The most difficult part of digital transformation is culture. While technology and processes can be changed and updated with relative ease, the main assets of an organization – people – take time, dedication and leadership to transform.

Nearly three-quarters of learning and development professionals understand the importance of employee development. However, 25 percent say finding qualified training providers is a significant challenge, while 19 percent struggle to determine their training needs. How can you help your organization drive the people part of digital transformation?

1. Communicate

The key to engaging employees is being transparent and updating people on a regular basis, particularly from the top down. In fact, organizations with senior executives who communicate with employees across all levels are eight times more likely to achieve transformation success compared to those whose leaders don’t.

In addition, when communicating with staff, think about the language you’re using. Avoid jargon, “management-speak” or acronyms. Instead, use simple and more human language that communicates tangible benefits to the workforce and the business.

Here are some tips:

  • Inform staff of transformation goals from the outset.
  • Ensure senior executives, including CEOs, visibly engage with transformation.
  • Provide easy access to information.
  • Ensure staff on the front line can see changes in their daily roles.
  • Cultivate a community on social media, and use it to inform staff of developments and news.

2. Invest and Empower

Today’s employees value learning and development opportunities. As digital technologies evolve, the skills the workforce requires also need to evolve.

Employee engagement is linked to productivity. The challenge for L&D executives is to ensure staff are happy and motivated in their roles. An effective way to achieve this goal is by offering opportunities to boost and progress employees’ careers. This is particularly true for millennials, now the largest part of the workforce, more than half of whom say they value the opportunity to learn and grow in a role.

Providing training programs that develop relevant skills will help drive digital transformation and upskill staff. A tailored learning program can go a long way toward demonstrating investment in employees’ careers and empower them with new skills they can use in their roles. From a retention perspective, companies that make training and development opportunities a priority see it influencing seven in 10 people to stay in the organization.

3. Rethink Learning

People learn in different ways. While some prefer to learn in a classroom or at a workshop, others learn better online at their own pace. For some, a combination of both, using a blended learning model, works well.

The rapid development of digital technologies offers new ways to engage and motivate a workforce. From e-learning to gamification to VR, a wealth of platforms can help reach learners in new ways. The added benefit of online learning tools is that they enable tracking so L&D departments can monitor how people are learning and at what pace.

These tools not only help training managers adapt learning programs that aren’t working and focus on the elements that are, but they also help to motivate staff who may be disengaged in the learning process.

4. Embrace Innovation

Digital waits for no one. While external factors are next to impossible to control, an organization can put processes in place to ensure that the internal workings of a business are agile.

This agility can be achieved by embracing a culture of innovation, which allows a business to experiment with processes such as business strategies, departmental structures and management procedures. Doing so can promote engagement through brainstorming and risk-taking in order to help drive digital maturity. Making this process part of a company’s DNA enables a workforce to accept failure and embrace success to create a collaborative culture that works to achieve a universal goal.

While digital transformation is a challenge for any business, given the pace at which technologies evolve, having a workforce that understands their business objectives and the role they play is key. Explore these four elements when considering how to engage with and motivate staff in your digital transformation journey.