Real Digital Transformation—but with a Human Element

Advanced technology and data integration, particularly in the HR world, has been slowly trickling in over the past few years, but technology usage takes on an entirely new meaning in a post-pandemic world. Covid-19 has forced true digital transformation that companies may have had on their to-do lists for years.  Technology has been used to keep us connected and productive while working remotely, and technological innovation continues as companies anticipate employees will work remotely through at least the first half of 2021. Mobile tools are more important than ever, as well as strong data security and robust internet capabilities. And the technology advancements are welcome, with 77% of employees feeling new technology will improve their work experiences.

But too often companies implement new technology without taking employees and their experiences into account. Nearly all (90%) C-suite executives say their company thinks about employee needs when considering new technology, but only 53% of employees agree. With more employees working remotely and scattered across the globe, or employees working with new social distancing measures in the workplace, it’s even more important that the impact on employees is a priority when considering new technology.

When organizations consider people and culture in making technology decisions, they see a:

  • 6X higher likelihood of an aspirational* engagement score
  • 7X higher likelihood of an aspirational purpose score
  • 4X higher likelihood of an aspirational success score
  • 3X higher likelihood of aspirational opportunity, appreciation, and leadership scores*

* The aspirational score is an empirically based target for each of the Talent Magnets. Statistically, it is one standard deviation above the mean.

Technology also cannot replace human interaction. New technology that facilitates remote work, social distancing at work, or changing business needs and client experiences still needs to facilitate connection and personal interaction.

What to do

Make employee experience the North Star when implementing new technology. Ensure new technology works both remotely as well as in the office, is mobile-enabled, and makes your employees’ work processes easier, not more difficult, especially as they work from home.  How well the technology integrates with other technology and into the flow of work should be a key consideration.

Before purchasing or implementing any new technology, ask yourselves a few specific questions:

  • Why are we implementing this new technology?
  • How will it impact our people?
  • How does it improve their everyday experience?
  • How might it be a burden or negatively impact their experience?
  • How does it integrate with existing tools employees already use?
  • Does it make things easier for them or help them be more productive?
  • How does it reflect or strengthen our company culture?

Additionally, have a change management plan that incorporates adequate communication and training. Without a plan, technology adoption drops 51% and perception of the overall employee experience decreases by 32%. Provide opportunities for human connection as much as possible. Use technology to facilitate time for teambuilding and socialization. Ultimately, your technology should facilitate connection and help your people thrive.