How should companies prepare their workforce for digital transformation?

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Digital transformation is a hot topic right now. Organisations across every industry are exploring new technologies and opportunities to achieve a variety of goals. However, much of the focus thus far has been on the technical innovations. What organisations mustn't forget to address is how to guide their workforce through this all-important transition.

Without having the right education in motion, your digital transformation becomes redundant. What's the point in doing it at all if your workforce don't know how to navigate it or why it's happening? Furthermore, digital transformation will transform the entire company culture, and you need the entire organisation to cooperate with this for it to be successful.

So, where should a company begin? How do you engage employees who don't have technology within their remit? How do you communicate your aim effectively?

Channelling the change

What your workforce needs when embarking on the digital transformation journey is transparency. You want your organisation to understand why you are doing it and, in turn, to share this goal with you. To do so, you must facilitate channels of communication that enable you to present your initiatives.

By sharing what you hope to achieve and how digital transformation will get you there, you can encourage your workforce to embrace innovation and creativity. Plus, it opens the door for ideas and contributions from your employees that you may wish to take on board.

However, change is not always a welcome thing. This is something organisations must be mindful of. Often, human nature equates change with fear, leaving your employees perhaps a little reluctant for a revamp of the business. What's more, by going increasingly digital, employees may worry that they will end up out of a job.

Again though, it goes back to transparency. By addressing the digital transformation to your organisation on a periodic basis, they will feel valued and included in the process. Not only that, but your employees may benefit from knowing that by going through digital transformation, it will enable their roles to be of a higher impact.

For example, those who are customer-facing will find that consumers will be more satisfied by the new offerings digital transformation facilitates. In turn, your organisation will enjoy a continuous loop of happy customers equating to happy employees, and vice versa.

Highlighting opportunities for personal gain

You should also remind your employees of the fact that digital transformation presents new opportunities for education and progression. In particular, staff will have the chance to up-skill and add more to their work portfolio.

Overall, you must adopt an all-in-this-together mentality and a forgiving environment. You may tumble along the way, just as your employees might. However, by sharing unified objectives and having open streams of communication, you may exceed your own expectations of what you'll get out of your transformation.

To learn more, check out this opinion piece on whether technology can make employees and customers happier by Tom Libretto, Chief Marketing Officer at Pegasystems.