What is digital transformation’s secret ingredient?
October 5, 2020
Employees! How a better digital employee experience can determine the outcome of digital transformation initiatives in every area of an organization.
In today’s business world, you’d be hard-pressed to find a leader who wouldn’t be able to answer the question: What is digital transformation? But, when businesses around the world experienced a paralysis of many offline processes in the wake of the lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a consensus quickly spread among leaders: digital transformation is now more urgent than ever before.
Already deemed a mandatory requirement before the pandemic, most CEOs of large companies were being asked to prioritize digital strategies to improve customer experiences. Moreover, there was hard data to back the focus on digital transformation in companies. Digital transformation leaders are 45% more likely than laggards to unlock annual revenue growth of more than 10%. This is just one of the stats in an EY study about how transformative pioneers are achieving better profits, growth, and productivity gains.
But whether automating processes, implementing new technologies, driving efficiency and slashing costs, or improving the customer experience, innovation implementation can get bogged down in internal red tape and other obstacles often in the form of what employees see as their job description.
Therein lies what is digital transformation’s secret ingredient: employees. It is also why “transforming the company’s culture”—a cornerstone of HR digital transformation—is one of the most critical components to successful digital transformation strategies.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new or modify existing business processes, organizational culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business objectives and market demands.
In order for digital transformation in companies to be successful, the solutions rolled out and the technologies adopted must be integrated into every area of the organization. These initiatives should challenge everyone in the organization to change how they do their jobs and, ultimately, how value is delivered to customers and other stakeholders.
Transformers: The Culture
In most organizations, this mandate requires a cultural change. From the corner office to the cubicle at the end of the hall, people should feel inspired to challenge the status quo, experiment, be innovative and even be willing to fail—only to try again.
So when we think about digital transformation in HR, the overall goal is to create better employee experiences through technology where each member of the organization feels empowered, engaged, and motivated. Every employee—not just those in IT, traditionally the technology gatekeepers—should be encouraged to act as innovation guardians so they can drive transformation.
“If your organization can truly commit to putting talent at the core of its transformation efforts, you will fast track productivity, innovation, and growth,” says Sanja Licina, leader of Globant’s Future of Organizations Studio. “If you want to build a more agile organization, you need to connect your digital strategy with your business strategy and your HR strategy.”
One of the vital steps to take before tackling the process of digital transformation is empowering your employees to become guardians of continuous innovation and transformation.
Why digital transformation should top every leader’s to-do list?
Digital transformation is never-ending. There is no end zone. It is about continually assessing and evaluating where technological change is needed the most. Defining digital transformation goals clearly can help ensure your company reaps the benefits of digital transformation efforts.
What role does culture play in digital transformation?
Culture is the bloodline of any digital transformation initiative. In fact, a surefire cause of muddled or even failed digital efforts can oftentimes be traced back to an organizational culture that was not prepared for the changes sought.
It’s important to implement new technologies and solutions that are going to address those needs and goals. Define which processes can be changed or modified. Identify which ones can’t be adapted or digitized so you can replace them with new ones. This will help you to avoid investing in technologies that your organization does not need.
Identifying what needs to be changed in different areas of the company will be easier—even becoming second nature to your employees—if your organizational culture embraces transformation. For HR, just like any other department, the right technological solution is vital to ensuring the success of initiatives aimed at improving employee experiences. But, what is even more compelling about creating a better employee experience over a digital culture platform is how a transformative HR solution can ensure the success of digital transformation initiatives throughout an organization.
Change, especially digital transformation, should not be about crossing something off your to-do list. It should always be about how you can ensure your organization’s growth and sustainability. Moreover, by aligning your organization’s transformation with its business strategy, you can leverage the digital technology implemented to achieve your overall business goals.