Covid-19 was a turning point for companies, forcing them to digitise work in most cases. But this was not just a temporary change; after the peak of the pandemic, the trend is continuing and companies are digitising to make life easier for their employees. This, together with active listening to their needs, is improving work-life balance and productivity, benefiting both the employee and the company. The focus is now on transforming the employee experience and creating “Smart Workers” from onboarding in the company, through the different areas in which digitalisation can contribute.
Digitalisation to transform the employee journey
The employee journey can be transformed by truly involving people and empowering them at different points:
The onboarding moment, digitising the process.
Collaboration between people through the right channels and tools.
Improving socialisation, even remotely.
Initial and continuous learning.
Improving employee performance.
Development of career plans.
The creation of a hybrid workspace suitable for all employees.
With all this, employees become more and more efficient, working in a dynamic, digital and goal-oriented way. This results in higher productivity of individuals and teams, supported by digital media and technologies.
3 trends in creating more digital companies and employees
We can observe that companies’ behaviour in terms of employee digitalisation is trending towards 3 points:
Total Experience. This focuses on the overall experience of companies, from employees to customers and users. Offering exceptional conditions to employees will undoubtedly have an impact on the quality of the organisation’s activities and reputation.
Hyper-automation. There is a clear trend towards maximising the automation of processes, which shows how many aspects and tasks in organisations can be automated through technology.
Anywhere Operations. It is becoming increasingly easy to eliminate the need for face-to-face interactions by using online services.
6 keys to success on the road to the digital employee
We can define 6 key factors to achieve success and drive digitalisation:
Unified employee experience
Working with different systems and multiple interfaces is one of the biggest frustrations employees face in their day-to-day work. Jumping between applications leads to inefficiencies, loss of concentration and time leakage. That’s why eliminating “digital clutter” will be a core principle for improving the employee experience. This unified experience should prioritise:
Legacy or legacy systems.
Elimination of multiple credentials, providing single sign-on.
Centralised data management.
Each employee, depending on the organisation, role or professional situation, will have different concerns or needs. That is why it is important to adapt digital solutions to the particular needs of the employee. This will increase their affinity with the tools, increase their loyalty to the organisation and improve efficiency and productivity. Personalisation should be worked from areas such as:
Quick access to the information or tools of most interest.
Emphasis on communications linked to the employee.
Recommending services and benefits based on employee interest.
Breaking down information silos
Companies are often grouped into departments, and information between departments is not properly shared or communicated. Not only that, but in some cases it is individual people who hold certain information, and there are no mechanisms to ensure that it is available to all. This is why it is important to democratise knowledge, one of the fundamental assets for companies. These silos can be produced by the personal knowledge of experts in specific subjects, by data managed in systems with limited access, documents of interest in local user repositories, etc.
Added value for companies
Solutions to reach the digital employee seek to improve their experience and conditions, but it is not always easy to ensure success. To do so, these initiatives have to provide a differential value, which avoids the use of alternative tools. It is important to prioritise employee benefit and use tools such as gamification rather than imposition. The digital path must be successful because of the benefits it brings to people, in a natural way, and companies must be able to measure this success.
Cultural change among people
The implementation of technological solutions alone will not make sense if it is not accompanied by a cultural change. To get the most out of digital tools, companies and their employees must adapt to new ways of working. To drive this change, change management techniques can be used to address the main barriers that may arise:
People’s resistance to change.
The right support will reduce implementation times and help to save costs.
Ability to measure change
The way to ensure that employees’ conditions improve is through measurement. That is why it is important to have data on the real effectiveness of actions. This will require the use of tools that report on the daily work of employees and their professional situation. In fact, we could start to exploit a lot of the information we have from the habits of our employees and their relationship with the company to draw conclusions. And, with this, identify the points where most time is wasted, optimise high-impact processes and implement the necessary corrective measures.
In short, it is important to understand that the search for the digital employee goes far beyond a simple teleworking model. It is a change in the way of working, in the areas that affect the day-to-day life of the team: the relationship of trust, responsibility, greater freedom for the employee in the performance of their work, etc. Companies that manage to touch all points in the right way will have a great advantage thanks to a motivated staff, decreasing turnover, and increasing productivity and the value that each person contributes to the overall business.