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Workforce Enablement

The Art of Managing People Through Digital Transformation

Veteran enterprise CTO Rhonda Vetere outlines her philosophy around helping large organizations adjust to change and adapt to innovation

Companies that strive for a digital transformation are bound to see higher profits and market share. With transformation, you will need a digital leader to keep your organization humming along at its best during this time.

A strong and intelligent digital leader has to have certain essential skills to help them bring their organizations into the process of a digital transformation. A strong leader seeks out all opportunities across the business, including trying a new type of technology or taking on a new application, providing encouragement for the organization to adapt to these changes. Successful leaders think ahead and are always looking for new opportunities for their business to take on as early adopters, with calculated risk, of course.

Most individuals do not like change, so it’s important to remember that to help key employees feeling empowered and ready to transform with your organization. It’s necessary for leaders to be prepared for managing the people side of change so that employees don’t burn out.

Poor leadership and uncertainty can lead to unhappy employees. Communication is a great place to start when keeping your employees happy. Transparency is key for leadership during a transformation. When employees do not understand the organization’s vision or direction, they are more likely to disconnect from their jobs. Employees need to be kept in the loop; it’s important for them to know what is going on in the company. So it’s important to tell your employees why you are moving forward with the transformation and inform them about the business outcomes that they can expect. Leaders who are prepared to answer questions about why the company is transforming are more likely to keep the business and employees on board during times of change. It’s also important for leaders to adapt to these innovations and changes themselves.

Managing expectations is one of the most impactful ways to keep a team engaged. Some advice to consider:

  • Keep the team informed: Stay engaged. Lead by example. Make sure you are talking to every part of the organization. Give weekly updates.
  • Make yourself available: Schedule “skip level” meetings with people a few levels down and in different parts of the organization. This visibility as a leader is incredibly powerful.
  • Share the numbers: Use facts and metrics to get your point across. Manage your team by facts, not opinions. It is all about getting into the details and leading your team every step of the way.

A strong leader should be prepared, but also excited for the digital changes, which can help motivate the team. If they know their leader is prepared and motivated, they will feel the same. It’s the job of the leader to navigate their team in the right direction. A leader should be passionate about the changes that are happening in their business. If you aren’t excited, most likely your employees won’t be either.

Will you be able to engage your employees through this digital transformation? Can you count on your employees to be passionate about the change? The first step to ensure their excitement is to make sure you can motivate them as well. Explain to them why and how a digital transformation can be a success.

If your team seems to doubt your capabilities at first, use proven results to help strengthen your points as a leader. The leader should also build a team of employees whose work styles and personalities mingle well with one another. People who work well together will create a positive environment that gets the job done. It takes investment, agility, and relentless focus to stay ahead, but the organizations and individuals that can establish themselves as digital leaders can find outsized opportunities that will help their businesses succeed.

It is all about getting into the details and leading your team every step of the way.

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