Thinking and being digital-first is important across the organization to facilitate and boost digital transformation. This seems like stating the obvious, however, we still see many maintenance staff walking around with pen and paper or working in Excel, while there are better digital solutions available to solve the problem they’re working on. On top of that, our consultants also regularly find that some of the (mostly older) staff has a resistance to change and digitalization. So, how to go about creating a more digital-first mindset?
Have a digital strategy and vision
Share the company’s vision and strategy. Include how digitalization can improve the company and emphasize what’s in it for them, meaning everyone involved from shopfloor to management and all departments. Explain for example to shop floor staff that certain repetitive tasks can be automated which will enable them to focus on other (more meaningful) work. If you think that you have a clear digital vision and have communicated this with your employees, then check with them if that is the case and elaborate on it if there are unclarities. The Cap Gemini & MIT Sloan survey found that 61% of leaders think they have communicated their digital strategy and vision properly with the whole organization while only 38% of their employees think that.
Implement, train and support
Going ahead with for example, digitalization of systems and tools only works well, if you provide ample support, training and coaching on the job. Give people time to get used to the new situation, offer them new insights to keep them engaged and new ideas that help change the way they work and even their behavior, if needed.
Show results and communicate
With a digitalized way of working comes the possibility of measuring progress and results. To avoid this being seen as a threat, communicate the benefits for both the company and the employees clearly. What do they get out of it? Also keep it simple (it’s not possible to focus on ten new KPIs at once) and make sure the data being used is reliable.
Lead by example
Managers should be digital savvy and show it. They can and should also be open to coaching and support in this case. For digitalization projects internally, it is desirable to take a backseat to the change team (if you have such a team).