An article published by HR Magazine found that carrying out administrative tasks takes up nearly a third of UK employee’s time at work every year. These manual heavy and repetitive duties however could soon be replaced by technological innovations such as automation or artificial intelligence (AI). The fear that roles will disappear is not necessarily the case as technology is providing organisations with the tools to produce a more productive and highly skilled workforce that can support these new innovations. It does mean however, that an increase in headcount is inevitable as new roles will be created.
If organisations are to attract the talent pool that competitors are also looking to hire, without having their current skilled team being poached either, they need to immerse themselves within technology and become a business known to be a pioneer in digitalisation.
The workforce is changing and organisations need to keep up
With the increasing rate of technological innovation and a forecast that by 2050 40% of our present day roles will be obsolete, it is a matter of sink or swim for companies. To sit back, wait and see what happens will not future-proof a business, nor will it attract or retain the skills needed to thrive in the modern day market. This may sound like scare-mongering but as Blockbuster and Kodak, the global giants that ruled their markets throughout the nineties and early noughties, found out that by not embracing digitalisation their traditional business offering and strategy quickly became redundant.
So how do managers transform their business from being of traditional mindset and methodology to one that is innovative, adaptive and technology savvy? It lies within the culture.
Who creates workplace culture? Your employees
To secure future success through obtaining and nurturing the skills needed to support the increasingly digital dependent workplace, managers must review their current workforce and employee’s attitude towards the encroaching disruption of technology upon day-to-day tasks and everyday business.
The disruption of technology has taken hold of the headlines and with articles titled, ‘Rise of the machines: Are robots after your job?’ and ‘Will jobs exist in 2050?’, it might not be surprising that workers are a little concerned over their future career. To overcome fears, reduce opposition and employee turnover managers need to continuously communicate to the organisation – but a ‘one size fits all’ with a one-off message will not suffice. Treat your employees as if they were your customers; you want to keep them loyal, satisfied, in the know with any business updates and continuously rewarded for their dedication to you. If you do not take the time to care for your employee’s why should your employee’s care for the change you want to implement?
The stairway to change
Our steps will guide you through implementing change throughout your organisation and future-proofing your businesses success and workforce productivity. Become a digital pioneer that houses a highly skilled, adaptive and innovative workforce to attract the skilled candidates you need to increase your long-term ROI.
1. Knowledge of the technology being implemented. Understand what you are investing in and why. Without having full knowledge as a manager change is likely to fail if there is no clear direction, reason why or knowledge at a senior level. Employees will be quick to lose faith too.
2. Leadership - Culture is born out of senior management’s own behaviour and investment to change the culture. You must be the first to adopt new behaviours and attitudes otherwise change will never happen.
3. Motivation. Send out an employee survey to find out key motivators and use the results to create a strategy that will motivate employees to embrace and work alongside technology. This will also help to receive a positive response when explaining the reasons why change is occurring.
4. Learning. You will need to upskill and maybe reskill employees in digital processes and tasks. Be sure to promote this benefit that more skills for employees will lead to career development and progression.
5. Reward. What does the change offer -Qualifications? Change of career? Promotion? Without benefits to change people won’t. It doesn't need to be monetary but showcase how technology can change their career for the positive.
6. Consequences. The goal is to create an open, innovative and adaptive working environment who embraces change, but there needs to be consequences for people who won't abide and have no interest in being part of the company’s success.
7.Don’t slow down on digital investment – Momentum can't slow down when changing culture, it is very quick for your employees to every back to comfortable, traditional ways. Change has to be kept alive.
Deloitte’s Digital Workplace and Culture report highlighted why companies need to be both innovative and technologically embracive. Higher levels of attraction, lower levels of turnover and an increase in profit in the long-term can all be attributed to an organisation building a digitally engaged culture and mindset. When businesses want to implement change it's crucial that they put their employees first. Without the full buy-in from your workers change won't be successful and it could lead to creating a negative, unproductive counter-culture and a decrease in retention.
To change company culture is to understand the current attitude and behaviours of a workforce; to then put these old habits to bed in order to create new and better ones.