One of the many reasons is that successful digital transformation doesn’t take place in a vacuum. When it comes to digital transformation, and indeed change management in general, there are multiple players, and they all need to be lined up successfully in order to meet your goals. One of the most overlooked elements in digital transformation is the role of training new employees and providing ongoing professional support to existing ones.
When done properly, with the involvement of the HR department, this produces engaged, confident employees who are able and willing to support transformation within the organisation. When done poorly, however, it can result in unengaged, unwilling workers who stick sullenly to the familiar, inefficient ways of working. Executives and managers have to expend extra effort to enforce new workflows, tools, and policies, making it less likely that the digital transformation process will succeed.
At a time when only 44% of companies say that they’re ready for digital transformation, it’s noteworthy that over half of those who aren’t prepared are also failing to keep up with their employees’ training and professional development needs. If you’re planning to introduce a policy of digital transformation in the near or mid-term, you should begin by ensuring that your employee training program meets these best practices.
Why the perception of digital transformation needs to change
1. Make it appealing
It’s a lot easier to teach employees who are excited to learn than to try to educate those who aren’t interested. Your training can go much more smoothly when you invest a little effort into making it fun and appealing, like creating video-game-style challenges that employees have to work through independently, encouraging friendly competition with leaderboards, and awarding employees points which they can exchange for prizes.
Instead of leaving the design of your training program as an afterthought, use stunning, crisp graphics and visuals to illustrate each step and make it more attractive.
2. Customize it for each employee
Once upon a time, offering personalised training courses would have sounded like a fairy tale, but today’s technology brings it into real life. Create training materials in a range of media, including text documents, audio training, and video classes, so that each participant can choose the option that matches their preferred style of learning.
On-demand digital training courses allow employees to set the pace at which they learn, so that each individual can speed things up if they want to move ahead, and slow down or repeat sections if they need more time to take them in.
3. Make employees active learners
Old-style employee training programs took workers away from their regular tasks to teach them new skills, then sent them back to work in the hopes that they’ll remember what to do and succeed in integrating them into their workflow. A more effective approach is to train employees on the tools and platforms that they use every day, supporting them to gain skills through active learning.
Improving digital quotient through digital skilling
Active learning, as opposed to passive learning, involves guiding employees through new tasks, like learning how to ride a bike by getting on the bike and working it out. Passive learning is the classic schoolroom-style education, with the teacher speaking at the front of the room and the students taking notes. Everyone learns faster through active learning than through passive learning.
4. Build training into the workflow
Using prompts and shortcuts to embed training into employees’ existing workflow encourages regular review. It’s been found that as little as 25% of new material is remembered by the next day, but frequent review increases retention of new material and reduces the “forgetting curve.”
Another advantage to combining training into the workflow is that employees are able to consult reminders and help widgets privately, without having to admit to needing help. It removes any embarrassment about having to ask for guidance, and increases the likelihood that they’ll refresh their skills at regular intervals.
How advanced employee training supports digital transformation success
Good employee training goes beyond simply ensuring that your employees know how to do their job. It helps draw new employees into the corporate culture, so that they understand the role they play in the business as a whole and feel invested in ensuring that it succeeds. This makes them far more likely to support your plans for digital transformation, and do all they can to support them.
Additionally, employees who fully grasp the responsibilities and requirements of their job are better able to integrate new ways of working into the process of meeting the same goals. They’ll feel more confident about trying out new workflows and testing new practices.
A better approach to employee training also increases employee engagement, making them more willing to listen to your plans for digital transformation with an open mind, and to trust management to guide them through the initial learning curve.
Why enterprises need messaging apps that go beyond encryption
Digital transformation rests on digital adoption, when your employees use all your new tools and apps to their fullest extent. It’s clear that employees who receive interactive, on-demand training in how to use these tools are going to master more quickly and effectively than those receiving unappealing, passive directions.
Well-trained employees are a vital element to successful digital transformation
By introducing fun, customised, active learning that’s built into their regular workflow, employees will have more skills and enthusiasm to support your plans for digital transformation, making them more likely to succeed with flying colors.