How to Transform your Business Digitally with Team Cohesion

The digital transformation of any company starts with people. In your company, this means engaging every level of your staff prior to starting the transformation.  

In order to survive in an increasingly tech-based age, businesses of all sorts must keep up with digital trends and advances. For many, this means undergoing a digital transformation.

How you go about this transformation will depend largely on your company’s particular industry, overall size, and ultimate goals. However, one thing remains constant: Effective digital transformation must start with team cohesion.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Before delving into the importance of team cohesion as it relates to effective digital transformation, let’s talk about what a digital transformation actually is and what it looks like.

Generally speaking, a digital transformation is the complete reformation of a company’s business processes, the goal of which is to push all operations into the 21st century by implementing the latest and most effective digital tools and processes. Of course, this doesn’t mean that businesses should digitally transform and begin implementing the newest digital trends just because they are new.

The goal is effectiveness in streamlining business processes and ideally, enhancing the experience of both customers and employees. The process of digital transformation will necessitate large amounts of time and money, hard work, trial and error, flexibility, and most of all: A willing and enthusiastic team, the members of which are all on board.

Why is team cohesion so important for digital transformation?

Essentially, you need absolutely everyone in your business – from CEOs and CIOs down to the most entry-level positions — to be on board and engaged throughout any digital transformation process.

At the same time, while most companies will focus on getting top-level management to be enthused about a digital transformation, it’s actually the frontline staff who need the most motivation because they will be doing most of the work. It’s these individuals who truly need to be enthusiastic and engaged for the coming endeavor of digitally transforming an entire company — no easy task.

Practically speaking, this means lower-level workers — those who are going to be the ones actually implementing, using, and troubleshooting the technology. These are also the individuals who will be explaining and troubleshooting the technology with customers and clients, making it even more important that they are in-the-know far before the process begins and throughout the duration of the transformation.

How can a company effectively engage its team prior to digital transformation?

1. Aim for cohesion across teams.

Your first step in developing team enthusiasm for a digital transformation is ensuring cohesion across all sub-teams or departments. This means ensuring that every team leader knows the shared objective of your company’s digital transformation.

As noted in the introduction, every company aiming to accomplish a digital transformation will have different goals based on their unique industries and other critical factors. It’s essential to pare down your ultimate goals into phrases and ideas that can be easily grasped and maintained throughout the entire process. These must be shared with team leaders, who should then be tasked with sharing them with their employees. The core goals of your digital transformation should be reminded to your team again and again throughout the process.

2. Ask for feedback.

Again, it is not the CEOs and CIOs of your company who are going to be doing most of the work at implementing each phase of your digital transformation. It’s going to be the actual employees who do this. This means that they are going to encounter problems and hiccups.

The first thing to remember here is that there are definitely going to be problems and hiccups. It goes without saying that a huge digital transformation is no easy undertaking, and it will take a lot of time, energy, and money to ultimately accomplish your goals. Throughout the process, make sure that you are soliciting regular feedback from your employees, and get this feedback from all levels — not just from team leaders and managers.

3. Make sure team leaders are reporting back to you regularly.

Lastly, while the actual lower-level staff is going to be implementing the steps of this digital transformation process, you need to be sure that you are getting reports back from team leaders regularly. You want feedback from these individuals too, but it should be in the form of actual reports, completed in a structured manner.

Each phase of your digital transformation needs to be planned out, explained to team leaders or department heads, and implemented within the lower-level staff. From there, the effectiveness of each step needs to be reviewed fully by department heads and you — upper-level management. Finally, remember that you should not only be reviewing this information once. It should be reviewed periodically for up to a year after the end of your digital transformation process.

Digital transformation is certainly a push for better, more effective technology. The results can be revolutionary for your company. However, it’s crucial to remember the importance of people in the digital transformation process and to focus on team engagement first — before tackling the practicalities of this endeavor.