Digitization must occur throughout the entire company for it to work. From there, change management becomes a crucial competency. According to a survey, employees need digital skills for this to happen, and managers need a sure instinct for change management.
Transformation of a Butterfly
No digital transformation can happen without a strategy and change competence. If both are missing, a caterpillar does not become a butterfly. A company will be unable to bloom with proper change management competency.
Eight out of ten companies (81%) expect their employees to have general digital literacy. Change management methods are also increasingly being used, which adapt structures and trigger change within the workforce.
These are the survey results of “Don’t Panic – Letting people go digital” commissioned by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Bitkom Research surveyed 953 companies with 100 or more employees in Germany.
Compared to the survey two years ago, the biggest change was in change management methods – an increase of ten percent. Mainly large companies are making use of these methods.
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Digital and Change Competence of Employees
According to Springer authors Christina Meisterjahn, Christina Kris, and Jonas M. Koch, “there is a great need for action in change competencies such as the willingness to engage in change actively.”
In the book chapter “Enabling and accompanying internal company change enablers as pioneers and driving forces of digitization,” they explain that the most important challenge of digitization is to prepare employees for the changes in the world of work, “Employees are the biggest obstacle, but at the same time the biggest promoters of digitization,” say Meisterjahn, Kris and Koch.
According to the Bitkom survey, half the companies state that employees are quick to adopt new technologies. A similar number (44%) also complain that the effort to convince employees to use new technologies is very great. This is one reason why two-thirds of the companies train their employees specifically in the use of new technologies.
Everyone Must Pull Together on Digitization
It is also interesting to note that in almost 35% of the companies surveyed, an official Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is responsible for the digital change process. In only 26% of the companies, this task falls to the management or the board of directors and in 23% to internal corporate communications.
“To make digitization successful, it is not enough to purchase new equipment or use technologies. Digitization in the company means changing processes and structures, and such a change must be actively designed and accompanied. Change management means communicating necessary changes and taking each individual with them,” says Kay Müller-Jones, Head of Consulting and Services Integration at TCS.
And Axel Pols, Managing Director of Bitkom Research, emphasizes: “The study shows that in recent years the realization has become more and more widespread that digitization can only succeed together with the employees. Well-trained specialists are valuable for companies”.
Personnel Management and Development
Springer author Angelika Lippe-Heinrich also emphasizes the book chapter “Personnel Management and Development in Digitized Work Processes.”
“The change in company work due to digitization and networking requires a new management style and the use of new approaches and instruments of personnel management, with the creation and maintenance of a good corporate culture at its core, in a working environment that is conducive to quality, innovation, and motivation.”
Agile Methods in Project Management
Another major change lies within the methods of project management. For example, 43% of the companies surveyed state that they are increasingly relying on agile methods.
Last year, this figure was just 35%. The trend is even more pronounced in large companies with 500 employees or more. Here, 52% of companies are increasingly relying on agile methods. This is an increase of ten percentage points than in 2018 (42%).
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This article was originally published by Springer Magazine.