Three Ways to Encourage Employee Buy-In for Digital Transformation
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Three Ways to Encourage Employee Buy-In for Digital Transformation

How to get internal company buy-in for a digital transformation strategy

Companies across all industries are in the midst of digital transformation, overhauling and improving both back-end operations and customer-facing strategies through the use of modern technologies. According to a CMO study with Econsultancy, successful and timely digital transformation within a company requires every tier of leadership to be invested in change, including board members, C-suite, upper-level management and mid-lower level management.

Successful buy-in from all levels of a company ensures that digital transformation will be supported with crucial resources. However, digital transformation is not just about updating systems and forms of communication. The way that employees embrace new systems and approach customers are key aspects of transformation and need their buy-in in order to succeed.

Getting employees to buy into digital transformation can be difficult, especially if people fear that it will make their jobs harder. The following three ways to encourage digital transformation buy-in can empower workforces and create a greater return on investment in digital transformation efforts.

1. Back Up Your Strategy with Statistics

While there are many highly publicized digital transformation efforts currently being made around the world, company boards and directors still require proof of value for major decisions. According to Smart Insights, important statistics and topics that should be covered when presenting a digital transformation strategy include:

  • An outline of your digital strategy phases and a realistic timeline for implementation.
  • Examples of current company projects or competitor projects that demonstrate the benefits of transformation.
  • Dependable data analytics that illustrate cost savings, profits, customer retention and more.
  • Well-researched predictions concerning how the plan will change business operations and customer experience.
  • A plan for measuring how the strategy impacts the business.

It is helpful to place your company’s potential transformation in the context of the larger marketplace, including showing how your changes can help reposition and improve standings in regards to competitors and target audiences. This includes measuring the results of your digital transformation efforts to show that the successes or shortcomings of the strategy will be fully understood after buy-in and approval.

2. Tailor Your Strategy Presentation to Each Audience

It is likely that your presentation of digital transformation, whether formal or informal, will be presented to different members of the company at various times. As such, it is important that these different discussions are tailored to the unique needs and planned improvements of each audience segment. Forbes highlights that employees need to understand how they will fit into the digital strategy, including how their jobs will be impacted and what the technology can do to help them work more efficiently.

According to Richard Lobo, SVP at Infosys, “people need to believe that this is the right thing,” so communicating the wins achieved through digital strategy and incentivizing continued usage of new technology and strategies after they have been implemented will help encourage both initial and continued buy-in. While illustrating how a digital transformation strategy will positively affect a department is a key aspect to finding employee buy-in, successful strategies should already have department-by-department plans in place to make the most of their transformation.

3. Start Small with Digital Transformation

Most companies undergo digital transformation by starting with a few aspects of their organization and moving on from there. This can be applied to how a customer service department contacts and collects information from consumers, the way that internal communication is handled through modern applications or the file systems used by a business. In any case, starting with specific use cases can prevent complications that discourage employees from buying into transformation and can provide concrete examples of how digital transformation will improve the business as a whole.

As discussed by Dialexa, these smaller efforts will prevent company executives from seeing digital transformation strategies as high risk. In doing so, those in charge of transformation efforts can try different approaches without creating major complications. This allows the rewards to outweigh the risks in the eyes of people throughout the company.

Moving Forward with Digital Transformation

According to a survey by Progress, 85% of enterprise decision makers believe that there is a two-year timeframe for making significant progress in digital transformation before there are negative effects regarding finances and competition. This timeframe should be seen as an incentive for embarking on the journey to digital transformation, as there can still be enough time to strengthen your company and embrace the benefits of transformation instead of feeling negative effects.

Spark Your Company’s Digital Transformation

Successful digital transformation combines employee buy-in with software that is designed for both front-end and back-end transformation. Learn how digital experience platforms can create this opportunity.

Read "Digital Experience Platforms: Designed for Digital Transformation"  
Originally published
November 22, 2017
 last updated
December 17, 2021
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