Today, nearly all organizations have jumped on the digital transformation bandwagon. That is, companies big and small have purchased cutting-edge software tools and subscriptions in the hopes of improving their employees’ productivity and the overall business performance.
But while this transition to digital was rapid and indeed sensible, many companies failed at meeting their expectations from digital transformation. So, what went wrong? Two words: digital adoption.
Simply put, when everyone in a company starts using the digital tools available to them to their fullest capability, you can say that digital adoption is successfully realized. But for many companies, that hasn’t been the case.
As an entrepreneur, it's one thing to purchase a digital tool or subscribe to a SaaS product that promises to boost your team’s productivity or task management, and it’s entirely another thing to actually get every team member to proficiently use all the features offered by that tool so you can maximize your business output.
So, while digital transformation has been welcomed by almost everyone, many businesses are failing to correctly adapt and make the most of digital technology at a company level. To avoid that for your business, here are three dos and two don’ts to keep in mind to attain successful digital adoption:
1. Do: Have a strategic change management outlook
When your company undertakes initiatives aimed at improving business performance or fixing known issues, a change management component always comes into the picture. Essentially, change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's processes or technologies.
In the current case, your goal is to achieve a state within your company wherein all of your digital tools and assets are leveraged to the fullest by all employees. So, you must approach digital adoption from a change management perspective.
Create a digital adoption charter that clearly outlines your business goals and the strategies to realize these goals.
Identify executive stakeholders, managers, and decision-makers that have the ability to rally their teams towards the company-level objective of embracing new digital tools that are meant for optimizing productivity. These are those influential individuals in your company that drive change at all levels of the business and build excitement within teams.
Maintain a change backlog to monitor and tackle risks, such as employee resistance and retirement of legacy processes.
Host change management workshops to draw inputs from your digital strategy (vision, objectives, KPIs, requirements, research, personas).
Develop a training plan that incorporates one-to-one, one-to-many, and self-based learning.
2. Do: Provide structured training to employees
Sure, most enterprise-level software and digital tools on the market have fairly intuitive user interfaces and may even have a comprehensive built-in tutorial/help section. So, you may feel that providing proper training to employees would probably be a waste of time and money. But that’s not true.
In reality, one of the main reasons for digital adoption failure is lack of proper training. Even if a handful of your employees don't understand how to correctly use newly implemented technology, or are unaware of additional useful features, it obviously limits the efficacy of the tool.
For instance, freshly graduated employees may benefit a great deal from proper overall training that also covers the proper usage of digital tools standardized in the organization.
Thus, to ensure a successful transition to a new tool for all employees, you must be open to investing in a structured training and onboarding approach. While this can be done with the traditional classroom-based learning approach (using PowerPoint presentations and whatnot), technology is making on-the-job training more personalized and effective by creating more engaging learning processes that support a more hands-on approach.
That is, structured employee training programs can be created and delivered extremely efficiently with the help of digital adoption platforms.
3. Do: Leverage a digital adoption tool
Using a proper software training platform has many benefits:
It serves as a bespoke, interactive on-the-job training solution that also acts as a guide or virtual assistant which ultimately reduces the time it takes for employees to fully adopt new tools.
It allows users to learn at their own pace and through their preferred methods, which helps to alleviate the feeling of pressure on employees and allows them to master the new digital tools in their own way, thus boosting excitement and morale.
Training can be tailored to individual employees’ required degree of involvement. So, employees who just need to know the basics can just cover the introduction, while others can get more hands-on training covering every aspect of the tool.
Furthermore, digital adoption tools can help automate repetitive tasks and allow your employees to access all the training resources as and when they need.
They make it easy to create training programs and interactive guides, and also keep them up-to-date for future relevance. Apart from that, they enable you to measure the effectiveness of your training using analytics, which is important for knowing what’s working and what’s not.
4. Don’t: Blindly adopt the tech your competitors are adopting
This goes without saying, but don’t just adopt the tools that your competitors are using, as what works best for their employees and company culture may not work best for yours.
Do research and find out what tools are most suitable for your particular requirements and budget. There may be unnecessary extra features that you or your employees may never use. And such features will only complicate the process of digital adoption, apart from adding to the expense.
In fact, keep everything transparent by taking your employees’ opinions into account.
5. Don’t: Lose sight of your employees’ preferences
Ultimately, it’s your employees who have to change how they do their jobs. If they're unsuccessful in their personal transitions and are unable to embrace the new way of working, your company’s digital adoption simply wouldn’t be a success, and you won’t see any ROI.
So, allow total participation and make your employees feel heard.
If you’re able to reach a common ground with every individual regarding which new tools need to be introduced in the company, where the training processes need to be implemented or improved, it would go a long way in reducing future frustration and increasing employee accountability.
Successful digital adoption is the key to achieving and maintaining peak levels of productivity in your organization. If you do it right, all of your investments in technological and human resources will bear maximum fruit.
In other words, the ability of you and your employees to make the most out of the available digital resources can tremendously contribute to your company’s growth.
From efficiently managing remote employees and automating internal processes to improving the customer experience—successful digital adoption lies at the heart of it all. So, follow the aforementioned best practices to correctly embrace digital adoption and be on track for greater profitability in the new decade and beyond.
About the author
Pratik Dholakiya is the founder of Growfusely, a content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Digital PR. As a passionate SEO and content marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge in publications such as Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web, YourStory and Inc42, to name a few. Find him on Twitter at @DholakiyaPratik.