As discussed in my earlier blog post, Seizing the opportunities of digital transformation, the key to success in the digital age is not just about technology. It’s also about developing a clear digital strategy based on an understanding of how the workplace is changing and becoming increasingly mobile. Leading organizations are embracing a new way of working that gets the best out of the 21st century workforce. In the right hands, digital technologies can help employees work more efficiently and effectively. They also can help businesses become more agile and responsive to changes in their market and the emergence of disruptive competitors. A close understanding of the technology landscape is important, but a culture of entrepreneurship and an adaptable and motivated workforce are even more so.

Over the next 10 years, the interaction and dependency between employees and digital will continue to accelerate.

  • Employee wellness will grow in its significance, with employees comparing their health and well-being with other employees. Employers will start to take an active interest in the well-being of their employees.
  • Interaction between employees and automated systems will be commonplace as employees make subjective decisions concerning customers, and automation software completes the remaining logic-based customer processes.
  • Many businesses will move from being product-based to service-based, resulting in frontline employees needing to interact with customers over a longer period of time.

All of this has profound implications for the role that employees play in an organization’s success. As digitalization impacts the workplace more and more, it’s imperative to reimagine the workplace and empower a digital workforce. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

1. Adapting to digital age employee expectations

Leading organizations are focused on rediscovering the needs and expectations of their employees, just as they do with their customers. They’re seeking to gain a better understanding of how employees work and what their needs are.

  • How can your organization integrate these expectations into your overall organizational and digital strategy?
  • Is your organization evolving with the changing expectations of the 21st century workforce while ensuring alignment with your business goals?

2. Strengthening the frontline to create an amazing customer experience

Leading organizations are reimagining the role of frontline employees. They’re identifying which customer service processes currently performed centrally could be moved to the frontline and performed in front of the customer.

  • How will your culture change when employees are asked to make decisions themselves based on customer insight, rather than relying on rules and procedures?
  • How can technology help your employees better serve customers? Technology enables employees to access the right information when it’s needed, enabling them to treat customers as they want to be treated and transform the customer’s transaction into a value-added experience.
  • How can your organization manage the threat that employees may perceive from new technology? Fear of the consequences of new technology can often get in the way of innovation if employees worry that they might be made redundant by it. As a result, leading organizations are exploring retraining and alternative career paths to encourage participation in innovation programs.

3. Creating a collaborative work environment

Empowering employees and creating a more digital workforce goes hand in hand with collaborative working—enabling employees to innovate together and make better and quicker decisions. Although there is an ongoing debate about flexible working versus office working with proponents of both identifying clear benefits, the right approach for your organization goes back to understanding your employee expectations and what the nature of the work demands.

A growing trend, however, is the development of a diverse workforce and the general expectation of a collaborative environment—physically within an office space or virtually via collaboration tools.

  • Is your organization ready to respond to increased transparency? Online forums and websites like Glassdoor.com, which let employees anonymously rate their companies, are driving a growing demand for transparency.
  • How will your tools and working practices need to change to enable collaborative working?
  • How will your organization tackle the cultural and structural challenges that can stymie effective collaborative working?
  • Is a poor employee management system the elephant in the room that’s obstructing the new way of working?

The future is here today for many organizations. Leading organizations are working now on their digital employee strategies to stay competitive and attract the best talent for best serving their customers.

If you’re interested in doing the same and would like our help, please feel free to contact us at info@cgi.com, or visit cgi.com/digital-transformation. Also, download our new Digital Employees white paper.

About this author

Picture of Craig Wallace

Craig Wallace

Vice-President, Digital Transformation Global Lead

As Vice-President and Global Digital Transformation Lead, Craig is responsible for bringing together CGI’s global digital transformation point of view, solutions and services portfolio. With more than three decades of transformation expertise, Craig provides portfolio management, thought leadership, counsel and support for clients’ digital transformation ...

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