Four steps to developing successful digital workplace transformation

Digital workplace transformation to improve the employee experience is not a single-phased implementation that happens overnight. Developing a thorough digital workplace strategy that lays the groundwork for success at the very beginning is essential, but this involves many stages, and most organisations don’t know where to start.

Despite these challenges, there are several best practices that business leaders can keep in mind to ease their digital workplace transformation. Developing a robust approach starts by aligning the right people, setting a clear, agreed-upon vision, assessing the organisation’s current technology stack, and creating a detailed roadmap to achieve success.

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Aligning the right people

Putting the customer first is one of the most crucial elements of a good business. However, organisation’s employees are the ones that interact with customers on a daily basis and drive business growth. With that in mind, it’s important to be aligned internally to have success externally.

The first step in developing a successful digital workplace strategy is bringing together the right people to assess the current state of the workplace environment. To get the right feedback, organisations should deploy a survey and interview their employees across business units and job functions to understand what technology and processes they value most, as well as what challenges they face while performing their job duties.

Without completing this essential step, organisations won’t truly understand what solution they need and could be missing out on solving existing challenges to the overall employee experience. Having internal feedback will allow organisations to understand what their ideal solution might look like. Once organisations have the right people involved and feedback from their stakeholders and employees, it’s the right time to start defining a vision for workplace transformation.

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Setting a clear vision

A clear vision for a successful digital workplace transformation should start at the top and be agreed upon across the enterprise. Developing a vision that is shared by different business units will help generate enterprise-wide buy-in for long-term success.

Stakeholder buy-in is essential during this process because business unit owners’ and managers’ attitudes towards upcoming changes will impact the way they communicate it to their direct reports. Keeping it positive will increase the likelihood of a smooth employee adoption to the new technologies and processes. Stakeholder buy-in will also help to avoid having unapproved technology rollouts that could slow down the whole transformation.

Assessing the Current Technology Stack

To get to a better sense of what an organisation’s digital transformation goals look like, it’s important to understand where the work environment currently stands. Data from the aforementioned employee survey will help identify which technologies and software are being used most, how they impact employees, what capabilities are the most popular, and whether or not these capabilities realize the full value of the investment.

Once this is determined, organisations can begin to identify technology gaps and how it impacts employees. The full picture will also reveal what is missing entirely – for example, it could be mobile or remote working capabilities.

Often, the biggest challenge is simply bringing siloed technology pieces together and then bridging together data between disparate systems. Aligning technologies that employees use most within one holistic platform will centralise information and create a more seamless employee experience. This all culminates in defining an ideal digital workplace experience roadmap.

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Detailing a roadmap towards ideal digital workplace experience

Organisations need to articulate what gaps have been identified, what is most important to their employees, what is vital for their business success, and build a comprehensive plan based on this data.

Including a realistic timeline will help business units to understand what is coming, when phases will launch, and who will be involved in each phase. The initial stage should incorporate a measurable impact on the organisation’s business. Agreeing upon success metrics and ROI is vital to stay on track and keep stakeholders engaged.

When approaching a digital workplace transformation, organisations need to remember that their employees are their most significant competitive advantage. Establishing a modern workplace with an enhanced employee experience will have a positive impact on business and company culture.

Company-wide collaboration and support is essential to the transformation process, despite challenges that may arise. A vision for business success coupled with the understanding that each piece of technology is a piece of the bigger puzzle will help organisations to develop their journey towards the ideal digital workplace experience.

David Maffei, is President and CRO, Akumina

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