IC Matters

Employee Comms

A communicators journey through digital change


 — February 5th, 2020

A communicators journey through digital change

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), 85% of enterprise decision-makers believe they have a time frame of two years to make a significant inroad into digital transformation.

Otherwise, they are putting themselves at risk of falling behind of their competitors and will suffer financially.

While most organizations are focussed on transformation affecting their customers, for this desire to be realized, it stands to reason that internal infrastructures and digital platforms must reflect what’s happening on the outside if the business is to stand up to change.

While 42% of organizations believe that their digital workplace maturity is at an early stage (Digital Workplace Group, 2019), 16% of them have not started their journey yet.

The benefits of having an internal digital strategy are as compelling as those focussed on external stakeholders. Benefits of having a digital workplace include:

  • Talent attraction: 64% of employees would accept a lower-paying job if they could work remotely.
  • Employee productivity: Organizations with strong online social networks are 7% more productive than those without them.
  • Employee satisfaction: Organizations that utilize social media tools internally found a 20% increase in employee satisfaction.
  • Employee retention: When employee engagement increases, employee retention goes up correspondingly by up to 87%.
  • Communication tools: Information workers prefer the latest communication tools, especially instant messaging, over more traditional ones like email or team workspaces.
However, despite the increasing need to introduce new technologies into the workplace, at the heart of such a transformation is the need for effective change management.

Four key stages to an effective roll-out

People go through a series of predictable reactions to change. Understanding where people are in the change acceptance cycle can help change leaders address and effectively deal with change resistance.

By setting clear objectives at the heart of all that you do, combined with ongoing measurement and leadership involvement, I believe there are four key stages to planning an effective communications program for a successful roll-out. These are:

  • Step 1: Discovery. Have clarity about the problem you’re trying to solve by getting out into your teams to find out what their needs are. Where’s the gap between what they’re currently doing and what the business goals are?
  • Step 2: Align & Design. Draw on all the information you have to define your messaging, narrative and positioning statements. Have clear objectives and use these to help identify the right provider. Plan your launch, and what you’ll do long-after going live to ensure your people are realizing the benefits.
  • Step 3: Launch. Launch with a big (or small) bang. Get it right for the needs of your team.
  • Step 4: Embed. The launch is only the start. To ensure longevity, fully integrate the platform into the day-to-day operations of the business. It is ongoing and requires continuous refinement.

Understand the Change Journey

In addition to this, it pays to also pay attention to

of reputable models which provide a fantastic framework for managing change.

Top Tips for Effectively Communicating A New Digital Platform

Regardless of what your digital transformation includes; whether it’s the introduction of a new digital workplace, or the implementation of a new financial or HR system, there are some key tips that must be addressed if adoption is to follow through.

These tips are:

  • Articulate a compelling case for change and create a sense of urgency
  • Involve and engage people and credible leaders who ‘walk the walk’
  • Include employees at all levels across all stages of the change process in the planning and development of the program
  • Be prepared to answer the question ‘what’s in it for me?’ to motivate them to act
  • Be consistent in your messaging
  • Listen to what people are saying and respond accordingly – be prepared to adapt your plans if needed
  • Acknowledge and reward early successes
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