This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.
Adjusting to digital transformation’s impact on the workplace and employees is hard, particularly because companies will only achieve expected business benefits if they can effectively cope with change in seven key dimensions. These include:
Workforce. Although we have recently focused on the generational shift caused by millennials becoming the bulk of the workforce, there’s a second shift that will impact how we operate. Organisations are contracting gig workers for specific tasks or projects, putting pressure on IT to optimise processes to maximise their productivity. Using automation, intelligence and integration will be fundamental in optimising business processes.
Human resources. The blended workforce impacts the way human resources processes run. The line manager might continue as a custodian, but the management chain becomes tied to activities and projects. Hence, we need to automate and collate information for the relevant project and stakeholder, distill it succinctly and publish it to those who are invested. It must also be archived for performance reviews.
Project management. Near real-time information about performance, productivity and costs will enable project managers to better manage individuals and teams. They can learn from just-in-time manufacturing techniques, to bring in the right employees at the right time.
Relevant information. Developers are experimenting with platforms that capture completed tasks, edited documents and discussions to provide a raw feed of activity. Afterwards, this information can be used in the context of each stakeholder to produce concise, relevant reports.
Embrace employee-driven innovation. Organisations must use techniques like employee-driven innovation to identify new workplace trends and opportunities. Formalising informal support networks can help them manage change more effectively and understand how ongoing workplace investments boost productivity and morale. This makes it easier to justify the cost of change.
Connection and collaboration. Companies must develop policies that give workers flexibility to choose their preferred devices. They will also need to foster collaboration on, and set policies for, social media in the enterprise.
Automation. Companies must consider how new software agents, bots and intelligent machines can learn and apply user preferences, and how they can use contextualised real-time information to automate tasks and decisions.
Enterprises can truly change the way employees work by providing a flexible, expansive workplace with the right technologies and policies. Those who get to grips with the new definition of the workplace will be the digital leaders of tomorrow.
Marc Wilkinson is chief technology officer for Workplace & Mobility at DXC Technology
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