Finally, Digital – It Depends On The Employees

More and more employees work in the home office – remotely and decentrally. This step into the “New Normal” is increasingly moving digital tools into the focus of companies. They are now doing everything in their power to set up a digital infrastructure as quickly as possible because (analog) business as usual no longer exists. Last year, spending on corporate software was doubled, and now it’s being implemented in day-to-day business.

This is precisely where the Achilles’ heel of digital transformation is – the human being. If employees feel overwhelmed by new technology, this often leads to acceptance problems. A Microsoft study  underlines that only one in ten employees feel involved in digital change. This can save a lot of time and money in company departments in which many processes are still carried out manually, such as accounting.

The Best Software Is Pointless If It Is Not Accepted

If employees reject technological innovations, the hoped-for positive effect often does not materialize. Employees often do not have the leisure to deal with the innovations in detail, be it out of convenience or habit. A fundamental aversion to a fait accompli, which employees are often confronted with in digitization, can also play a role.

The fact is: If technology is used incorrectly or not at all, the company does not generate any new benefit. The Microsoft study also shows that knowledge of new technologies is solid among company executives. Nevertheless, in the executive suite, one is often not aware of the knowledge advantage over the employees. The digital privilege can lead to misleading ideas about the acceptance of new tools. For example, while 47.6% of executives state that they have no relation to cloud services, the figure among employees is already 57.4%. In the case of workers, it is even 70% who do not use such services.

Also Read – Edge AI: The Next Evolutionary Step For The Internet Of Things?

How The Acceptance Of New Technologies Can Be Improved

A keyword when implementing new technologies is participation. Employees involved in the selection and establishment of digital tools tend to have a higher level of acceptance. This participation can, for example, take the form of internal company discussions about the use of new tools. Employee suggestions for new company software should also be heard. Further training and solidarity are the keys to a progress-oriented corporate culture.

When introducing new tools, companies can orient themselves on three guidelines that will help them to change the corporate culture into a culture of digital growth:

Give Employees Room For Growth

A fundamental component of such a corporate culture is to give employees room for growth and personal development. Learning new technologies affects not only the individual development of employees on a professional level but also on a personal level. What fears and concerns do employees have? What helps you in times of change? This must be questioned for decision-makers in companies. In addition, it should be remembered that every employee learns differently – and yet they all have to be picked up to the same extent and the same extent.

One approach for this is further training plans in which the employees in the departments take part and the members of the management level. This is the only way to create an environment in which employees see the willingness to deal with the new tools in the long term – across all levels. If employees feel personally supported, they embark on a learning process and develop commitment and intrinsic motivation. Ultimately, this is what enriches the company.

Allowing Vulnerability And Setting An Example

In addition to the freedom for personal growth, empathy is also relevant as a central component of a healthy corporate culture. Not only allowing vulnerability but also exemplifying it should be a guideline for managers in their actions. In a corporate culture, the strength of which grows from an open relationship with one another, innovations are not perceived merely as top-down measures. In an environment in which an employee feels taken seriously as a person and in which managers also treat their employees honestly, not only does mutual understanding increase. Instead, it creates space for solidarity with one another, which can express itself in a collective effort to make progress – also when dealing with new tools.

Communicate And Act Transparently

The third elementary guideline in internal company communication is transparency. Decision-makers in their companies should speak openly to their employees before changes are made. Innovations, which often extend far into the workforce’s day-to-day work, should therefore be well communicated because if familiar work processes break away, this affects sensitive points in the daily grind of the employees and, accordingly, their willingness to cooperate.

When it comes to who initiates and carries out digital changes, openness is required: What the innovations mean for everyday work must be communicated from the start. This transparency in the processes picks up the employees with innovations and helps them deal in-depth with new programs and their advantages. It is therefore of central importance to involve the employees at all times.

Digital Change Is Only Possible With The Support Of Employees

Users essentially decide on the success or failure of digital transformation efforts. Therefore, the focus should not only be placed exclusively on the purchase of new technologies because without the acceptance of the employees’ associated new processes and routines, but the most expensive software is also of no use. To achieve broad acceptance of new tools in all areas of the company, an approach must be chosen that goes beyond the mere installation of the technology.

A corporate culture in which decisions are made transparently and, at best, collectively is an essential step in this direction. Allowing employees room for growth and personal development can be just as important as allowing vulnerability and being open to each other because the implementation process focuses on the people who have to use the technology. If the three measures are in the foreground of entrepreneurial activity, a progressive corporate culture develops without the employees being overwhelmed. This is the only way to create a solid foundation on which individual tools can grow and establish digital processes.

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