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Is digital transformation only about technology?

While a strong digital transformation strategy is necessary, engaging your workforce to deliver will be imperative.

The future of work has been one of the hottest topics on the leader’s agenda for some time. There has been, and continues to be, plenty of debate around what the impact of disruptive technology like artificial intelligence and robotics will have on human interactions and jobs.

And while there has been widespread speculation and commentary about technology replacing people in the workforce, leaders and executives know that digital transformation is not just about technology. Rather it is about having technology and people co-exist, and about using innovative technology solutions to drive business transformation, better work practices and cost savings.

So how do leaders achieve this balance? How can you build an integrated workforce that embraces the value of both technology and people? Here we explore three ways you can create a workforce of the future.

  1. Be transparent and open

    Most people are not necessarily resistant to change; rather, they are sceptical of it. In the case of digital transformation, it is natural for employees to wonder: How will this impact me and my co-workers? How will be my job change because of this transformation?

    As a leader, it is essential that you are as transparent as you can be about the changes taking place in the organisation. Remove the fear, uncertainty and doubt by taking the team on the journey. Educate your team on how technology can improve their effectiveness (rather than replacing them) and how it enhances business processes.

  2. Engage and retain resilient leaders

    Being a leader in business today is more challenging than it has ever been. Dr Jane Gunn, Partner, People & Change at KPMG, says, “Once leaders were able to focus on leading a division in an organisation where they achieved outcomes through authority and position in the hierarchy. Now, ability to ‘just do your job in silo’ doesn’t work anymore.

  3. The way we work is different, and so is the way we lead. Engaging and retaining people at the forefront of the organisation who are flexible, agile and open to the blurring of traditional boundaries will go a long way in shaping a workforce of the future.

  4. Monitor performance

    The idea of continuous improvement should be top of mind for leaders and can only be achieved with regular and consistent monitoring. Measuring performance and making continual adjustments ensures your people and technology platforms are making progress towards achieving the organisation’s strategic goals.

    A performance management system incorporates all aspects of managing the progress and enables leaders to make real-time decisions, benchmark performance and achieve significant operational improvements; ultimately leading to a competitive edge in the market.

Final thoughts

Digital transformation is here to stay, and it is dramatically changing the way we work. For leaders, the key to success will be harnessing the power of technology and finding talent with the appropriate skills and mindsets to work alongside ever-evolving and increasingly capable machines.

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