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Digital Changes the Worker Experience for Better or Worse – You Choose

Helen Lindsay

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business meeting

The future of work is changing. Once being digital made a business an innovator, but now even this is no longer a differentiator, writes Helen Lindsay, senior manager, Accenture.

Despite spending around $1.2 trillion on digital transformation initiatives in 2019, many businesses globally are overlooking the importance of re-imagining their culture and working practices to reflect a new digital reality.

New technologies bring great advantages to the workplace experience; however, these gains are only sustainable if the organisation’s culture adapts and embraces new ways of working.

In the new digital world the style of work we want, what we want for our colleagues, and what physical and virtual workplaces we need, all require careful consideration.

What drives our workforce is also critical. One of the key trends identified by Fjord, Accenture Interactive’s design and innovation practice, is Liquid People.

Having crowd-sourced the thoughts of its network of 1,200 people in 33 studios worldwide, it found that people no longer want to define themselves by their possessions or their jobs.

In response, leading organisations are supporting individual employees’ increasingly changeable desires and their pursuit of greater meaning in their lives, with the evidence coming through that businesses that help their workers thrive in the post-digital age will also thrive themselves.

Andy Young, of Accenture’s talent and organisation (T&O) function, said: “The new generation of top talent is already holding companies to a new cultural standard. Creating a culture that supports employees’ needs is not just the right thing to do, it’s essential for real competitive advantage as well as attracting and retaining high-value workers.”

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“These are exciting times in Scotland, with the goal to make Edinburgh the Data Capital of Europe and a thriving data science and digital community around the country,” reflects Helen Lindsay of Accenture’s T&O practice in Scotland. How we help our workers flourish is key to unlocking Scottish ambitions.”

Scottish businesses can do the following to get started on this transformation:

Throw out your understanding of workplace experiences

Businesses looking ahead to the post-digital age see technologies ranging from AI to XR that will fundamentally change the way work is performed. In response to these changes, leading businesses are rethinking everything that goes into the creation of a digitally equipped workforce and what it will take to help that workforce thrive.

Part of this rethinking requires businesses to embrace worker needs that may have previously been considered less important.

Embrace changing perspectives on the nature of work

As businesses find themselves at the dawn of the post-digital age, they have a unique opportunity to prepare for impending change.

The reality for every business is that technology will only become more integrated in the workplace, giving rise to new needs that could impact a workforce’s ability to succeed. Businesses that embrace changing workforce needs today can use this transformation effort to prepare themselves for change tomorrow.

Empower passionate leaders who want to address new worker needs

Cultural transformations are impactful if they emerge from within an existing workforce. Businesses must empower leaders throughout their organisation who understand the benefits of a workforce that embraces the changes brought by the post-digital era.

Individuals who can balance an understanding of emerging workforce needs with ongoing business challenges are well-positioned to chart successful transformation strategies. Bring these voices to the table when you evaluate emerging stakeholder and workforce needs.

  • Author Helen Lindsay is a senior manager at multinational professional services Accenture. She has more than 14 years experience supporting clients to deliver programmes across a range of areas including enterprise agility, culture transformation, HR transformation and employee experience.

Helen Lindsay

Helen Lindsay

Senior manager at Accenture

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