Are you ready for the New Digital World of Work?
For many years, the pace of business has been fast. Driving this velocity are two factors: the rise of powerful technologies that enable speed and a global economy that demands agility.
Yet, quite remarkably, the current pandemic has introduced a new tempo that’s head-spinning. That’s because COVID-19 ushered in a rapidly-changing and fluid work environment that doesn’t play by normal business rules. As a result, every company is being tested, regardless of whether or not they had an established telecommuting policy in place before the crisis. The truth is, the world of work may be changed forever and we may have to get used to “the new normal” of doing business. A new normal that is even more reliant on a decentralized workforce connected by digital technologies.
To illustrate, consider the following questions about your organization and its current operations:
- Do new processes developed during the pandemic provide new efficiencies and advantages for our business? Should we keep them? Should we continue to encourage remote work?
- Does every employee have the right technology at home to work remotely? Do they have direct access to all the information needed to do their jobs effectively?
- Can your VPN handle the surge in remote employees?
- How often do you hold company-wide and team meetings?
- Can your video conferencing handle the volume of meetings and the number of participants?
- How often do all managers check in with their employees? Are consistent systems and processes used across the organization?
- Should we rely less on traditional learning and training methods like classroom training? Can we permanently shift to remote, mobile or self-paced training?
- Is your employee handbook online and accessible? Are you updating policies and procedures with ease and communicating changes to all employees with speed?
- Can we find more efficient ways, after the pandemic, of rolling out new processes, SOP’s, products and other operational changes with new types of training?
These questions only scratch the surface of what we will need to think about when we get through the pandemic. They also hint at how ill-prepared most organizations are to support learning at workspeed and adapt to massive business disruptions, especially when employees’ entire workdays must shift to a digital format.
Digital transformation addresses the operational gap
During this crisis, consumer technology tools have helped us to quickly adapt and continue our daily lives using our laptop or mobile device. We can connect to the people we care about and access the services we normally use. That same digital empowerment is required in the business world for employees, but isn’t quite as readily available and has exposed three main operational needs:
- Communication: Real-time information and urgent notices must be broadcast and delivered to all employees, even ones without an e-mail address, and communication must be facilitated between colleagues, managers, teams, and leadership.
- Rapid Updates: There must be quick updates to key documents, operating procedures and learning content to keep up with rapid evolving situations.
- Learning: Seamless execution of tasks and directives must be supported by making all required knowledge and learning accessible to employees in the flow of work.
- Tracking: Visibility into who has received what information, knowledge and learning and when, with the ability to quickly ensure that employees that have not consumed the information or completed the training, do it immediately.
With dispersed workforces, the criticality of delivering communications, knowledge, and learning in a digital-first environment comes to the forefront.
Digital represents the only way to ensure that remote workers are kept informed about ongoing mission-critical company initiatives, virus updates, and evolving information on how to do their daily work. It’s also the only way to provide on-demand learning and real-time information to employees with speed and agility. In the new world of work, companies will be much better at this new way of working, sharing knowledge and learning.
Digital delivers on-demand learning anytime, anywhere
Global organizations spend in excess of $350 billion on L&D every year. Given this investment, it’s shocking to realize that 95% of enterprises continue to rely on in-person training, which helps explain why a mere 8% of CEOs cite business impact from corporate learning.
At a time when digital enables learning anywhere and everywhere for consumers, these traditional business strategies are ineffective and counterproductive, especially for younger employees. Only a modern learning environment, powered by digital content, provides employees with direct access to interactive learning and knowledge on any mobile device.
Not only do onboarding and training improve when employees can learn at their own pace, but the benefits of mission-critical information being on-hand in the flow of work is a game changer in every environment, COVID-19 or otherwise.
There’s no reason why personal technology tools should eclipse business tools. The smart move for organizations is to adopt technology that empowers the new digital world of work now and reap the benefits for years to come.