Digital has spread in our habits at a fastest pace than most people expected. This development has left many companies unprepared, having to adapt with this new landscape. If the advantages to integrate a digital strategy and action plan are often understood by the top management of a company, it is not always true for all employees.
Fear of digital
Digital is a word that often creates fear as it is not always understood. For some, it relates to a more automatically processing of work, leaving less place for humans. At some points, machines are taking over all our job. They see it as a threat of their current status, job and security.
For others, it represents a dehumanization of social relationship as they know it. All human interactions would have to go through a terminal, and mainly by smartphones, as this interface is the fastest growing technology.
Finally, as for any change in any organization (not only companies), most people are reluctant to change. It creates anxiety as it makes them go out of their comfort zone. They often perceive it as a questioning of their skills in doing their job. If I am doing my job fine, why bother changing?
Get the full support of the company’s CEO
When launching a digital transformation within a company, the first step is to make sure to have the full support of the company’s CEO. All staff must be convinced it is a strategical decision, to make the company more competitive, more innovative. The Manager at some point will have to explain his choices, what are the goals seeked within this transformation, and how it will affect their everyday working life.
Assign a project team
Once this has been done, it is important to assign a project team, to allow all parts involved in the process to express their feelings about it. All employees must be able to express their concerns, and be heard by their management. As they are the ones who are doing the job, they may have some valid points to say, to be taken into account at the time of implementing the digital transformation. This part is absolutely crucial to obtain the adhesion of the people involved. They are being asked to change, they must have their say about it. By doing so, the management recognize their value and their importance at their job, and they will eventually feel more implicated in the project.
Train your staff
Also as it is a new technology, it is essential to think about training the staff on how to use these new tools. When confronted with new technology, people may feel overwhelmed. Will they be able to handle it, and what happens if they do not. The best way to help employees develop these new skills, is to get the help of an agency specializing in digital training. As they are expert in their field, they will then be able to answer to specific questions.
Another way to deal with training is the fact that there is a growing divide between generations in the handling of digital. The training can therefore be done via reverse mentoring, with the younger generation explaining the digital world to their elder peer. This process creates a sense of interdependence between the members of a team, only different in age, and help team building.
Explain and exchange
Finally, as it is a new process, it is important to communicate to all stakeholders how the project is developing, what are the results, and to listen to their feedback.
Going through a digital transformation process in a company is really about change management. To keep their competitive edge, companies has to adapt to technologies, but never forget men and women are at the heart of the process. Trust between management and employees must be strong to get their adhesion on the process. Once the goals are set, the strategies to achieve it understood, and a proper training is given, the company is well prepared to ensure a smooth and successful adaptation to the digital world.