A recent Vodafone report stated that over three quarters of UK business leaders surveyed said that digital transformation is a strategic priority. That means that three quarters of UK business leaders are about to enter into organizational transformation at a pace faster than ever before. As they know, digital transformation is not just about technology. It’s equally about the people who use that technology and how the business supports them within the changing tech infrastructure.
According to Forrester, “Digital transformation requires an overhaul of your entire business: from culture to leadership, skills, and even business models.” Even the very best technical solution won’t make a difference to your organization without the engagement of the people required to use it.
So, how does one foster employee engagement? How does one ensure success in digital and organizational transformation? The answer is straightforward: leadership and empowered employees. Empowered employees are those that feel valued and included and are enabled to fully utilize their skills within a changing infrastructure. Creation of a leadership culture and an environment that promotes employee empowerment leads to employee satisfaction and, in turn, improved business outcomes.
But how do we create this leadership culture?
1. Articulate your vision
To be successful, digital and organizational transformation require vision, and that vision has to be articulated consistently and repetitively.
2. Let people know how they contribute
Enterprise visibility and transparency are key to getting people involved and invested in digital transformation. Every person should be told consistently how they contribute to achieving the vision. Providing a long-term view of planned change that allows everyone to see where the transformation is going and the data and metrics they need to visualize, predict and prepare for change will boost engagement and avoid resistance to change.
2. Align all incentives to the vision
Everyone needs to be able to see their place in the transformation and understand where they add value. They need to take pride in where they have added value and to be recognized for doing so. To me, recognition is the greatest incentive there is, because it gives people greater pride in their work. Having the transparency in an organization to see who is responsible for what achievement gives leadership the opportunity to give credit where and when it is due.
3. Enable people to be great
Enable people with trust, processes and tools and empower them with leadership. If everybody can see how their actions contribute to the greater good, digital and organizational transformation are empowered.
4. Develop a learning culture
When digital transformation means rapid technological change, employees need to learn to evolve at the same pace. Foster a “learning culture” by practicing and encouraging learning and recognizing the learners that are embracing new processes and technology. By empowering people with the learning they need to succeed, you can remove a lot of the friction and uncertainty that comes with change.
Ken Dummitt has ten years’ experience working in business continuity followed by ten years running a $300 million software company. He is responsible for leading sales, marketing, client success and account management at Cutover.