For a business to realise the full value of a digital transformation it requires buy-in and adoption of the new tools and technology by its employees at all levels. It might seem obvious, but no matter how much you spend on new tools, technology and platforms, you will not see the business benefit if no one uses it.

But there’s plenty of people, myself included, who have the tendency to focus on getting their job done day to day using the legacy systems we know well, reluctant to give up our familiar but ultimately less efficient processes.

For technology to be really useful to an organisation, it must be widely adopted, with your people trained, equipped and informed on how to use the tools, and why it matters.

Communication: the bridge between confusion and clarity

Communication is a foundational pillar during any change process, and is completely essential during digital transformation. Effective, regular and timely communication which aims to ensure everyone understands the goals of what’s changing and the expected benefits.

Transformation aims to grow or improve organisations which often results in new and different opportunities. With any transformation it is vital that employees understand the rationale. Even if the rationale impacts them, if they understand it, they will be more accepting and supportive of the change.

Such communication needs to be interactive, rather than one-way. Any concerns that staff may have, which lead to resistance to adopting new solutions, need to be addressed clearly and sympathetically. To encourage technology adoption, benefits such as improved job satisfaction can be emphasised over the increased efficiency and productivity that the business also expects to see from the digital transformation.

It’s worth remembering that although it is your people who use the technology, it is your customers who consume it, so both audiences need to be communicated to and supported in different ways.

Take time for training

Providing training, and ensuring its uptake, can be especially difficult in working environments that are often overstretched, as there may be little capacity for staff to undergo the training without it impacting their core duties.

This can be one of the biggest challenges for businesses to overcome. How do you work on moving to a future state while maintaining momentum in a current state? The answer is, it’s hard!

Headforwards Digital Academy is a new project that looks to help businesses respond to this challenge and maximise the benefit of new technologies or tools.

The project is part of Digital Futures, which has received £2 million from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of Cornwall Council’s Good Growth Programme.

From training courses on generic tools, like Microsoft Sharepoint, to bespoke upskilling programmes for companies, Headforwards Digital Academy is looking to make it as easy as possible for businesses to train their people.

On 12 July, we’re hosting a morning session on this very topic to talk to businesses about what’s available and share some of our knowledge on harnessing your people to ensure a successful transformation. You can sign up here.

Find your champions

Not all your team will respond in the same way to new tools and technology. Some people love having new tools to play with and it comes to them more naturally.

It may be that early adopters can become champions of the technology in the workplace. Try using them to help to train their colleagues and encouraging them to start making effective use of the fresh solutions.