Helping Your Employees Navigate Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is critical to any organization’s success. So are employees. And when your employees are having trouble getting used to new, technology-driven processes, it’s your job to help them. Failure to do so will ultimately compromise productivity, engagement, and retention—and that will inevitably have an impact on your bottom line.
To make sure your people keep pace with digitization, you need to foster a culture where employees recognize the value of digital maturity and feel comfortable asking for support to learn new technology-driven tools and processes. There are multiple steps involved in providing this support: First and foremost, when your company implements a new collaboration platform, data management system, or other tool or process, it’s advisable to provide dedicated training for all your employees. This ensures everyone acquires a good working knowledge of it, regardless of their initial aptitude.
Second, as Geoffrey Muller points out in his Agorize article titled “Reverse Mentoring: an essential part of your digital transformation,” it can be useful to establish a reverse mentoring program. This involves pairing up digital natives—usually Millennials and Gen Z workers—with more mature employees who are still honing their digital skills. This not only offers the advantage of providing ongoing tech assistance during work hours, but also promotes collaboration between the different generations, resulting in the mutual exchange of knowledge. Additionally, it can move the company a step closer to a less hierarchical and more collaborative, matrixed structure, which appeals to the younger generations in the workforce.
Third, you need to take digital maturity into account when tracking performance. For example, if an employee takes two days longer than normal to produce a report, you should determine whether that was due to a lack of digital proficiency or for some other reason. For issues pertaining to technology, work with the employee in question to pinpoint the problem, and develop a course of action accordingly.
Finally, you need to make sure your employees feel valued—even when they make mistakes or are slow to learn new skills. For people who didn’t grow up with a smartphone in their hand, digital transformation might be intimidating—but that doesn’t mean they can’t adapt and learn. By supporting them in this process, you not only help them keep their skills current; you also ensure their extensive knowledge and experience stays in the company. And that knowledge and experience is just as critical to your organization’s success as the benefits of digital transformation.