A few weeks earlier, a meme was making rounds on the social media. It asked employees who led the digital transformation of their company. The choices included the CEO, CTO, and COVID-19. The answer choice ‘C’ was circled in red: COVID-19. This is far from being a joke. The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting the business world left and right, and organizations have no choice but to tweak their business strategies to overcome the crisis. Most business leaders have decided to launch digital transformation initiatives to keep businesses running as smoothly as possible during the COVID-19 outbreak and to better prepare for the recovery phase. Here are 5 ways COVID-19 is accelerating digital transformation.
1. Enhancing Employee Collaboration In A Remote Workforce
Whether you like it or not, remote work has become the new norm. Business leaders and executives over the world are of the opinion that companies will keep supporting remote work even if the pandemic does come to an end. When physical barriers come into play, it has a great effect on the way your employees work together and collaborate. The key business impact trigger will be driven by sick family members, school closures, travel restrictions, and quarantines. Organizations are starting to realize that technological solutions can help employees better adapt to the current changing situation.
As companies continue to look into solutions to enhance cross-functional collaboration during the outbreak, employees don’t have to remain cut-off from one another. These initiatives aim to keep your remote workforce connected, better align their strategies, and to improve communication and collaboration. With the right digital tools in place, you can increase efficiency, boost productivity, and bolster communication.
With companies replacing the ‘how things have always been’ mentality with a ‘let’s try it and see if it works’ approach, we are witnessing the implementation of new technologies and digital transformation projects kick into gear, in an effort to enable better team collaboration during the outbreak.
2. Ensuring The Right Flow Of Information
In times of crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic, your internal communication should be clear, transparent, and easy to understand. What’s more, it is extremely important to be able to reach the right employees at the right time with the right message. This is the time when employers, leaders and internal communicators should drastically improve their communication efforts. Companies with an intricate internal communication ecosystem can leave employees feeling confounded and overwhelmed with the influx of excessive or redundant information. This often results in employees ignoring this information.
This is when organizations need to improve collaboration and communication on a company-wide scale. It would be a loss for businesses if employees start missing out on urgent information, such as changes in project, important tasks assigned, or urgent company updates. When it comes to digital transformation projects that your company can undertake, streamlining internal communication is the most important first step to take.
By implementing the right employee communication technology, leaders can ensure the right flow of information in the workplace, personalize messages, filter their audiences, and send push notifications to employees’ mobile phones. It falls to leaders to make sure that all the information is readily available and accessible to all employees.
3. Maintaining Employee Productivity During The Crisis
Even at the onset of the outbreak, companies all over the world made arrangements to accommodate remote working for the safety of their workforce and to contain the spread of the coronavirus. However, maintaining employee productivity in a remote working environment is a challenge that most companies are struggling to overcome. Businesses are now looking for solutions to maintain the productivity of remote working employees during the pandemic. More and more companies, even those that haven’t yet digitalized their internal processes, are rethinking their strategies, and investing in state-of-the-art solutions that make sure employees are doing their jobs successfully and enabling employees to stay productive.
Companies are looking for human resources, internal communication, development, sales, and marketing solutions that ensure continuous business performance, even in the face of the current circumstances, and make businesses resilient to operational disruptions. With the help of these digital technologies, companies are hoping to improve efficiency and productivity. Any organization that is reluctant to embrace digital products, runs the risk of operational disturbance.
4. Enabling Leaders For Success
The time has come for managers and business leaders to demonstrate good leadership skills to prepare for future growth and enhance resilience to failure. However, many leaders are facing unprecedented challenges, owing to the situation at hand, due to which technology departments and digital transformation experts are working hand-in-hand with organization leaders to help them streamline workplace management.
A survey revealed that employees tend to support leaders who periodize their health and well-being. Leaders who are leading their organization through the pandemic are doing their utmost to support their employees first and foremost. The results of the research also reveals that effective communication shapes employee perceptions about how much the organization cares for their wellbeing and safety.
Your company’s response to corona-virus helps employees see that you put their safety first. When communication is poor, employees tend to lose faith in your leadership skills. It is a no-brainer that leaders and managers should express support for employees’ choices and engage in open discussions with employees regarding their concerns and anxieties.
5. Planning For Business Continuity
Even though it may seem like the pandemic is here to stay, business leaders need to plan for post-pandemic recovery and come up with a solid strategy. They need to start implementing the right tools and strategy to minimize the damages on their business. The value of digital operations, products, and channels cannot be overlooked at this time. Think of this as a wake-up call for organizations that are prioritizing daily operational needs over planning for long-term resilience and investing in digital business.
Businesses can mitigate the impact of the outbreak by shifting technology capacity and investments to digital platforms, in order to keep their companies running smoothly now, and over the long term. This is where your Chief Information Officers can start planning and implementing the right digital transformation initiatives to ensure longevity. When traditional channels and operations are impacted by the outbreak, the value of digital channels, products and operations become immediately obvious and CIOs can present a more convincing business case.