How to Create a Digital Transformation Culture: 5 Steps
Do you know the ingredients of a powerful digital transformation culture?
A culture that supports innovation and digital change is created from a blend of capable digital tools, employee support, and communication. The right technology will help move your company forward, but only if it is supported by a staff that is fully motivated to embrace this change.
This may sound straightforward, but part of the reason so many digital transformation efforts end in failure is because cultivating the right kind of culture is a monumental task for many organizations.
Creating a digital transformation culture: Challenges ahead
Creating a strategy to drive the cultural shifts necessary to support a digital workplace is essential, but it’s something many leaders have yet to crack. Moreover, it’s become clear that company leaders and employees have different perceptions on the state of the culture, according to our recent survey on employees’ digital experience.
While 79.5% of leaders believe their organization has a strong digital culture, only 56.7% of employees actually agree. This gap indicates that leaders have some work to do.
A key challenge of cultivating a digital transformation culture is developing an authentic interest in employees.
Employees who are digitally dexterous — meaning they have the ability and desire to use digital tools to produce better business outcomes — will drive you toward success. But creating this competency of digital dexterity requires significant guidance, empowerment, and support from leadership throughout the organization.
The role of HR in a digital transformation project
This leadership begins with HR, who must spearhead the development of a digital transformation culture. HR can initiate this through a variety of means, such as presenting “success stories” from other companies, inviting inspirational speakers, increasing transparency about the core business goals and current standing, and inviting employee feedback.
HR can also implement a reward system for employees who champion digital transformation efforts within their teams and departments.
You’ll need to identify which tactics work best for your organization and current needs, but in any case, HR will be responsible for taking the lead.
5 tips for building a digital transformation culture
With HR in the lead, you can apply the following tips to develop a culture that embraces change and supports innovation.
1. Strengthen internal communication from HR
Alongside incentives, HR must also provide clear and open communication describing not only how digital transformation will help the business, but also how it will benefit employees in their individual roles and workflows.
Greater transparency can help quell resistance, and also provides an opportunity to solicit the input of employees. After all, they are the ones on the “frontlines” of work. If anyone is experiencing friction and bottlenecks, it is probably them. Ask them how your digital tools can improve their workflow so they can more efficiently reach their KPIs.
2. Prepare your leaders
Effectively leading a digital initiative requires solid leadership and management skills. Not all leaders are equipped for the job.
Before diving in, make sure the leaders who will be heading such changes are prepared — both on the technical side as well as the support side.
Leaders should fully understand the value of the tool that will be implemented, how it will benefit employees, and how it might affect their workflow (for better or worse). They should anticipate what challenges employees will face, and come up with a plan to prevent and address them.
3. Encourage agility among leaders and staff
Having a consciously agile approach to organizational design is one of the most crucial aspects of creating a digital transformation culture, as leaders must be able to quickly and dynamically respond to any challenges as they come about.
Moreover, employees must be adaptable as leaders look to create a culture that facilitates faster decision making, experimentation, and innovation.
You can encourage greater agility among staff by making it clear that company leadership values employee input and wants staff to contribute ideas to test new things. When leaders demonstrate that failing is OK if you fail fast, you can reap the benefits of great experimentation and successful innovation, while simultaneously increasing employee agility.
4. Give your staff training a boost
In order to ensure a seamless transition to a digital transformation culture, it will be well worth your while to invest in staff training. With the right training, staff will be far less resistant to change and more willing to embrace technology.
5. Provide the necessary software support
If you want employees to make a big change on top of maintaining a stellar performance, you’ll do right to give them all of the tools they require to make that happen.
Tools such as a digital adoption solution can effectively reduce the complexity and frustration associated with learning to use software platforms. With onscreen guidance, in-line navigation, and real-time support at any moment, employees are never left on their own.
A digital adoption solution, such as WalkMe’s Digital Adoption Platform (DAP), walks users through processes step-by-step so they can complete any task with ease and efficiency.
Without adequate support, employees will associate digital transformation with stress and frustration. But with the right tools on your side, they will see it as a simple initiative that can help them perform better.
Create a long-lasting digital transformation culture
Often, leaders believe they can simply build the infrastructure for change and their staff will follow. But in the era of digital transformation, a digital strategy is not enough — addressing the cultural challenges is paramount to success.
By taking the steps above, you can lay the groundwork to build a long-term digital transformation culture and thrive in the age of digital evolution.