Change is part of digital transformations. When your organization takes on a digital transformation, you will need to rely on your staff to shoulder the impact of those changes. To ensure digital transformations are successful, your organization will need to go through a cultural shift and your staff will need to adjust to new roles and more responsibilities. Find out more about how digital transformations impact staff, and how your organization’s people, processes, and culture will benefit from a digital transformation.

People Drive Transformation

Digital transformation is all about people. Your audience and your staff. For your audience, digital transformation aims to deliver amazing customer experiences. Delivering those experiences is reliant on the efforts of your staff.

At Adage, we always recommend starting a digital transformation with a deep understanding of your audience, including your staff. We have found that this understanding leads to greater empathy and a clearer vision for what is required of leadership and staff to achieve a digital transformation. That said, there are a number of situations that you can expect.

Digital Transformation Requires Culture Change

Digital transformation is a people journey as much a business and technology journey. As organizations embark on this journey it is important to expect that you will ask your staff to change. Starting with culture. While culture informs how your staff normally contributes to your organization, digital transformation will require your organization to stop, update, or start having your staff do things differently.

To be very successful organizations will need to shift the culture. One facet of this change is a shift from the department, and functional silos, to cross-functional teams. In many organizations, the structure and power of silos are baked into their operations. Digital transformation is not possible if only a single department is involved. Digital transformation is not a functional area of IT or marketing. Digital transformation solicits the entire organization to work in concert.

Cross-functional teams

Cross-functional teams are made up of members across departments and roles. Imagine a web team made up of customer service reps, sales, marketing, membership, communication, education, advocacy, and policy. This is the type of team that is required to deliver amazing member experiences and digital transformation. Keep in mind asking staff to work this way may be a shocking change of status-quo. This change alone will require a great deal of attention and effort. Some staff may resist these changes or, on rare occasions, may fight or opt-out of these new approaches.

New Roles, New Responsibilities

For many organizations, digital transformation will ask staff to take on more. Most organizations will not be able to take on new staff (new hires) to lead, manage, or execute the functions needed to drive transformation. This means asking existing staff to either adjust their time allocation or simply work more. Aside from working more, there are many times we find that organizations lack the skill sets or roles to help with digital transformation. So the impact is two-fold. First, you will be asking staff to learn a new skill, and second, take on a new role. The more agile organizations will experience less pain in this area. The more litigious organizations may require that Human Resources (HR) be involved in redrawing roles, responsibilities, job descriptions, and compensation plans.

In conclusion, the impact on staff will be widespread. There will be a bigger commitment from your people to pull off a successful digital transformation. If transformations were simply a business or technology problem, many more organizations would have transformed by now. Guiding your people through a digital transformation can be done. Knowing what to expect of digital transformation is the start of the journey.

Download our Digital Transformation Workbook

Our Digital Transformation Workbook simplifies what digital transformation means for your organization. You’ll be able to assess your organization’s preparedness for change with our readiness checklist. We have an overview of the ABCs of Digital Transformation. There’s also a set of questions to help you identify internal weaknesses and strengths as you face a Digital Transformation. Don’t wait to improve your digital presence and your audience’s online experience.