Fujitsu highlights six action points that make digital transformation (DX) more likely to succeed through creating a strategic linkage between digital and workforce transformation.
As highlighted by the sudden, unexpected COVID-19 pandemic, new ways of working are needed. Enabling remote working, in particular, has taken on a new urgency. Even aside from such challenging circumstances, the many transformation programs that are taking place around the world sometimes create employee confusion and dissatisfaction, with the real risk of high staff turnover.
Action point 1: Lead from the front
Culture and scale influence the leadership of workforce transformation initiatives. However, this role is often devolved to CIOs rather than being led by CEOs. Just like at Fujitsu, where President and Representative Director Takahito Tokita is also Chief Digital Transformation Officer, it is the role of leaders to present a vision of the future workforce and to motivate employees to embrace it.
CEO engagement is vital.
A clear view of your strategic vision is needed.
Focus on understanding what initiatives drive the greatest value to employees.
Action point 2: Create a vision for re-skilling the workforce
Many organizations are not yet paying sufficient attention to the inevitable evolution of their workforces when planning transformations. Instead, there is a heavier focus on training people to be better at the job they are doing today, without taking into consideration how to transition the workforce to address the skills and types of work that will be needed in the future.
Establish whether your future vision is based on growth, innovation or defense.
Create workforce flexibility, enabling people to work effectively from remote locations.
Plan for a blended workforce.
Action point 3: Technology needs to be aligned with your vision
Workforce transformation often requires substantial upgrades to technology. The more successful organizations are at transforming their workforce, the more likely it is they required significant digital upgrades.
Ensure your digital and workforce transformations are closely intertwined.
Focus on outcomes, not technology.
Invest to boost productivity.
Action point 4: Focus on employee satisfaction to stem the flood of staff turnover
Fujitsu’s research tells us that just 39% of organizations have deliberately set out to design or improve the employee experience as part of a transformation program. There is a price to be paid for this blind spot, with 70% of firms reporting increased staff turnover as a direct consequence of transformation, and 28% saying the increase in turnover has been extreme.
Don’t overlook the human factor.
Build an environment that engenders a sense of purpose.
Embrace AI as a tool to enhance employee experience.
Action point 5: Deal with cost and complexity – they are the price of workforce transformation
One-off costs, increased employment overheads and unwelcome increases in organizational complexity are a baked-in risk with workforce transformation. But these can be minimized.
Accept that there will be costs but have plans to minimize their impact.
Avoid adding additional complexity to the workspace.
Action point 6: Sell the benefits of workspace transformation to the workforce
Despite the complexity and the inevitable misgivings that many employees will feel, there are huge benefits for workers who can upskill to digital skills. They will be in high demand; they can make a real impact for their organization and have purpose in what they do.
Communicate! Employee resistance is the biggest barrier to workforce transformation.
To transform what your employees do, you need to change the way they think.
Head of Future Workplace Strategy & Growth, Fujitsu