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How to Adapt Organizational Behavior Change for a Digital World

By Sue Wigston on August 23, 2018

In our increasingly digital world, the rapid pace of change is unrelenting, compelling organizations and employees to adjust their approach to problem-solving and innovation. In fact, an organization’s competitiveness and ability to grow hinges on its ability to flex to meet the challenges of digital and industry disruption. According to research conducted by Accenture, three-fourths of business executives believe they need a more digital operating model that delivers value through an agile workforce. Here are some ideas to revolutionize your workforce and achieve organizational behavior change in a digital world:

Transform Company Culture

Culture is the combined behavior and mindset of the people in the organization, and can be transformed over time to support a more digitally minded operating model. Culture transformation is not a quick fix. It’s a journey that requires commitment, planning, and patience from every employee as attitudes and behaviors begin to change.

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The key to any culture transformation is leadership that champions and manages change. Leaders play an important role in building a digitally focused culture, and they can help to create an environment that encourages employee behavior change. Some of the ways leaders help to transform company culture include:

  • Initiating two-way conversations with employees one-on-one, in meetings, or in feedback sessions that get people talking about ways to adapt their behavior to the new culture.
  • Demonstrating empathy and offering assistance to employees experiencing trouble overcoming obstacles related to culture change.
  • Leading by example and showing employees how to embrace culture change on a daily basis.

Integrate New Technology in the Workplace

Part of learning how to operate effectively in a digital workplace and world is to get comfortable with digital tools that enhance workforce collaboration, problem-solving, and innovation. Workplace tools that nudge employees toward new ways of working in the digital world can help to spur organizational behavior change. With time, employees who regularly use technology in the workplace will be more likely to embrace it.

In the modern age of constant technological innovations, companies realize the importance of using digital channels to engage customers. Likewise, there are also ways to engage the workforce with the aid of digital tools. Some examples include:

  • Onboarding – Video messages from company leadership and onboarding checklists delivered via a cloud-based onboarding system prime new employees for work in a digital workplace.
  • Collaboration - Tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams offer a common digital interface that allows employees to communicate, generate ideas, and work together on key projects.
  • Feedback – Virtual feedback sessions and performance feedback platforms enhance the delivery of two-way feedback between employees and managers.
  • Engagement – Digital pulse surveys frequently gauge employee engagement levels in real time.

Upgrade Employee Knowledge and Skills Through Training

Successful behavior change requires that employees understand what the desired behaviors are and how to adopt them. According to a global survey conducted by Deloitte, 90 percent of CEOs believe their company is facing disruptive change driven by digital technology, and 70 percent say employees lack the skills to adapt to that reality. Targeted training that is delivered in a fun, stress-free environment provides employees with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a digital workplace and world.

Experiential learning can be particularly valuable in helping employees develop the mindset that helps them think digitally. Through engaging activities that mimic the real world, experiential learning provides employees with skills that enhance their ability to lead, communicate, and innovate within a technology-driven culture. In addition, digital reinforcement and measurement tools reinforce ongoing employee learning and help employees improve knowledge retention over time.

At a time when technology is creating change at such a rapid pace, it only makes sense that employee behaviors will also need to evolve. Organizational behavior change is an attainable goal that can be achieved by adopting a culture where employees have the tools, skills, and knowledge to perform to their potential in the digital age. With support from leaders and training that helps employees adopt a digital mindset and approach to their work, sustained behavior change is possible.

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As Chief Operating Officer, Sue's extensive senior leadership experience and facilitation skills have established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert. She has a proven track record of successfully leading culture transformation in Fortune 500 companies and has established herself as an authority on training and development. Sue has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed solutions for Eagle's Flight.

About Eagle's Flight

Founded in 1988, Eagle's Flight has earned its reputation as a global leader in the development and delivery of business-relevant, experiential learning programs that achieve specific training objectives and lasting behavior changes.

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