Evolving workplace technologies presents a massive opportunity to empower employee creativity, and teamwork using simplified digital experiences. Is your Modern Workplace strategy helping you shape your ideal culture of work?
Optimization of the tools and processes with the objective of having a more capable, effective and productive workforce is key. The more focus on the tools, the more digital our strategy and program will be. Executing these strategies directly impacts the status quo of the organizational culture. In response to stirring the cultural pot, focus on outlining a traditional change management program that includes: communications (sharing the vision and reason for the change), and training (new knowledge and ability aligned with the new tools and processes) to minimize the risk to cultural impact and focus on quickly realizing the productivity benefits.
While communications and training are key to driving behavioural change, digital transformation journeys relying solely on these are setting themselves to a painfully long path to benefit realization. Organizations cannot transform to digital unless people do. These additional components should be added as part of the change management workstream:
In the context of change management, leadership translates into three essential elements:
Executive sponsorship – This is fundamental to drive behavioural change. Executives should be actively involved in the execution of the strategy in an open and transparent way.
Community of Change – Identify people that embrace the change and empower them with the resources to be the promoters of change.
Coaching – Promote a conversational channel by enabling meaningful discussions and open forums, which allows you to listen to what your employees think about the change and tailor your strategy.
Patience is a virtue, but it doesn’t necessarily mean to sit, wait and hope for the best. Where your modern workplace strategy is concerned, it translates into being constantly aware of the impact of the change that your strategy is creating. Adoption measurement and monitoring should become second nature. Find the metrics that can tell your transformation story as it evolves and analyze adoption metrics, defining action plans that will improve your adoption efforts.
Acknowledge and embrace resistance, as it has an inverse correlation with your productivity. Employees will show dissatisfaction and you might experience a tangible customer impact as well. Make sure you can identify, measure and counteract resistance as soon as it occurs. Be patient and let your strategy develop inside the organization. Learn as you go, and course correct as you see fit.
Many transformational strategies are being designed around one persona in mind: Millennials. Focusing on a generalized definition of a generation is a mistake. The basic reality of the millennial generation is that they have been living in a connected and digital world most, if not all, of their lives. Although they could become the most supporting group in the organization around your modern workplace strategy, an effective modern workplace strategy should include all employees in the organization. Target every person regardless of their digital maturity, enabling an inclusive modern workplace strategy.
Consider focusing on the Digitally Connected Employee persona to allow you to design your strategy for every employee. You can design skill development, training and communications suitable for multiple audiences.
Identifying, rewarding and recognizing new behaviours is a fundamental adoption accelerator of your modern workplace strategy. Recognition changes are more an art than a science and timing is the most important thing. Consider the following:
* How do you reward new behaviours at the beginning when productivity decreases impacting the status quo?
* When is the right time to switch your metrics and recognition into the new model and dismiss any other old metric?
Like any other transformational endeavour, these success factors can’t be replicated as a recipe for success and immediate results. You will face challenges, resistance and failure. However, for every negative outcome, you are presented with an opportunity to identify, measure and set a new action plan to keep progressing transformation.