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Digital transformations fail overwhelmingly because of this

As we head towards the last quarter of 2021, employers feel the pinch of being in a candidate-driven market. Not only is there more competition for new hires, but it’s become increasingly important to hold onto current employees as well.

Digital transformations kicked into overdrive starting in March 2020, and a year and a half later we are still trying to find the perfect balance between technology leaps and company culture. According to a recent survey, 40% of IT teams accelerated their move to the cloud because of the COVID-19 pandemic, creating a decentralized system of work for businesses across the globe. However, not all of those transformations went smoothly; in fact 70 % of digital transformations fail and McKinsey reports the vast majority of those failures are due to culture-related issues.

That should come as no surprise when 75% of employees say they feel more socially isolated since the pandemic began, while  57% feel greater anxiety and 53% are emotionally exhausted. Throwing on the added stress of digital transformation in their working lives could push workers to the brink.

It’s just human nature to resist change, and considering the amount of change that was forced upon us this past year, it’s no wonder most employees just want to hit the pause button and take a breath. Missing the signals your employees are putting out could spell disaster for any digital transformation your business tries to accomplish. That’s why it’s so important to keep taking pulse checks and understand where the resistance might be coming from, and more importantly, what you can do to help ease employee concerns and fears.

A successful digital transformation can boil down to a simple question: do you know how your teams are feeling?

It all comes down to communication

Remember that employee communication is a two-way street. You want to know how your employees are feeling, but they also want to know what’s going on in your company, especially in a way that lets them know their voices are being heard. A recent survey published by the Harvard Business Review found that more than 90% of employees want weekly communication from their company, with 29% wanting daily communication.

Poor communication about changes in your company can result in a lack of employee engagement and internal alignment, as well as a number of concerns about how these changes will affect your company culture. One common example of this that we’ve seen are the various return-to-office roll outs; LinkedIn reported that more than one-third of employees are still in the dark about their organizations’ plans, whether it’s remote, in-person, or hybrid. This has caused stress amongst workers, especially those who are still trying to figure out care situations for their children or loved ones in need.

How employee surveys can help

Before you take on any digital transformation projects, you should take a pulse check of your employees: send out a survey that asks how they feel about the company’s mission and goals, as well as how they feel the company handles current events and change. You can use this information to start planning your next project and communicate the plans through regular updates to the company. But keep in mind that it shouldn’t stop with just one survey; employee surveys should be sent on a regular basis to ensure everyone is engaged and moving towards the same goals.

Once these communication practices are put in place, you’ll begin to see the results of your digital transformation plans. Increased productivity, better employee engagement, and increased revenue and profits are just some of the outcomes that accompany a successful digital transformation - one that’s powered by the communication between an organization and its employees.

Where to start

A data-driven approach to collecting and analyzing employee surveys can help your company pinpoint areas of resistance and concern relating to digital transformation efforts, enabling you to address issues quickly and efficiently. Ask us how data visualization and AI can radically simplify that process.

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