Keeping employees engaged is no longer just about offering a competitive salary or a comfortable workspace.
The key to fostering engagement in organisations today lies in embracing the transformative powers of digital solutions.
With a geographically dispersed workforce, the impact of digital transformation on employee engagement can be momentous, ensuring that your team remains cohesive, productive, and deeply integrated with the company's ethos.
4 Ways in Which Digital Transformation Can Improve Employee Engagement
Embracing the best practices for employee engagement in digital transformation is crucial.
You must offer the right tools, empower employees with training, encourage feedback, foster collaboration and offer workplace flexibility. Here are 4 ways digital transformation can improve employee engagement:
1. Tools for Efficiency
A company’s efficacy can see significant improvements with the right digital tools.
Integrating a well-structured intranet, for instance, can streamline workflows, decrease redundancies, and ultimately elevate output.
By utilising tools for employee engagement in digital transformation, organisations can ensure that projects move along swiftly, every team member knows their responsibilities, and that there's a clear, digital paper trail of achievements and progress.
Examples of Practical Efficiency Tools:
- Task Management Systems: Tools like Asana or Trello can help teams visualise their workload, track their progress, and ensure no task falls through the cracks. Consider a scenario in a Marketing Department. Instead of email threads lost amongst other communications, teams can use task cards, categorised boards, and timelines to monitor campaign schedules, design approvals, and content creation. These also have accompanying mobile apps that ensure work can be done on any device.
- Automated Reporting Tools: Platforms such as Tableau or Power BI can automate data gathering and presentation. In a finance setting, instead of spending hours collating end-of-month figures, an automated system could pull data in real-time, allowing teams to focus on data analysis rather than its collection.
- Centralised Document Management: Tools like SharePoint can house organisational knowledge, from HR forms to project proposals. Imagine an engineer in Perth, Australia needing specific schematics. Instead of waiting hours for an email from a colleague in Hong Kong, China, they access the required document in moments, reducing downtime.
- Process Automation: Tools like Forms & Workflows can simplify and speed up existing business processes, while reducing costs with an easy-to-use drag and drop forms creator and sophisticated workflow routing engine.
2. Collaboration Opportunities
If digitalisation is the heart of modern business, collaboration is the lifeblood. Effective communication isn't about sending messages; it's about constructing understanding.
Geographical barriers melt away when digital communication tools are brought into play. With features such as instant messaging, discussion boards, and team spaces, platforms such as intranets can completely redefine how employees interact.
The role of digital transformation in employee engagement here is to break down silos and ensure every voice is heard, fostering a culture of inclusivity.
When everyone feels connected and valued, collaboration becomes organic, innovative, and productive.
Examples of Practical Collaboration Tools:
- Instant Messaging Platforms: Tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams offer real-time messaging, reducing the 'wait time' inherent in emails. A sales team spread across the country can create channels for each client, ensuring every member is updated with the latest feedback or demands without sifting through inboxes.
- Video Conferencing: Zoom or Microsoft Teams are not just alternatives to face-to-face meetings but platforms that offer recording, transcription, and integration with other office tools. A project debrief with members from different locations can be recorded, transcribed, and shared, ensuring those who couldn’t attend don’t miss out.
- Shared Whiteboards: Digital whiteboard solutions such as Miro allow teams to brainstorm in real-time. Imagine a design team in one office sketching out ideas while their counterpart in another adds to the same canvas, in real-time.
- Collaborative Document Editing: Google Docs or Office 365 allows multiple individuals to edit a document simultaneously. A proposal can be crafted by members from various departments, each bringing their expertise to the table at the same moment.
3. Sense of Ownership of Work
By understanding how to engage employees in digital transformation, companies can ensure that every success, no matter how small, is celebrated and that a culture of quality and expertise becomes the norm.
Employees are offered a stage to showcase their work, share insights, and build a personal brand within the organisation. This not only promotes a sense of ownership but also fuels an atmosphere of learning and knowledge sharing.
Examples of Tools & Platforms to Foster Ownership:
- Blogging Platforms: Organisational intranets can often house blogging sections where employees can share insights, discuss recent projects, or provide thought leadership in their area of expertise. For instance, a senior manager from the logistics division might write about overcoming recent supply chain challenges. This not only showcases their expertise but also shares invaluable knowledge across the organisation.
- Digital Portfolios: Platforms like Behance or internal portfolio sections enable creative professionals, like designers and writers, to exhibit their work. An in-house graphic designer, for example, can maintain a collection of their best designs, aiding recognition and sparking collaboration.
- Feedback & Recognition Tools: Platforms such as Kudos or Bonusly allow peers to recognise and reward each other for exceptional work, enhancing the visibility of individual achievements.
- Project Management Dashboards: Tools like Monday.com can be tailored to showcase individual tasks, milestones achieved, and contributions to larger projects, offering a tangible record of one's efforts.
4. Workplace Flexibility
The modern employee values flexibility. Intranet software, for example, allows access from both home and the office, making hybrid work models not just feasible but highly efficient.
This flexibility is one of the most influential digital transformation strategies for employee engagement, ensuring that employees feel trusted, valued, and empowered to perform at their best, irrespective of their physical location.
Examples of Tools Promoting Flexibility:
- Remote Access Portals: With VPNs or platforms like Citrix, employees can securely access their work desktop or essential applications from anywhere.
- Cloud-based Collaboration: Tools such as Google Workspace or Dropbox allow teams to collaborate on documents and projects without being chained to a specific physical location.
- Virtual Office Platforms: Tools like Sococo offer a virtual office environment, where employees can 'move' between rooms for meetings, casual chats, or focused work, simulating the physical office experience.
- Time Management Tools: Apps like RescueTime help employees understand their work patterns, allowing them to structure their day optimally, irrespective of their location.
Digital Transformation Best Practices for Employee Engagement
Digital transformation is about how technologies impact the lives and routines of the very heart of businesses – the employees.
Many professionals within large, geographically dispersed organisations would agree that the impact of digital transformation on employee engagement is profound.
So how can companies ensure this impact is positive?
Here's a guide detailing best practices to promote optimal employee engagement during digital transitions:
1. Advocacy by Management
At the crux of successful digital transformations lies strong leadership endorsement. It's not just about upper management saying they support the new tools or systems; it's about them actively embracing these changes in their daily operations.
When senior leaders not only support but also actively use new digital platforms, it sends a strong message to the entire workforce. This kind of endorsement stresses the significance and value of the transformation.
Say your organisation is transitioning to an advanced intranet system. If the CEO regularly shares updates, engages in forums, or contributes to blogs, it sets a precedent for the rest of the team. Their actions underline the crucial role of digital transformation in employee engagement.
Advocacy by management acts as a powerful catalyst, speeding up the adoption process amongst employees.
Practical Applications & Examples:
- Regular Usage: For instance, imagine your organisation is introducing a new intranet. If the CEO not only announces its launch but is also one of the first to create a profile, share updates, or comment on shared articles, it sends a clear message about the system's importance.
- Departmental Demonstrations: Let's say the Marketing Head hosts a monthly presentation using the new digital platform, showcasing campaign results or upcoming strategies. This consistent usage not only familiarises the team with the system but also underlines its utility.
- Feedback Solicitation: Imagine a senior leader starting a thread or forum on the new intranet seeking ideas for the next team-building activity or feedback on recent company-wide changes. Such initiatives emphasise the relevance of the platform while also promoting a two-way communication channel.
In essence, when leaders don't just preach but practice, it creates an environment where digital adaptation becomes an organic process. The visible commitment from management helps alleviate anxieties, curbing resistance to change.
2. Communicate with Employees During the Process
During any transition, especially digital ones, uncertainties can arise. Here's where transparent communication plays its part. Ensure every employee knows the reasons, benefits, and the roadmap for the digital shift.
By ensuring that employees are always in the loop, you're not just implementing a change; you're making them a part of the journey.
Practical Applications & Examples:
- Regular Progress Updates: Consider the case of migrating to a new system. Instead of merely announcing its launch, give periodic updates. Share news about phases completed, modules tested, or even hiccups encountered. For instance, a bi-weekly newsletter detailing the steps completed in the intranet setup can keep everyone informed.
- Open Forums & Q&A Sessions: Schedule monthly or quarterly sessions where employees can ask questions or share concerns about the new digital tools. A CFO, for example, could hold a session explaining how the new finance tool on the intranet will streamline expense claims, taking real-time queries and addressing them.
- Feedback Channels: Create dedicated channels where employees can provide feedback on the new systems or processes. This could be a forum or a monthly feedback form. The idea is to make employees feel heard. For instance, after the first month of a new CRM system's launch, circulate a form seeking user feedback, which can then be addressed in subsequent training sessions.
Transparent communication reinforces trust. When employees know the 'why', 'what', and 'how' of changes happening around them, it fosters an atmosphere of understanding and collaboration. They're less likely to resist the change, and more likely to be proactive partners in the transformation journey.
3. Involve Employees in Projects
Wondering how to engage employees in digital transformation? Involve them!
Understand their needs, challenges, and expectations from the new system. When employees feel their voice is valued, their buy-in into the transformation increases manifold.
At the heart of every thriving organisation is its workforce. These individuals aren't just cogs in a machine; they're the engine driving it. Their day-to-day experiences, insights, and feedback are invaluable. By involving them actively in the digital transformation process, companies tap into a treasure trove of practical knowledge which can guide and shape the implementation process.
Practical Applications & Examples:
- Idea Generation Platforms: Imagine your company introducing a feature on the intranet called 'Idea Box', where employees can drop suggestions related to digital tools and processes. A recent proposal, for instance, could lead to the integration of a productivity tool everyone loves, directly into the intranet.
- Cross-departmental Focus Groups: Create focus groups from various departments to discuss the potential of the new digital tools. For instance, the IT team and Sales team can come together to identify ways to make a newly-introduced CRM more intuitive and aligned with sales processes.
- Pilot Programs: Before a full-fledged launch, select a group of employees from diverse departments to test the new digital solution. Their feedback, based on real-world usage, can help iron out kinks and enhance the tool's functionality. Let's say the HR department is rolling out a new leave management module in the intranet. A pilot run with a mixed group can bring forth insights the HR team might not have considered initially.
Whether you're from the communications, marketing or people and culture department or any other team that assists remote employees, think of ways to actively involve employees that gives them a sense of ownership. They're more likely to champion and optimise tools they had a hand in shaping.
4. Provide Training & Support
The best tools can prove redundant if users don't understand their functionality. Offering comprehensive training sessions ensures employees not only use but also optimise these digital platforms. Furthermore, continuous support helps in addressing any hiccups along the way.
This approach is one of the pivotal digital transformation strategies for employee engagement.
Practical Applications & Examples:
- Modular Training Sessions: Instead of a long, exhaustive training program, break it down into digestible modules. For instance, if a new project management tool is being integrated into the intranet, have separate sessions on task creation, team collaboration, and report generation. This modular approach ensures better understanding and retention.
- Interactive Workshops: Organise hands-on workshops where employees can use the new digital tools in real-time, guided by experts. Imagine the marketing team getting acquainted with a new content scheduling tool on the intranet, crafting mock campaigns in a workshop setup.
- Dedicated Support Desk: Establish a support hub, accessible via the intranet, where employees can raise tickets, seek clarifications, or access 'how-to' guides. For example, two months post the launch of a new expense management tool, analytics might show that a certain feature is rarely used. A quick 'Feature Spotlight' guide can be released on the support hub, highlighting its benefits and usage.
Training isn't just about acquainting teams with tools; it's about empowering them. When coupled with consistent support, it ensures that no employee feels left behind, optimising the overall effectiveness of the digital transformation.
Communication tools are driving digital workplaces
The digital transformation employee engagement nexus is undeniable. In an age where digital is king, those who adapt, evolve, and prioritise the digital transformation are sure to reap the rewards of a motivated, engaged, and high-performing workforce.
Blending the human touch with digital evolution is the key to holistic growth. By not just introducing, but also embedding new technologies through employee involvement and robust training, organisations set the stage for a future where technology and teamwork go hand in hand.