3 ways to support a digital transformation during the pandemic

Leaders are concerned about the mental health issues facing employees due to the shift to remote work.
By: | March 11, 2021 • 3 min read

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a recent survey found that nearly three-quarters of 400-plus employers polled expect at least half of their workforces to stay remote in 2021. At the same time, 44% of those same employers believe extensive talent structure changes are needed for digital transformation efforts during this time to be successful, an increase from 37% in 2020.

However, the report, from technology services provider TEKsystems, also found that employers indicate that there are long-term challenges associated with the shift to remote work, particularly when it comes to mental health. Those surveyed cited the importance of employees balancing work and life (63%), adapting to a different work schedule (46%) and managing stress from working remotely (38%) as concerns that have come with the recent boom in distributed workforces.

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“As our report shows, the COVID-19 pandemic altered our personal and professional lives in ways we never expected,” says Meg Cortezi, TEKsystems’ vice president of employee experience. “Organizations need to consider professional development, learning opportunities and how to maintain and adapt a team’s culture to connect with employees and guide them as they progress and face new challenges.”

See also: How HR tech can help ‘cut through the noise’

According to Jay Alvather, president of TEKsystems, organizations now need to develop a well-aligned digital workforce to help employees overcome these challenges and succeed with digital initiatives, which he notes cannot happen overnight.

“Our findings exemplify digital leaders’ ability to perform and transform in the midst of a global pandemic,” Alvather says. “To address challenges and outline a successful path forward in their digital journeys, companies must be able to pivot quickly in the face of adversity, strengthen the capabilities of their workforce and build an environment that is focused on inclusion and diversity—all while continuing to create great experiences for customers.”

The report included three key recommendations to support successful digital transformation:

  • Mind the gaps: Technology deployed during the pandemic may not be compliant with privacy and security policies or may not be integrated with other systems.
  • Prioritize projects that enable new business models: Implement the right technologies for your desired outcomes, and think about how they can be scaled across the enterprise. Part of this process includes identifying the right metrics and making data-driven decisions to achieve digital transformation success.
  • Invest in inclusion and diversity: Accept and leverage the idea that differences create actionable opportunities for your workforce. This includes building an inclusive environment that allows your employees to flourish, as well as cultivating a culture that embraces change and agility.

The report also found that successful digital leaders set themselves apart and create a clear competitive advantage by “implementing the right technologies at the right time with specific strategies to enable new business models.”

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Interested in ways to keep humanity front and center during digital transformation? Attend next week’s free and virtual Spring HR Technology Conference & Expo, March 16-19, where keynote speaker Jason Averbook will present “Changing Work for Good: A Whole Person Approach to Digital Transformation” at 4:45 p.m. ET March 18.

Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at hreletters@lrp.com.