Digital transformation is a necessary step in today’s business landscape and is becoming increasingly common as technology continues to evolve and be adopted by organizations. To ensure the introduction of new technology and processes can be successful, change management is crucial.
Change management relies heavily on securing the buy-in of the people and teams directly and indirectly impacted by the introduction of new technologies. Models exist that allow businesses to smoothly introduce change and ensure their teams are well-supported throughout transitional periods. By working within a framework, like ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement), businesses can implement a comprehensive talent development program to effectively support their digital transformation.
What’s more, by breaking down the change process into the individual components of ADKAR, a business can more easily identify where employees, teams, or the organization as a whole might be resistant to change and why. In a landscape where nearly a third of businesses have not seen their technology investments deliver the results they anticipated, the ability to identify the factors that will affect digital transformation is pivotal. So, how can businesses ensure successful digital transformations?
Education is the critical initial stage of any digital transformation. When we’re able to understand why we are doing something and how it will help us, we are far more likely to make a conscious effort to make that change.
In the context of introducing new technologies and processes to a business, this education must be communicated effectively to help employees answer the question ‘How will this help me and my company?’ Indeed, our research found that 52% of supply chain and procurement leaders believe personalized eLearning programs are necessary if managers want to upskill their teams and make the most of innovative technologies. Effective communication in this stage involves three vital steps:
Any successful digital transformation must have its scope accurately assessed and defined before it begins. For this to happen, the teams and individuals involved must be allowed to understand the specific changes that will occur and how they may come to affect them and their role.
Start by creating awareness about the need for digital transformation. Your business will benefit from effectively communicating why the change is necessary and the potential benefits it will bring to the organization, as well as to individual workflows.
3. Generate desire
The final step in the educational stage of any digital transformation is to instill a desire for change. This simply means highlighting the positive aspects of introducing new technologies and addressing any concerns or resistance to them. To reinforce this message, it’s vital to communicate how digital transformation will not only support the business, but can align with individual goals, improve efficiency, and open up new opportunities for growth and development.
The importance of reinforcement and recognition can also not be overstated in generating desire for change. By celebrating success stories, others are able to see the positive benefits resulting from digital transformations and, as a result, are more likely to want to participate to feel these positive outcomes themselves.
Once employees have understood why digital transformation is taking place, the next crucial step is to train them to use the newly-introduced technology. For example, in the Supply Chain and Procurement industry, employees need to understand the key fundamentals of the industry so that the newly-introduced tech can be optimized. Ultimately, if they know their objectives they can help to configure the tools to work best for them.
The first stage of this process is identifying the skills gap, where training is necessary to upskill employees, and then building a personalized training program for each employee. We use our industry-leading review module to map where the teams we work with currently stand against where they want to be, before using our training programs to get them there with an individually tailored training program.
This personalized approach allows businesses to leverage training sessions, workshops, and online resources to provide the knowledge and skills employees need to adapt to the digital transformation. Additionally, by focusing each learner’s training on only the areas they need to address, they are able to balance learning with their day-to-day role and save time revisiting content they have already mastered. This encourages an atmosphere of support for employees, allowing them to apply their newly acquired skills in a positive environment, with additional resources – such as coaching and on-the-job support – reinforcing their training and creating a virtuous cycle of upskilling.
By fostering this culture within your business, employees feel empowered to make use of their new skills – crucially, without fear of failure. By continually reinforcing the outcomes of their training, through assessments or skills clinics, and celebrating employees’ successes, your business can offer a supportive platform for each learner to put their learning into practice. This ensures your team sees the concrete benefits of their training program, through the development of relevant, practical and useful skills.
Once employees are up to speed with using new technology, the role of senior leaders is to celebrate success and recognize progress. By working with a training provider that offers certification to demonstrate evidence of a learner’s progress, employees can be shown the very real results of their training, helping them to feel recognized by their business.
The results of training can also be magnified through an ongoing program of reinforcement, as milestones are celebrated and wins are constantly communicated, ensuring the team feels recognized for its work. We use our insight module to provide measurable statistics on learners’ progress and demonstrate the deeper benefits of our training: cost efficiencies, increases in team retention, greater productivity, and more widespread creativity, among others.
By following these steps, you can effectively prepare and equip the teams you work with for digital transformation. By involving stakeholders, communicating consistently, celebrating success, and providing adequate support, your business can ensure a smooth transition to the new digital landscape.
If you would like to see how Skills Dynamics supports businesses with their training programs, you can click here to watch a demo of our platform.