Make your employees an asset in your digital transformation!
Today, most of the companies start their digital transformation! It is becoming vital especially when we know that enterprises today are challenged by new market entrants imposing disruptive business models.
To defend markets shares, corporate decision-making must become more reactive and agile, which requires far-reaching transformations and changes. Digital transformation today impacts every facet of business enterprise, and most importantly customer relationship management. All these changes obviously impact employees who must adapt to new cultures, new organizations and new processes.
Many studies unequivocally confirm that:
• only a quarter of employees feel completely at ease with modern digital practices. (TNS Sofres for Abilways)
• half of all employees feel they do not get proper support on digital tools (Survey-Shortways)
• three quarters of employees think that technologies and software used in their workplace are not very efficient. ( FTI Consulting and Epson Europe).
Digital strategies are clearly overlooking the needs of the end-users of digital tools, despite the obvious fact that they a key to successful digital transformation!
Digital is not just about technologies; it is above all about people!
Employees and the Digital
First of all, according to a study from Ifop, 92% of employees consider that the digital has changed their organization. A change that impacts, for 87% of them, their job. A result that can’t be ignored or minimized and that requires to have a change management project for their employees. Still from the same source, we learn that 64% of employees do not feel or not enough supported by their organization to use new technologies. As Marc Gigon said, VP Digital Transformation at Total Marketing & Services, the digital transformation « Digital transformation requires the adhesion of the personnel », it is vital to support them in their business transformation.
Digital transformation, part of the DNA of an organization.
Then, for the best chance of success, it is necessary for the organization to involve all its employees in the digital transformation project. Internal social networks, collaborative area… These tools are perfect for the project management and the sharing of idea. But, it can sometimes be difficult to involve all the employees in the use of these tools.
It is necessary to develop human, technological and financial means to train and support employees in this change! Employees do not have all the same profile, so some of them feel comfortable with new technologies at work and others, not at all.
The winning trio: involvement + communication + training
When we think of transformation, we obviously think of change management and its winning trio: involvement + communication + training. These three levers are used to support employees at every stage of their appropriation: fear, doubt, understanding, interest, adhesion, adoption and learning.
It is possible, for example, to:
• Organize awareness meetings to reassure employees, palliate their fears and answer their questions. Why is transformation necessary? How will it benefit the enterprise and, above all, me? Which changes will affect me personally?
• Communicate about projects to the entire organization: posters, internal webinars with questions & answers, newsletters, informative emails, competitions, etc.
• Create collaborative spaces and forums for discussions with project managers and between employees.
• Produce e-learning media, massive open online course (MOOC) and serious games to increase awareness and inform people about projects.
• Present digital transformation as a priority and determinant for the business and future success of the company
The Société Générale Group just confirmed its 4th position in the CAC 40 in terms of digital maturity. By involving their employees in this project of digital transformation, they have, in 2013, launched the “Projet expérimental participatif et stimulant (Peps)”: a simple experience on the digital transition of the Group. All the employees were requested via the social network of the company to image the bank of tomorrow. Once the employees sensitized and included in the project, they have launched the projet Digital for All in September 2014 to equip all the employees of the Group, all around the world, on office tools “last generation”. To train and support the employees in the use of these tools, the Group innovates in the training tools by deploying a digital training, at the customer request, when he needs it.
The change management must provide for different levels of discourse according to the audience concerned, obviously allocating more time to the most hesitant people. Remember that just as digital systems improve and speed interactions with customers, they can do the same thing with employees!
Looking beyond change management, it is vital to devise durable support schemes to maintain and develop employees’ skills. Training has a key role to play.
Support end-users on digital tools
According to TNS Sofres, only 27% of employees feel quite at ease with new digital practices, so users of new tools clearly need more effective training. However, we should be aware that they have little time to spare to learn new things (4.2 minutes per day!) and they prefer to learn while on the job.
We often imagine that people will find it easy to assimilate intuitive, user-friendly digital tools, and indeed this may be true. Yet even if digital helps simplify processes, the associated internal business rules and procedures remain complex. New usages made possible by digital must be adapted to the enterprise. For instance, using the Salesforce CRM system when selling insurance is not the same as using it when selling airline tickets; the application is the same, but the business and procedures are different, so CRM staff apply rules specific to their activity. To cope with new digital technologies and increasing process complexity, new forms of digital training will take over from long, costly classroom sessions (not least because it is well known that 80% of traditional learning is forgotten within a month1 ).
Learning on the job when actually using a computer application is much more effective and above all better appreciated by staff. We refer to this as «just-in-time learning», or «performance support» provided by an Electronic Performance Support System (ePSS). It is important to support users in the field just at the moments when they feel the need: getting to grips with a tool, learning how to use it effectively, understanding and applying business procedures, entering data, and so on. And of course this support must be adapted to each business.
Employee support on new computer tools is vitally important in all enterprise digitization projects, since this determines the degree of adhesion. Without support the project will fail to live up to expectations and this will have internal and external repercussions. Employees are what transform a digital transformation into tangible benefits. The good news is that many innovative approaches and tools exist to increase employees’ awareness of the stakes and to train and support them.