Digital development and technologies are quickly evolving and changing rapidly. So organizations need to act quickly to build a culture of digital readiness to defend the value and give a competitive edge to their customers. If they fail to do so they will inevitably get left behind.
Changing organizational culture for the digital shift is the most challenging thing due to its complexity. Dumping massive technology or tools alone in the work environment will not lead to a direct change.
Technologies are operated by the workforce. So they should be aware of the change, and its importance from a business perspective; how they can adopt this change, etc. Like this, there are many things to promote a culture of digital readiness. Before moving forward lets first understand what is digital readiness? How it will benefit the organization?
What is Digital Readiness?
Digital readiness means “Adopting SMACIT (social, mobile, analytics, cloud, Internet of Things) technologies and making ready for the change.
Digital doesn’t mean you have to do something in addition to doing business, it means how you do business. It clearly states that we need to change business processes and traditional ways of working and enable people to adopt digital technologies.
Let’s quickly see the benefits of digital readiness
Benefits of digital readiness in the organization
- Improve organization agility
- Increase competitive advantage
- Provide customers with new products and services
- Help better information exchange for staff and users
An organization can build a digital-ready culture by incorporating the changes in the work environment. Drive the change from the top to bottom by informing, engaging and empowering employees to help cultivate a digital mindset in-house.
Here are 9 effective ways to promote a culture of digital readiness in the organization.
Assess the present culture
Assess the present culture of an organization by conducting the survey, interview, focus group or some combination thereof. Analyze where the organizational culture stands presently compared to where you want it to be. Conduct the gap analysis and communicate it to your employees.
Articulate the change required
Leaders should get familiar with digital knowledge, its potential benefits to the business and drive the digital shift from top to bottom. Make the staff aware of the digital potential and define the digital behaviors and attitudes expected from them. Communicate the benefits of digital technologies and processes to the team.
Align the team for the common vision and purpose as they are deeply involved in the day to day operations. Also, facilitate and arrange systems to ensure employees exhibit those behaviors and attitudes.
Adaptable to change
Following the vision of digital readiness, an organization has to change their traditional ways of working. This will demand to upgrade their current technology, knowledge, infrastructure, processes, etc. These all are used in day to day operations by employees. So employees are the key to bring a cultural shift in the organization.
Cultural shifts demand people of the right mindset and systems. So ensure that employees have the right mindset for adopting the change. If people have that mindset then the organization is prepared for digital readiness. Else it will be next to impossible deal with the challenges of the digital age.
Encourage staff and offer digital training
Encourage staff members to think about the digital skills that they are missing. Every employee’s digital skills will not be at the same level. So to enhance their digital knowledge, the best way is to offer a learning and development program that caters to all levels of knowledge.
Employees play a different role so they don’t need in-depth digital training. The basic know-how and fundamental training program will make them ready for adding value to their roles. This will save them valuable time and also educate them in the areas of digital. Thus employees will be engaged and empowered.
Employees who need specific training can be arranged separately per their roles or an online learning management system can be tapped for specific knowledge as per their time and upskill knowledge.
Encourage collaboration over individual performance
Digital culture demands employees to work together and share the learnings and insights openly. When people start sharing the ideas in a group, it flies around the room at high speeds and improves the workflow which increases productivity.
Regardless of employee roles and hierarchies, everyone should encourage the culture of working together.
Especially when digital technologies like artificial intelligence, big data and the Internet of things are available. These technologies require all members of an organization to work openly and transparently. Then only these new technologies, systems and processes are adopted.
Encourage boldness over caution
Equipping with digital technologies means moving at a faster pace. So employees should be open to experimentation and change. Leaders should encourage risks and provide freedom to their employees to try out new things continuously and learn from mistakes.
This tactic will build employees’ confidence and culture that not only tolerate mistakes but actually builds on them. Thus employees will be bold enough to experiment with their innovative ideas and have no fear of failure. It will also generate trust in their superiors, build an open culture that embraces innovation.
Evolve a constant change
Digital technologies can change any time and new technologies may come up. Therefore it is difficult to plan the strategy and execute it over the next five years.
In such a scenario instilling continuous change and evolution will inspire the momentum and rhythm required for staff across the business to embrace the new digital culture.
Hire the right people
After implementing the above steps, we know what kind of skill set people are required who can seamlessly fit into the digital culture. So hire the right people with all the traits like willing to learn, open to sharing ideas, have the right mindset and work together, etc.
They should also align with the digital behaviors and attitudes which are the first step of digital readiness.
Ensure the right digital infrastructure
This is the last but crucial step in preparing the organization for digital readiness. One way is to check the current systems and processes and make them feasible to be networked for the future and communicate to fulfill the digitals’ tasks rapidly and effectively.
The second way is to develop the entire new communications network rather than tinkering the existing systems.
A third way is to analyze the customers’ infrastructure and make a change in the existing systems and processes. The reason is whatever we do, it is for customer support and service only. So if we align ourselves and match with the customers’ systems and processes. We are ready for the digital shift?
In most of the cases, new smart solutions and technologies cannot be superimposed on to the existing structures.
Digital readiness is not possible just by embedding fancy tools. It needs a lot of measures in the work environment.
The first and foremost thing is an organization is operated by employees. So employees have to obtain digital skills to bring the culture shift.
Leaders should remember this, initiate the process and make employees ready for the change. They can create awareness, involve them, encourage them to work together, create the right mindset, give space for openness, provide freedom to take risks and try new things, train for digital skills and hire the right people.
Last but not the least support employees with infrastructure to implement the digital skills
Implement these 9 steps and organization will be prepared for the digital shift