How Technology and Digital Transformation Impacts Today’s Workplace
Digital Transformation involves technology being introduced into the work culture to create efficiency through automation or skill reorientation, making the process more aligned with achieving a predetermined goal.
As a whole, we are seeing our every day lives and our workplaces becoming more and more digitized. From technological advancements such as the pervasiveness of smartphones, the prolific growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and even the super disruptive advent of machine learning and artificial intelligence, digital transformations are taking place every day. The latest trends in digitizing efforts is looking at how people work and connect with their employers and work environments.
Ushering in this workplace digital transformation has huge incentives for organizations—considering the workplace needs to keep pace with the changes the business environment is currently facing. It is important for companies, now more than ever to respond and succeed through those challenges if they want to be successful.
The rapid pace of technological change has been cited by most business leaders from Fortune 500 firms, as the single biggest challenge they face in today’s world, according to a recent survey.
So it’s imperative that they commit to taking steps to counter and ride this new wave of disruption if they want to keep their business moving forward towards success.
When a company goes through a digital transformation, they miss out on their internal functionaries— mainly their employees. Remember, if the employees follow old practices, you won’t be able to build products and experiences that are in tune to today’s consumer demands.
Efforts to Bring Digital Transformation into the Workplace:
How can you possibly find out if most of your employees are unhappy about a certain way they are treated, when you own a multi-billion dollar global enterprise with offices in around 170 countries and a global workforce of 380,000 employees, coming from different backgrounds, belonging to various social classes and genders?
IBM did exactly that, through a sentiment analysis tool named Social Pulse. Its HR department wanted to bring changes and completely revamp its global performance review system, so it used its internal social network called Connections for reviews on how to do it.
Social pulse was deployed to find common patterns, and in doing so, figured out that the employees dislike the curved model for their performance reviews. Employees had given their feedback through hundreds of thousands of comments on the forum, precisely developed for the task. IBM interestingly abolished the use of the curved model from that point onwards.
Social Pulse is a tool which allows the management to know the prevalent collective emotions among its employees and it flags out the most prominent ones, like the dislike for the curved model among a majority of the employees. The result? A happier workforce that knows its voice is being heard at the very top.
Like the famous Hawthorne experiment showed that employees’ performance increases when they see that their employer is taking an interest in their activities, the attitudes haven’t changed a lot. Technology might be the new way to signify interest, but when you are well connected to your employees, success becomes more achievable.
Digital Transformation used to make the product experience better for clients revolves around bringing more engagement by taking the conversation with an individual on a more personal level. With employees, the steps towards transformation really are no different.
Technology is widely misconstrued as the only amicable solution to our problems in the workplace, but if you are going to bring in new HR technology, you need to make sure that the technology prioritizes the individual, and not the other way round.
The individual needs to be at the center of all conversations to build a better workplace as it pays more dividends. The productivity levels of those organizations who manage to engage their employees more rise up by 22%, compared to those who don’t, according to a survey by Gallup.
Powering “Richer” Inclusivity:
People don’t buy what they don’t trust, and even if they buy it out of sheer necessity, their loyalties will switch the minute they find a better alternative. What you need to remember is that the biggest barrier to a digital transformation is employee disapproval.
Implementing new HR technologies and believing that they will improve employee performance without initiating conversation with employees is a decision which is sure to end up as a disaster.
The workforce would be directly affected by any new HR transformation you might bring in. A holistic strategy that fosters richer inclusivity can result in team cultures that will help businesses thrive in the future.
The process of digitizing everything revolves around creating a strategic advantage that places you ahead of your competitors. Instead of eyeing bigger changes, you should think about bringing smaller improvements in structure, design, and policy on how you move about doing things.
For, example, an online e-commerce store, by the name of Zulily, asks prospective candidates to share Instagram posts describing their personalities and talents, if they want to join their social media department. This is an excellent display of culture being assimilated in the extended parts of the HR function, thereby fostering inclusivity to even those who are not even in the company yet.
The candidate, if hired, would be more involved and engaged from the first day because it has seen how the company appreciates and values his/her individual talents and capabilities.
Technology is an integral part of our lives as we interact with it on so many different levels, be it using Uber to get home, Facebook to check out your friend’s photos from his latest vacation, WhatsApp to communicate with a client, or Google to search for the answer to anything and more. It is not surprising that technology can make our lives easier and put the resources to much better use.
Digital transformation in the workplace, led by HR technologies, should also work on the same lines, allowing each employee to feel that the new tool or change, improved his/her performance significantly and allowed him/her to play a visible part in the achievement of the strategic goals of the organization.
The implications of such a massive digital transformation could be huge in the workplaces, given only that, the employees are prioritized when choosing, implementing and positioning them.
Your competitor can buy the same tools you use, have an exact same office designed to model your physical building and even build as good products as you can, but one thing no one can replicate is how you respond to your employees and how engaged your employees are in achieving your vision which will only be possible when the staff is left to thrive in a learning environment.
In today’s highly competitive environment, the biggest strategic asset, with which you can gain an edge above the rest, is your team. So move forward – engage your employees, and invest in them to build an organization that pushes ahead towards success.