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From Digital Transformation to the Digital Workplace – a Journey

Digitisation is defined as is the process of using digitised information to make established ways of working, simpler and more efficient. Streamlining the gathering and sharing of information, making it much easier by digitising.   As digital technology evolves, new ideas are generated for using business technology in new ways and not only by just making old processes faster. This is where digital transformation takes form.

Salesforce also define digital transformation as a culture change as we move from paper to spreadsheets to smart applications.

M-Files define Digital Transformation as “The transformation of business by revamping the business strategy or digital strategy… by adopting digital technologies. In a narrower sense, “digital transformation” may refer to the concept of “going paperless”.

85% organisations

According to the whitepaper on “The Role of Employee Communication in the Digital Workplace” by Lisa Pantelli for Poppulo – The World Economic Fund’s The Future of Jobs Report 2018 found that 85% of organisations are already expanding into new technologies such as Cloud Technology, Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics. So the journey towards becoming a digital workforce is happening naturally for some.

In contrast to just “going paperless” or switching to digital tools, Jussi Roine, Microsoft Regional Director defines the digital workplace as “more than just tools, technology or a single technical setting you turn on in your organisation. It’s a cultural change that enables people to collaborate and be more efficient and productive.”

The digital workplace is a work environment where technology and business processes allow employees to become engaged and productive. Research has shown teams can work together even when they are not physically co-located and employees have access to the files, documents and data that they need, regardless of where they are and through a range of connected devices.

39 oercent

However, Dimensions Data’s Digital Workplace Report 2017 reveals that out of 800 IT & business leaders at large enterprises in 15 countries only 39% say they already have a defined and agreed on digital workplace strategy. A further 40% have some of the building blocks in place, 17% have solid plans to devise a formal digital strategy in the next two years and 4% still have no immediate plans for a digital workplace.

The McKinsey Global Institute’s Industry Digitisation Index,  also found the UK is operating at only 17% of its digital potential with the USA only slightly better at 18%.

These figures suggest that businesses are also not currently exploiting the full potential of going digital and paperless.

Given the current trends around flexible & remote working, there is much more of a demand for increased connectivity. Providing employees with a central hub where they can find the information that they need to do their jobs and stay informed makes sense. The advantages of going digital may include reduced cost on storage, quicker and easier access to tools and information, more engaged employees, better staff retention and increased productivity.

In a blog post written by Sam Marshall for CMS Wire on “ The Digital Workplace Defined” the digital workplace can provide organisations with capabilities across multiple dimensions such as:

  1. Communication and Engagement
  2. Agile Working – The ability to be productive at any time in any place
  3. Collaboration
  4. Finding & Sharing Knowledge

The importance of Internal Communications

The biggest challenge when it comes to digital transformation is driving cultural change

Internal communications play a crucial role for engaging employees in the digital workplace according to the McKinesy Institute.  Everyone must be on the same page for these processes to work. The biggest challenge when it comes to digital transformation is driving cultural change with 97% of companies believing that this is the most important factor.

Using Internal Communications to engage employees is the key to driving change.  The digital workplace provides opportunities to gather opinions on employee experience on a regular and real time basis.  Research conducted by Gallup states that a main factor in engaging and empowering employees is letting them know that their opinions count.  Having the tools in place to create and conduct quick pulse surveys and a means of idea formulation will allow for employees to have this opportunity.

McKinsey also conducted research that supports allowing employees to submit their ideas on where changes in processes should occur as a key factor in empowering your employees.

When employees submitted their own ideas about how processes could be improved, respondents were 1.4 times more likely to report success. The study also shows that continuous learning was also a key factor in engaging employees. Many employees want the opportunity to upskill or retrain, continuous learning allows employees to learn new skills as new technology emerges.

Focusing on people is one of the key pillars in engaging employees and by promoting continuous learning it shows them them that their organisation wants them to succeed and grow in an article written for Forbes.

employees search information

Internal Communications allows for multiple methods of sharing relevant knowledge internally for faster problem solving. Knowledge sharing is among one of the top factors that will make organisations more productive, stated in an article titled “Why Internal Communications makes a Digital Workplace more Productive”.

An average employee spends 2.5 hours a day searching for information with employees often missing out on important content.  Knowledge and information should be shared from one centralised point that is easy to access and find.

It is crucial to ensure employees can access the technology, tools and news they need to perform their jobs effectively regardless of where they are based.  As a result, employees will feel more informed, motivated and engaged.  Having employees on one singular platform that enables the sharing of company news and information through automated push notifications makes sense for internal communications in the digital workplace.

In a webinar on “The Future State of the Workplace: Collaboration & Communications at the Core” by Mike Gotta – Research VP for Gartner a singular platform to communicate with employees out performs other tools such as  Enterprise Social Networking, Content Collaboration platforms, Interactive Intranet, Meeting Solutions, Traditional Portals and Email & Distribution lists. This includes workforce, community, team and group communication.

There is also evidence to suggest that one singular platform for business processes such as internal communications is preferred by employees in a research report conducted by RingCentral titled “From Workplace Chaos to Zen: How App Overload is Reshaping the Digital Workplace”.  The report found that when it comes to workplace apps employees on average use around four different apps, with some using up to six or more. Every day employees are using up to an hour trying to navigate through these apps, which equals to 32 wasted days per work year.

Single communications platform66% of employees from this research said they would rather a singular platform for all of their workplace functions including internal communications, learning, collaboration and recognition.

They believe that a singular platform will enhance productivity. These employees shared that a singular platform would be much more beneficial for several reasons, such as:

  • 67% feel it would create a better workflow
  • 65% feel they would be more productive
  • 62% feel there would be less chaos
  • 51% of employees would prefer it over email/

Although the advantages of a digital workplace are clear, many companies have yet to put an effective strategy into place.

The main challenge to digital transformation is workplace culture.
This is why Employee Engagement is crucial to help drive change, where listening and acting on employees opinions really matter.

Research confirms that employees prefer a singular platform for real time communications and information in their digital workplace. They also believe that having one platform will increase their productivity and workflow on a day to day basis.

Discover how Nvolve’s Employee Experience Platform can transform your Digital Workplace.