When it comes to digital, the mindset stage of the transformation process is about leadership, strategy and culture. Here, the end goal of the business is adopting a culture with digital threaded into its DNA.
While the lack of buy-in from senior executives was once cited as the reason for the slow progression of digital transformation, it now seems to be the involvement of frontline staff that is causing obstacles.
While CEOs are heavily involved in (and committed to) transformational change, many frontline employees find the process more challenging. Yet, while this is the case, studies from McKinsey & Company show that many leading organizations find it harder to attract and upskill tech-savvy executives than talented technical frontline staff.
To reap the rewards of a seamless digital transformation process and ensure everyone is engaged in the process, the solution is two-fold; communication and empowerment.
Communication – Companies with senior executives that communicate with employees across all levels of the organization are far more likely to achieve transformation success compared to those who don’t employ it.
In fact, businesses with effective communication programs and support are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their rivals. What is seen to work in terms of communication is:
Clear communication on transformation objectives
CEO’s visible engagement with transformation
Regular access to information and relevant data
Senior leader visible engagement
Ability of frontline employees to see visible changes in day-to-day work
Continual commitment to staff training, learning and development across the organization
Digital technologies can be very helpful in aiding communication and these channels should be leveraged to engage staff such as social media channels, change management apps or games and live feedback tools.
Empowerment – While senior members of an organization may know their role in the transformation process, many frontline staff can find it difficult to see where they fit in. Empowering employees to see how their involvement can help progress the transformation not only engages them in the process but also enables them to see how it impacts on the success of the business.
Involving Human Resources (HR) can help lead this process as they are best placed to understand the capabilities of individuals within the organization and understand where the skill gaps are. Employees can benefit from the perspective of the HR department through talent development while recruitment can be used when people in-house do not have the necessary skills required.
Investing in employees is empowerment, as those who feel valued and recognized by their employer are more likely to be satisfied with their job. Deloitte found that employee engagement, productivity and performance are 14 percent higher than in organizations without recognition and a 15 percent improvement in engagement can result in a 2 percent increase in margins.
The fact is there aren’t enough people in the workforce with the right digital skills across industries. In the UK alone, the widening digital skills gap is costing the economy £63 million a year. . And this bleak picture is familiar the globe over.
A widening digital skills gap
Despite digital natives and millennials entering the workforce, there is still a substantial gap to be filled in the skillsets of organizations. Right now, 70 percent of the current workforce (including young digital natives) feel they lack the skills to do their job. That’s alarming, especially when you consider that today’s businesses rely on millennials and Gen Zers to fill job vacancies.
As digital technologies continue to evolve, the skills required to harness these evolutions need to be boosted on a continuous basis to filter the platforms or initiatives that may not work with those that will.
According to PwC’s U.S Remote Work 2021 survey. 72% of executives are looking to invest in tools that improve virtual collaboration to help catalyze their digital transformation efforts and support hybrid working models.
Modern businesses must invest in their internal talent
For corporations, this shortage presents a telemarketing list huge problem as those with the skills have the freedom to choose where they work and are in huge demand across industries and sectors.
As a result, many highly skilled professionals are in control and will go for those companies that can provide them with the best salary package but also the benefits the company provides including learning and development opportunities.
In fact, a Quantum Workplace report found that 79 percent of employees feel more engaged with and attracted to companies that provide continuous learning and development opportunities.
Forward-thinking organizations tackling the skills shortage issue are looking at other ways, over and above hiring, to address the lack of digital capabilities in-house - namely develop