When an organization decides to begin the process of a digital transformation, they need to prepare for a variety of challenges that could cause problems. Making significant changes to the way a company operates is always going to be difficult, which is why it is so important to understand what obstacles may pop up, and how to get through them. While a digital transformation is going to have a lot of focus on technology, a key challenge will almost certainly be with the human side of things.
People do not like making changes, and a digital transformation is going to be a significant change for just about every individual in the organization. It is natural for employees to be wary of any significant change. They may be concerned about potential job loss, changes to their roles, additional work responsibilities, being unable to keep up with the new processes, and much more. If you are planning to move forward with a digital transformation in your company, make sure you have solutions in place to help your employees accept and even embrace this move.
Make it Clear What a Digital Transformation Is
Before you take any other action for your digital transformation, make sure you are communicating out to every employee what it is and how it will impact the company. The vast majority of people, including people who work in information technology (IT), do not really understand what a digital transformation is. By taking the time to hold meetings, send out documents, and be available to answer questions, you will alleviate a lot of the anxiety associated with such a significant change.
Take the time to go through the goals related to the digital transformation, and when possible, list how it will impact each department within the company. The more information you can provide to the employees, the less likely they are to push back. It is clear from hundreds of other companies that have already gone through this type of process that in the end it is going to be very beneficial to both the company and the employees. Finding a way to convey this information to each person is essential.
Highlight Benefits Employees Will Receive
A digital transformation is going to come with a lot of changes to the way things are done. Even if the changes are going to be good things for the employees, they can still be intimidating. To help ease the stress associated with this, make sure to highlight some of the benefits that employees will have from the transformation. Each company is unique and will have different advantages to employees. Some common examples, however, may include the following:
- Updated Computers – Many companies roll out newer computer equipment throughout the organization as part of the transformation process. If employees are getting laptops, for example, let them know ahead of time so they have something to be excited about.
- Streamlined Sales Processes – For most companies, the digital transformation will help to streamline the sales process. For employees working in customer focused areas, this can save them a lot of time and effort, which may allow them to make additional sales. Depending on the company, this may mean higher commission checks.
- Improved Reporting – Collecting, storing, and using data is a priority for many companies going through this process. Employees who do a lot of reporting and planning will love the updated systems and services.
- Remote Work Opportunities – If you will be allowing (or even requiring) employees to work from home in the future, that can be a huge benefit.
- Much More – There will be many other benefits for the employees. Take some time to look at the goals of your digital transformation, and determine how they will benefit each area of the company. Share this information with everyone so they know what to expect.
Make Sure Digital Leaders are Transparent
A digital transformation is going to require leadership from the digital focused departments. Anyone who will be serving as a leader through this process needs to be transparent not only with their own teams, but with other people in the company as well. People will undoubtedly have questions and concerns that will be brought up to the digital leaders. Taking the time to provide honest and transparent answers will help to ease any troubles. Just make sure that the answers are not sugarcoated or misleading, or that could cause more harm than good in the long run.
Do Not Let a Small Number of Employees Cause Problems
As unfortunate as it is, any company with a large number of employees is going to find that a very small percentage of them are actively resisting the digital transformation process. Management and human resources (HR) departments should do everything possible to get them on board, so they are an asset to the process. As a last resort, however, these employees may need to be written up or even let go if they refuse to get on board. A digital transformation is quickly becoming a necessary step for all companies that want to remain competitive. Allowing a few employees to cause problems in this process is not acceptable.
Keep Pushing for Success
As you undoubtedly know, a digital transformation is a long-term project that requires commitment from everyone involved. By working hard to get employees on board from the earliest phases, you will have a much greater chance at successfully accomplishing all your goals. In the end, it will be well-worth the effort.