Keeping up with digitalization and the new solutions that are emerging almost daily is one of the biggest business challenges of 2023. However, for these tools to really contribute to business growth, it is essential that employees also have the digital skills to use them. The good news is that these skills can be developed and improved at company level, even during the implementation phase.
We are frequently faced with the following questions prior to launching our system:
It's understandable why these questions keep coming up, as it's important to know how many users we can expect to have once a platform like the Blue Colibri App is implemented (which is why we’re regularly publishing fresh partner stories, videos and downloadable case studies).
Every day, we read articles about the rise of digitalization and the latest digital tools that promise to make our businesses more efficient. And if we don't implement these fixes, we have good reason to believe that we'll lag behind the competition and eventually risk losing not only our market share but our very existence.
OK, let's go digital, but what about our staff? It's no secret that digitalization isn't a breeze and adds a lot of work to the table. Supporting your coworkers properly so they can easily acquire or hone the required digital skills is crucial if you are to realize the expected positive impact and long-term return on investment.
In this article, we have put together 7 tips on what you should incorporate into your company's processes to achieve this.
No organizational culture can be established or updated without leadership by example. Therefore, as a Step 0, it makes sense to first convince potential resisters of the importance of digitalization in top management—after all, if you set expectations for employees that management cannot meet, your whole effort may lose credibility. Similarly, it is wise to transform enthusiastic backers into credible ambassadors for the cause.
According to MIT Sloan Management Review, large enterprises with digitally savvy executive teams outperformed comparable companies without such teams by more than 48% based on revenue growth and valuation.
Persuasion is never easy, but if you can find the problem management is facing every day and the solution to it in a tool that is being implemented, it will be much easier.
Once senior managers have gone digital, the impact will trickle down to employees.
The first step is to identify exactly which tools your company needs. Then, those making the tool's selection should think about how friendly the system is to users, in addition to the development of staff members. Before making a long-term commitment to a solution, be sure to consider how easy to use and intuitive its design is. If possible, ask for access to a demo interface and include as diverse a digital workforce as possible on the test team.
It's an advantage if the functionality and design of the tool or platform you choose is reminiscent of solutions that employees are already familiar with, such as social media app newsfeeds and menu structures. It's also a plus if you can customize the layout of the tool to be as similar as possible to the look and feel of your existing platforms or even your company website.
It's also a good idea to pick a single tool that solves several problems at once, which can reduce the learning curve for your coworkers by only having to get familiar with one new platform. That way, they don't have four different new implementations crashing down on them at once, which can be particularly daunting for less digitally savvy employees, and you'll face much less resistance.
When introducing a new platform/tool, it is worth putting even more emphasis on onboarding. Prepare a sufficient amount of easily accessible materials to help employees understand exactly how the system works. It is particularly important to demonstrate how the tool will make the employees' daily lives easier. A good roll-out campaign is therefore not only about the use of the tool, but also about emphasizing the benefits that it can bring.
Where possible, use infographics or even video tutorials to make it much easier to convey information on how to use the interface. Although we are talking about digitalization, printed resources—posters, handouts—can be of great service at this point.
New hires' onboarding should include digitalization (here's a downloadable checklist to help you design the best process) so that you can demonstrate your company's expectations and provide employees with an opportunity to learn, use, and become accustomed to the new tools you want them to use on a daily basis right away.
Developing a "digital mindset" inside an organization is crucial if digital transformation is to become ingrained in the company's culture. What does this mean? It means that we instinctively look for a digital solution to a problem because we are aware of the advantages it offers over traditional options (e.g. faster, more cost-effective, more accessible, etc.). The best way to achieve this in a corporate setting is to offer appropriate training and opportunities for hands-on experience. Everyday practices shape a culture, and as we saw in point zero, management behavior shapes everyday practices.
The best allies for driving change within your company can be your existing employees, who are familiar with the company's strategy, goals, strengths and weaknesses. So it's worth involving them first in the roll-out of new tools (for example, on the test team) and providing them with training that supports them in embedding a digital mindset.
It is important that our employees know who they can turn to if they get stuck using a particular tool. Always let them know who to reach out to for help with a tool or platform, whether that's via email or in person.