28 Jun Linking Digitization, Wellbeing, and Sustainability
Digital transformation isn’t about the technology and digital initiatives themselves, but rather, preparing your people for the implementations that will need to be put in place because of inevitable technological changes in the business landscape. Technology in itself is neutral. Most digital technologies available only provide the possibility for gains in productivity, performance, and efficiency. However, a digital transformation itself won’t succeed if the organization doesn’t have a change-ready mindset.
Why would the mindsets of workers in an organization not be change-ready? For one, not everyone sees change as entirely beneficial, because since the effects technology will bring will largely be unknown, the change brought about by technology can be perceived as disruptive. This means that when implementing a digital transformation, change in company culture needs to precede it, which involves an alteration in what behaviors the company will encourage or discourage. What organizations need to do in order to ensure the best chance of success in their digital transformations is to address employee behaviors stemming from fear of what technology will mean for their livelihoods, which is strongly tied to their wellbeing. What they need to do, with our help, is to ‘translate’ the change, to explain what these technological advances mean for them, and how they can benefit from these technologies.
More importantly, we can show that digital transformations can be in line with the values that many young workers have today, which is a desire for sustainability. Companies can align their aim to digitize with sustainability initiatives that are increasingly becoming the value that draws young talent to organizations. Digitization can lead to a production process that is greener, workspaces that have a smaller carbon footprint, and make the technology utilized cleaner. Digitization allows for reports for projects to be presented without wasteful paper use, and allows for employees to be able to work from home, reducing congestion and automobile pollution.
However, all this must be done while continuing to engage our employees and investing in their development by upskilling and teaching them to utilize technology to upgrade their skills, to put more of their effort into work that will not be replaced by technology, that requires their management skills, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, and emotional and social intelligence.
Digital transformation is important because of the aforementioned enhancement of productivity, performance, and efficiency, through increasing speed, facilitating innovation, and digitizing processes that can be digitized. Additionally, and this will appeal to the interests of the younger crowd, digitization can lead to a reduced carbon footprint. We need to continuously engage our employees to lead them to see digital transformation as an opportunity to upgrade their skills in response to a rapidly changing business landscape, and to realize that these technologies provide a way to become more sustainable. Additionally, we must emphasize that human skills, digitization, and the pursuit of sustainability are compatible when people are in control of how the digital transformation happens.