Engaged Employees Are Digital Transformation’s Best Kept Secret

Engaged Employees Are Digital Transformation’s Best Kept Secret

Digital transformation is an essential path for companies who want to succeed in today’s tech driven world. Companies of all sizes must integrate and use technology like never before. Digital transformation is so essential in today’s competitive environment that 70% of companies have a strategy in place or are working on one. 

Unfortunately, most of these initiatives will fail.  Surveys show failure rates of 70% or more. GE, Lego, Nike, Proctor & Gamble, Burberry, and Ford are some of the well-known projects that did not succeed. 

Why? Why do so many companies fail at digital transformation despite the enormous resources provided? It is not technology at all. The most often cited reason is failing to communicate the change initiative to employees, but the problem goes much deeper. 

Approximately 70% of employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged in their jobs. Gallup has been tracking employee engagement figures for 20 years. 

  • 30% of employees are actively engaged in their jobs 
  • 53% are not-engaged 
  • 17% are actively disengaged

Non-engaged workers are not emotionally connected to their work and often do the minimum amount of work to get by. They often hide how they feel about their work and go through the motions just to keep their job. They often cause problems internally and can be a source of complaints. Customers will often be unhappy with how a disengaged employee treats them. Often disengaged employees are simply in the wrong job. They are not performing the work they genuinely want to engage in.  

Change is exceedingly difficult for disengaged employees. Putting forth the extra effort to intentionally change behavior is a challenge. These employees do not want to work harder or perform better. They want to do the least amount of work to get by. 

Digital transformation cannot succeed if disengaged employees are involved. The effort required to change and alter behavior to meet the demands of the technology will not be delivered. 

The good news is 30% of the workforce are engaged in their jobs. 

Engaged workers produce more and make more money for the company. They create emotional engagement and support loyal customers. They contribute to good working environments where people are productive, ethical, and accountable. They stay with the organization longer and are more committed to quality and growth. 

You can spot an engaged employee by their behavior:

  • Employees have a strong relationship with their manager 
  • They have clear communication from their manager 
  • They have a clear path set for focusing on what they do best 
  • They have strong relationships with their coworkers 
  • They feel a strong commitment with their coworkers enabling them to take risks and stretch for excellence

When you are planning your digital transformation project, identify the engaged workers in your company. Assign as much of the project to engaged workers and work through processes, procedures, and guidelines to simplify initiatives to engage all workers. 

The problem with digital transformation initiatives is often not a lack of communication. It is that the communication falls on deaf ears.