Technology has advanced dramatically over the last decade and companies can no longer ignore the changes or challenges that it brings to their business. This guide will gently explore the groundworks for digital transformation, the impacts and a few possible ways to overcome them.
With that in mind, here are four key ways that companies can undertake and capitalise on to help overcome the new challenges that the digital age brings to continue to evolve dynamically:
1. Invest in personalised learning plans to satisfy skill gaps brought on by new technologies
Employees of all levels have distinct skills that require a varied approach when it comes to personal development. And while personalisation in businesses sounds costly, inefficient and even infeasible, the truth is that personalisation is practical and cost-effective – especially when combined with the use of smart technology like machine learning.
How? Well, for learning plans to get personal, all that needs to be done is for companies to integrate machine learning into existing training programs. That way, current training can continue uninterrupted and evolve as employees are undergoing training.
Machine learning will help companies to monitor employees' performances, reveal the needs of the individuals and adjust accordingly as seamlessly as possible. Through this approach, companies can then easily and quickly tailor existing training to match the learning styles and help their employees excel. In doing so, companies can adress small gaps in skills without much strain or confusion.
2. Utilise new technology and media to boost and embrace internal engagement
A study by Gallup found that disengaged employees cost their organisations over £2500 (or 34%) for every £7600 salary paid. And the rise of digital tech and new media will only go on to overcomplicate an already cumbersome issue if not addressed properly.
Why? Because employee engagement has always been a crucial factor that contributed to a company's success. From improving productivity to making more profits, an employee's performance is directly correlated to how engaged they are with their organisations. Strictly speaking, building an engaged workforce is imperative for any businesses to thrive in today's market.
And truthfully, what is a better way to overcome this challenge if not to utilise the very same means of digitisation that has slowly magnified this issue? Take the 'Life at Google' campaign for instance. The culture that it shows on social media helps to activate social engagement among employees in addition to promoting their values while also continuing to outline their purpose. And according to Bain & Company, this approach has resulted in an astonishing 40% more productivity at Google than the average company.
3. Streamline communications to improve transparency and efficiency in today's digital age
The arrival of smartphones, social networking sites and project management apps has revolutionised the way we all communicate. From helping us communicate better, clearer and, to expedite the process of internal documentation, these digital tools are now commonplace in most offices. But as with all things, more tools and variation often cause more distraction than good.
In an internal study conducted by 360 Solutions, ineffective communication caused them an average downtime of 17 hours a week that totalled to roughly over £400,000 per year ($528,443). Now, if that's just 17 hours, imagine the costs if it were to double or triple in time. So, in a broader sense, companies simply cannot afford to do so if they want to build a long-lasting, sustainable business.
Streamlining communications is crucial to mitigate any mixed messages and to embody a culture of transparency to both clients as well as within the team. Effective and streamlined communication in the workplace will foster an open culture, reduce operational costs in the long run and increase your chance for success. The challenge here is to utilise communicative tools that offer targeting and segmentation capabilities that suit the needs of the business.
4. Prioritise digital initiatives to stay on track with the broader vision or strategy
Change is never easy and rarely transpire overnight especially at an enterprise level. In today's digital-centric world, businesses' approach to transformation requires an overhaul to continue to meet the rising demands of new initiatives.
For businesses to adapt and progress successfully, a critical shift in prioritisation and flexibility is needed to tackle digital transformation within an organisation. Take Fortune 500 companies for instance. Almost a third of them have already hired a Chief Technological Officer or are planning to in the next five years. And the reason why is simple: finding the right leader is the most essential factor in driving digital transformation and change as it dictates organisational culture and legacy.
In a McKinsey report, it is said that "chief technological officers are the first line of defence" when it comes to technical or technological disruptions. Leaders who are technologically-led can motivate employees to embrace change and help to increase potential revenue with higher productivity and operational efficiency. The bottom line is, the alignment at the top fosters an intentional digital building culture that will then help to engage employees every step of the way in the transformation agenda!
However you choose to approach digital transformation, businesses must go digital and address disruptions strategically to stay ahead.
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