Change Management Digitalization

Change Management Digitalization
Change Management Automatisierung
Change Management Digitalization

The ability of companies to adapt quickly and successfully to perpetual change is crucial to working in a future-oriented and competitive manner. This is precisely where change management comes in. Actively shaping change and leading the way as a pioneer always requires the willingness of one's own staff to embark on this path. When entire processes and structures are overturned, resistance or concerns can quickly arise among the workforce. But digitalization is not just about making your organization more efficient. Through the automation it builds up, it should above all also relieve your employees of repetitive routine tasks. This frees up capacities to devote themselves to core tasks again.

(Unsure where exactly the difference between digitalization and automation lies? Here we explain it.)

These changes can only be successful if everyone involved pulls together and change management is seen as an important part of the digitization and automation process. Without the involvement of your team members, who will be significantly affected by the consequences of digitalization and whose work processes will ultimately change, digitaliZation processes cannot be successful. We provide tips on how to reduce emotional hurdles and shape the change of digitalization.

Your employees will continue to be an indispensable part of your organization. Take away their worries by implementing the following five points:

Change Management Digitalisierung
Change Management Digitalization

Be open about expected changes in the activities of your team members throughout the process. Yes, subtasks will be automated and thus no longer required for the team member. Address this from the beginning and agree together with the team member how the capacities thus freed up and the newly gained working time can be used. Avoid mere specifications, but design a cooperative process.  

Don't: Do Not Initiate Change Out of Fear of Change

In The Future of Jobs Report from 2018, the World Economic Forum assumed that 75 million jobs will be lost by 2022 due to digitalization and automation. At the same time, it estimates that 133 million new jobs will be created as a result of this change. These figures suggest that we are in for an even more extensive transformation and that the adaptability not only of individuals but of entire organizations is becoming more and more important.

In the future, it will be less IQ and more EQ that will determine competitiveness. Not initiating change out of fear of this change can lead to loss of productivity in the medium term and loss of marketability in the long term. Be a pioneer on the path of digitalization and automation and create the future instead of falling victim to it. Your enabler in this is change management.

Do: Create Transparency to Achieve Acceptance

To be sure of the support and cooperation of your staff, transparency and involvement are essential right from the start. The entire digitization project must be supported by the staff, because acceptance will determine whether it succeeds or fails. So involve your team members during all phases of the project, listen to them and listen to their concerns.

Before the project starts, it is a good idea to form an interdisciplinary project team with members from IT, management, human resources and the departments concerned. At a kick-off meeting, creative methods such as design thinking can be used to outline the automation and digitalization journey and address the expectations of all participants.

Don't: View Digitization Only as an Operational Change

Digitalization and automation will change large parts of the working world in the future. For your company and your workforce, they are not only a means to increase productivity. Automation, in particular, is also bringing about personal and emotional change and is expected to have an impact on socio-economic and psychological factors in the future. Therefore, do not underestimate the impact that digitalization will have on all areas of your company.

To overcome this hurdle, you should ensure that your team members are guaranteed the freedom they need for successful change management. Avoid unnecessarily long decision-making paths, rigid hierarchies and knowledge sovereignty throughout the project. In this way, you enable your staff to optimally collaborate and receive information during all phases of the project.

We have created a checklist to help you master change management in the course of digitalization and automation.

Checklist as PDF

Do: Encourage Knowledge Transfer  

Encourage knowledge transfer, both internally and externally. Your own employees can help each other and thus have a decisive influence on the success of digitalization and automation. Also rely on voluntariness in this regard. Sponsorships promote commitment among the coaches on the one hand and increase the acceptance of the project among the coachees on the other.

But external expertise can also be helpful. To overcome skepticism, to carry out technical training but also to implement the processes sustainably, it can be worthwhile to use external advice. The goal should be that your staff sees and accepts digitalization as a facilitation and a way of working together. After all, your supporting digitalisation processes are only really supportive if they are perceived and used as such. In this way, friction losses can be avoided and optimal human and digital cooperation can be created. External consultants also help to increase the commitment of the project.  

Don't: View Digitization as an Event Rather Than a Process

Automation in particular is not something that, once implemented, will run without your further intervention for the next 20 years while you sit back and watch profitability increase. Automation and digitalization continue to require training, management, monitoring and adjustment. Especially with regard to your staff, you should never lose sight of education and training in the use of automated processes.

During the project phase of implementation, you should focus on short-term wins and duly appreciate and celebrate interim successes. Do you need to digitize certain processes before automating them? Very well, consider this step as a sub-project whose success can be appreciated by all stakeholders.

Do: Anchor Digitalization and Automation in The Corporate Culture

Automation requires cross-departmental work. Most of the time, the IT department is responsible for providing the technical infrastructure and the backend, but is not informed in detail about the processes and activities of the departments. The departments, on the other hand, naturally know your work processes in detail, but lack the technical know-how to implement the automation. Just as you should put together an interdisciplinary project team at the beginning of the automation project, it is indispensable to train your employees specifically and in the long term on what is possible in the area of digitalization and automation. The goal is for your staff to independently recognize at which interfaces and processes further improvement is possible. You can then leave the technical implementation to the specialists. We are happy to support you in uncovering potential, highlighting possibilities and implementing automation.

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