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Why improving employee experience is essential before digital adoption

Succeeding in a digital transformation effort requires more than purchasing new technology or digital adoption tools.

employees gathering around laptop during digital transformation
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Digital transformation involves swiftly changing the mentality, procedures, and strategy through modern technology to align with the digital era’s customer needs and business goals.

Apart from handling resistance to these rapid changes, your company must also ensure that your workforce’s skillset aligns with the new digital direction.

Therefore, this will ensure that technology can facilitate transformation instead of hindering progress. 

When you consult employees on digital adoption, it becomes a transformative process that allows them to recognize the potential of a digital resource.

Staff meeting in an office
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It also assists them in accepting and using this technology to further their goals and helps them utilize this tool to accelerate innovation and enhance processes.

So by focusing on the employee experience (EX) before adopting new technology and any respective digital adoption tools, a company can persuade users of the benefits of using new technology to improve the quality of work life. 

Research from McKinsey supports placing more emphasis on EX.

It discovered that employees at EX-focused companies are more likely to go beyond work expectations as they are encouraged to make 40% more effort when working.

Furthermore, a study from PwC showed that 73% of individuals surveyed stated that they know of systems that could help them produce better work.

This statistic suggests that employees are willing to adopt technology at their workplace but want to be consulted on the choices their leaders make for them.

So, here are the steps to building an employee experience at your organization before purchasing technology and any digital adoption tools to transform your business.

Find your ‘why’ and share it with your workforce

happy employees sitting in a meeting
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Your employees are more likely to collaborate with you on digital transformation measures if you keep them abreast of how your business goals align with their own.

So before adopting new technology that you want your employees to use, ensure your leaders start by communicating the vision that any tools can help with and why it could benefit the workforce.      

Suppose you do not address your ‘why’ initially. It will not lead to a fuller commitment from your stakeholders, meaning more employee and customer satisfaction issues and relays in digital adoption.

But, your employees are more likely to understand your digital transformation efforts if you link them with an EX-focused approach.

Some of the questions you could ask yourself to develop this approach include:

  • The technology could enhance customer experience (CX), which improves EX, as the two are closely linked.
  • How it could make employees more efficient in their work.
  • Whether this new technology can help them process their careers through promotions or external recognition.
  • Their growth can also help the company become more profitable and expand its horizons.

Then, communicate this ‘why’ with a thorough plan for testing, training, implementation, going live, and any post-live assistance.

By asking their stakeholders the right questions before digital adoption, John Muir Health, a hospital network in California, reduced costs and became more efficient with technology.

Before upgrading its legacy infrastructure, it aimed to understand better how its supply chain, accounting, and human capital teams could support its strategic goals. Thus, improving its ROI over the next three to five years.

In addition, John Muir Health needed to understand how it could enhance processes to make its employees’ jobs more manageable.  

Once it sought a better understanding of EX’s needs, John Muir Health could drive transformation by re-designing the organizational processes and controls with the help of cloud-based software.

As a result of implementing this software after discussing and communicating its strategic vision, it found that:

  • It was easier to automate processes, resulting in fewer errors for specific tasks, leaving more time for decision-making on more critical tasks.
  • It improved the time-to-close rate for patients from 10 days to 7 days, meaning that the team’s performance was enhanced. 

Identify the employee moments that matter

boss in meeting with employee at the workspace
Image: Pexels

Businesses that proactively gather employee feedback before adopting a digital tool to aid transformation can accelerate their likelihood of success.

To get a deeper understanding of a particular employee’s journey over time, businesses must develop personas for each type of employee.

These personas can reflect the demographic makeup of a specific kind of employee and their needs, attitudes, and behaviors depending on where they sit in the organization. 

Creating personas allows you to give your employees a voice in how a digital transformation effort unfolds.

Some of the questions you could ask to develop a persona include:

  • What processes, organizational demands, and technologies, i.e., pain points, do employees currently struggle with?
  • Would they benefit from some processes being automated/becoming more streamlined?
  • What does a specific employee enjoy doing but their current work role does not give her the capacity to do?

Once personas are created, it is crucial to work with at least one employee from a particular department to map out moments that matter along their company journey.

These moments could include joining a company, developing skills, being rewarded for good work, and receiving coaching/feedback.

Once employees who have experienced these moments give you their input on these current moments and how you could improve them, you can start drafting solutions.

These solutions may include using digital adoption tools. 

For example, Transport for London (TFL) garnered employee moments that mattered for their ‘Fit for the Future program, which aimed to employ digital tools to simplify administrative tasks.

It did this by noting their daily activities and then identifying any problems, making it more challenging for employees to give customers a more positive experience.

One example of a problem involved spotting non-urgent issues in the station environment, like removing graffiti. 

After discovering this was a pain point, TFL built a crowdsourcing app that allowed employees to log this issue on a system. They will simply have to take a photo and then fill out a couple of questions.

In this way, employees knew that TFL collaborated with them to adopt technology that helped them.

Implement, monitor, and measure to ensure digital adoption commitment

automation on screen pointing to the screen of laptop for online classes
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After sourcing employee feedback and developing a solution to tackle pain points, you can implement a digital transformation initiative.

Moreover, this will help you choose new technology with your employees’ needs in mind.

You also must ensure that any implementation gives your employees time to adapt to these new tools in their day-to-day job roles.

This means that your plan can include:

  • Allowing guidance and feedback sessions can be delivered through digital adoption tools as part of a digital adoption platform
  • Adopting quick check-ins with various teams so you can identify employees who require more training.
  • Using metrics that score based on employee feedback and engagement, employee productivity, and speed of adoption to measure and monitor the effectiveness of any tools.
  • Be present at training as a leader to be seen as optimistic about the value of new technology.
  • Rewarding any wins an employee experiences using a digital adoption tool or technology to improve productivity or ROI. The more you can demonstrate how technology improves your EX; the more successful your digital transformation will be.

Succeeding in a digital transformation effort requires more than purchasing new technology or digital adoption tools.

Before you embark on a digital adoption journey, focus on improving your EX by giving employees a voice in transforming your workplace.

Furthermore, this will ensure that they share and understand your vision and are involved in choosing technology they will benefit from when they work.  

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