Thursday, May 16, 2019

Five Aspects of Digital Workforce Readiness

Evaluating the digital readiness of the business is important to allow room for adjustments and keeping the organization dynamic and informative. 

Today’s digital workforces are multigenerational, multicultural, multi-geographical, multitasking, and multi-devicing. One of the key determinants of whether an organization can move up to the new digital structure for improving its business adaptability and strategic flexibility is the development level of the people. People are often the weakest link but one of the most critical success factors of the organization. Therefore, part of the digital transformation journey is to prepare people to get digital ready psychologically and professionally. Developing high mature digital workforce won’t happen overnight, it takes planning, adapting, and innovating. Here are five aspects of digital workforce readiness.

Performance and potential: Digital workforce is a technology savvy new breed. People are the human asset and capital need to be invested wisely. Performance keeps the business running and potential moves the business to the next level of growth. Therefore, workforce performance improvement must take the long term view and manage both performance and potential accordingly. Workforce management is an important process which underpins the organization’s collective human capability and differentiated business competency. Due to the increasing pace of changes, performance evaluation shouldn’t be just an annual event, it needs to happen more frequently in order to make the timely adjustment and adapt to changes effortlessly. The measures for performance should meaningful tie to the company’s strategy; the performance goal, roles, and responsibilities that specifically result in the outcomes required for competitive business advantage. Either individually or collectively, the potential is an investment. Digital workforce management encourages autonomy and self-discovery, well align the employee’s career goals with the strategic goal of the business.

Employee feedback & feedforward: With overwhelming growth of information and rapid changes, feedback on performance and outcomes help the business management catch the workforce readiness and make the timely adjustment for making continuous improvement. If you want your team to create a great future, they need to be responsive to feedback. The content of feedback is oriented towards behavior, and behavior is an extension of the individual’s mindset, attitude, and personality. From a management perspective, if you want to nurture a great culture to accelerate performance and unlock collective potential, you need to be responsive to feedback either individually or collectively. Feedback and feedforward are important for the business’s success in the long term as we all need to learn from the past and improve towards a brighter future.

The degree of process transparency: Transparency in a social context implies openness, communication, and accountability. Organizational transparency will enable effective two-way communication, built trust, enforce collaboration and harness changes. It is in fact, a fundamental factor for performance achievement. A prerequisite for transparency is trust. An organization can have all the recognition, celebrations and such it wants, but unless the relationship is a trustworthy one, all those activities will be of limited value in enhancing engagement and boosting employee performance. Trust can only be built in an open organizational environment conducive to communication flow, ideal-seeking behavior, and healthy business culture. The transparent organizational processes and loosely coupled functions can be integrated into business competency which underpins the seamless strategy management.

The degree of empowerment: The business management needs to accomplish the goals through their people. therefore, employee engagement and empowerment is important to drive competitive business advantage. It’s about employees willing to give discretionary effort, always looking for ways to improve their own and team performance. Although the responsibility to maintain and grow one’s expertise has always largely fallen on the individual employee; albeit it is great when the organization provides support and empower their staff by showing respect and offering talented people opportunities and efficient tools to achieve more. Digital organizations today need to redefine themselves where talent can develop and learn more rapidly than anywhere else. Psychology, sociology, technology, and philosophy multidisciplinary must be applied for improving talent management effectiveness. The organization with the culture of empowerment will reap the benefits of high productivity, high performance and even drive creative energy flow.

Creativity and innovativeness: Digital management is responsible for enabling a collaborative, innovative, and productive working environment. You cannot command innovation, but it’s always important to cultivate an open environment to inspire and encourage creativity. Managing an innovative digital workforce is both art and science. Business management needs to pay attention to creating shared and admirable goals, and then, develop an inclusive and innovative team to compete and collaborate as they deem fit. Also, you can't command someone to be creative or adaptive. People must have some intangible performance drivers that get them motivated every day to exercise their “creative muscle,” and let their creativity flow.

The digital workforce is a hyper-connected generation with a multitude of varieties. Technically, there is no single initiative or the “theme of year” program that will suffice to raise the business performance overnight, it takes deliberate planning and dedicated effort for developing high-performance and high-innovative workforce. Therefore, evaluating the digital readiness of the business is important to allow room for adjustments and keeping the organization dynamic and informative. Different organizations must tread on their own path of the quest to understand the symbolic language of nature contributing to evolutionary processes for building a high mature business.