- Use new technologies to raise internal awareness of your strategy and reinforce your organizational culture as you integrate it.
- Create a versatile and agile workforce.
- Hire people who have demonstrated the ability to change and adapt.
Technology expands to meet growing global demand learn and adopt new tools and systems. As our reliance on technology increases, this global trend poses significant challenges for employee training and development.
According to a 2019 PwC global survey, 79% of CEOs are “extremely and/or somewhat concerned” that their employees have the skills needed to do their job, a 27% increase from 2012. the specialists hired to help organizations manage their technology struggle to keep up. According to Udemy’s 2019/2020 Global Skills Gap Report, 63-87% of IT professionals in five countries believe the specialist skills required for their jobs will change significantly over the next five years.
Technology allows us to do more with less. Contrary to popular belief, the systems and tools powering digital transformation are less about the technology and more about the people empowered to select, use and manage it.
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This means that even the most advanced tools will be rendered ineffective if those who are paid to operate them cannot, will not, or are uninterested in learning how to use them.
With our growing reliance on technology, it’s more important than ever for your business to seamlessly integrate your business strategy, people and systems (i.e. the tools and technology your people rely on ).
With that in mind, consider the following three key principles to maximize the ROI of technology upgrades:
Clarify your strategy.
Strategy is your organization’s way of ensuring that the essential remains the essential. Make sure your strategy permeates your entire organizational structure from top to bottom. Without this clarity of strategy, your investments in systems and people will be ineffective.
If the real source of failure is a fuzzy, inconsistent strategy that results in a fuzzy, unproductive corporate culture, don’t blame your people, your systems, or your technology. A lack of clear strategic direction will never be compensated by brilliant technology.
Before investing significant resources in new technology, ensure that the following strategic elements are in place:
- A clear, coherent and convincing mission.
• General principles that guide behavior and responsibility
• A 36-month vision that defines and articulates success.
• 12-18 month goals that align with your mission and principles.
• A shared KPI dashboard that gives everyone an overview of the organization’s successes and failures.
Use new technologies to raise internal awareness of your strategy and reinforce your organizational culture as you integrate it.
Create a versatile and agile workforce.
Leaders used to hire employees because they had a specific skill that matched a specific need of the organization. Technical skills were more important than soft skills. However, given today’s accelerating pace of change and disruption, your organization needs versatile and agile individuals who can quickly change their mindset and role.
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Hiring, developing and cultivating these soft skills results in a more agile workforce – teams that can adapt faster than single-skill expert teams that lack the ability or willingness to learn new approaches to their work.
Hire people who have demonstrated the ability to change and adapt. Long tenures and promotions are impressive, but so are diverse and versatile work histories. A person under 35 who has worked in a variety of organizations may have more to offer than conventional wisdom suggests.
Advanced technology has its uses. On the other hand, creating a team of people who can adapt to the changing needs of your organization will always be a more valuable asset.
Improve employee satisfaction.
In today’s decentralized workplace, digital transformation should be as much about the employee experience as the customer experience.
Given the growing challenges of a remote distributed workforce, technology must support and enhance communication, collaboration, and human connection. Employees are 230% more engaged and 85% more likely to stay beyond three years if they believe their technology supports them at work.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you identify and manage potential gaps in your own employee experience:
1. In which of the following areas is our corporate culture most challenged?
• Show others trust, familiarity and/or goodwill.
• Engage in constructive debate/discussion before making decisions.
• Maintain commitment and accountability for decisions.
• Internal communication and/or collaboration
• Identify and measure organizational success.
2. How can technology be used to improve the employee experience?
• Improve communication.
• Improve project management.
• Gain a better understanding of organizational metrics.
3. Do our employees have the necessary tools and technology to perform their tasks?
Remember that the “best tool” is not always the “right tool”. The most effective tool is the one you use.
Don’t forget to solicit feedback.
Because technology changes so quickly, it’s critical that your employees have the ability to provide honest feedback. Why? So you can understand how your employees are interacting with technology and where changes are needed.
Create a process that actively encourages your employees to share their feedback as you integrate new tools. As you implement their suggestions, you’ll create a compelling employee experience that goes beyond the paycheck and improves recruitment and retention. Plus, you show consistent attention to your employees, which helps your organization stand out from the crowd.