How to Digitialize Your Employees’ Mindset
The concept of digitalization is often viewed in purely technical terms, but the human factor is one of the core elements of successful strategic digitalization.
In Billy Wilder’s movie “One, Two, Three”, James Cagney constantly has to tell his employees to sit down, because everyone gets up and clicks their heels when the boss enters the room. Although we’ve long left those days behind, in many places the principle of command and obedience is still expected, albeit to a lesser extent.
Through the use of new technologies, digital transformation is fundamentally changing the way people and machines work together. Traditional hierarchies and corporate structures can no longer adequately keep up with these changes.
It is important to find new forms of cooperation with employees and to take them with you on the path to digitalization. What’s needed is more trust and less micromanagement. With peopleIT Proservia follows an unique apporach to combine the best of man an machine for a successful digitalization.
A study commissioned by Microsoft supports this approach and has identified five issues that pose challenges on the path to digitalization:
- Promoting cooperation and exploiting its potential through digitalization
- Acknowledging employees’ fears and helping them to overcome them
- Demonstrating the benefits of digitalization
- Working together to understand the environment in which the company operates, and to focus on new digital technologies
- Encouraging agile thinking and helping people to develop a flexible and agile structure of innovation.
Anyone who fails to digitalize, fails
Many employees have still not realized how bad things can quickly become if there is a decline in competitiveness. Examples such as Quelle or Kodak show how giants can quickly go under.
Indeed, according to the Microsoft study, only six percent of respondents see their own business as under threat. Most of them think they are safe and believe that either they can manage digital transformation alone or that they are not threatened by the ensuing disruption (30 percent each).
It is clear to most that new technologies can boost competitiveness, and they also acknowledge that this has reached senior management.
However, senior managers have a false sense of security if they believe that top-down digital transformation will also resonate with their employees. In Microsoft’s study, the difference between employee and management approval is up to 60 percent.
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So, a lot of persuasion is needed. Employees need to recognize the benefits of digital transformation for themselves. This can be through very trivial things, for example, when appointments are displayed more clearly and quickly on a digital workstation. Augmented reality can make service and support much more effective.
A symbiotic way of working between people and machines make up the essence of digital transformation.
Digital transformation is a journey and employees should be taken by the hand and accompanied along the way. Of course it’s also a generation issue and younger employees are more open-minded than older ones.
How to convince your employees
Microsoft has created a five-point plan that can serve as a guideline on the path to digitalization:
- Create an accurate plan for continuous training and learning to help employees easily integrate current technologies into their working methods.
- Make incremental changes and concentrate the use of technologies on what is currently practical for the your company’s stage of development.
- Encourage employees to network with colleagues working on the same things to make better progress through cooperation.
- Consider the different experiences of various age groups and enable employees to learn from and encourage each other.
- Have employees reflect on how they used to perform a task without new technology and how the current solutions facilitate this task.
Source cover picture: SIphotography / iStock