs
Management can roll out new initiatives and changes but in order for them to be adopted and successful you must have the support of your workforce. That can be challenging when you may need to reevaluate roles, realign priorities and bring in new employees with different skillsets to align with the new direction of the company. As people’s roles and responsibilities change, it is important to explain to them how their job and skills will contribute to the success of the organization, which in turn increases productivity and loyalty to the company.
Another step a company can take to ensure even more success is to create a role as an integrator or hire an outside technology consultant. This is someone who is able to help transform the way things were done before the digital transformation to the new way of operating. They understand the traditional way of operating and are able to merge that with the new digital aspects of the business. This role will work with those who are everyday jobs are changing to ensure a seamless transition. Once roles and jobs are aligned and the traditional and digital operation of the business are merged the foundation will be better able to support the new digital organization.
#3 – Give Your Employees a Voice
The workforce, roles and responsibilities, and the daily operations are all changing, so it is important to ensure your employees remain engaged. One way to involve your workforce is to empower them. During any type of change management, this is essential and during a digital transformation, there are many ways to accomplish this. Once an employee understands how his role contributes to the new direction and success of the company, he may be able to offer ideas on how to improve things. This can be done by promoting an environment where employees are empowered to work in new ways and are able to voice their ideas of where digitization may benefit the company or provide solutions for other areas that could support the new initiative.
The digital transformation is a great time to challenge the current way of operating. Leadership should encourage their teams to come up with better solutions, streamline current practices, collaborate with other teams across the organization and take risks. Empowering teams is a proven way to ensure a successful digital transformation as well as an engaged workforce.
#4 – Technologies
Employee jobs are changing and the business is operating differently, so the next step is to provide the right technologies, tools, and solutions to support the transformation. The introduction of new technologies should make information more accessible thus making employees more efficient and the transformation more successful.
Providing a self-service environment for both employees and external partners is another way to accomplish this. One other way to do this is to incorporate technology in a company’s standard operating procedures and even go a step further and use interactive tools and data to help drive decisions. Investing in these types of upgraded tools will help people do their jobs more efficiently, gather data, and get faster and more reliable information.
#5 – Communication
Just as it is imperative that employees understand why their job or responsibilities are changing, it is important to communicate why the company is making all these changes in the first place. Leadership should tell the story of why a change is coming, what these changes will be, including targets and timelines, and what the company is looking to accomplish as a result of the digital transformation.
Once this has been communicated, leadership should deliver the same message with their smaller teams and identify how each of them will impact and be impacted by the change. Communication should be done frequently and not just in person. Messages of key initiatives, progress, timeliness, and updates should be sent via digital methods as well.
Digital transformations are expensive and can be disturbing to business operations but done right they can also help to make your organization hugely successful. Follow these five steps to optimize your digital transformation and let us know what worked well for you!
Need Help with Your Digital Transformation?
Contact Global Consulting Group (GCG) If you have questions about digital transformation or need help implementing digital transformation technologies such as UCaaS and CCaaS, ERP and CRM, cloud services, big data and business intelligence, internet of things (IoT) or any other business technology that aims at increasing efficiency and productivity in the workplace.