Digitization in a company is a big change. And employees - especially senior ones - have a natural fear of any big change. The task of company leaders is therefore to clearly explain to people exactly how digitization will simplify their work, and at the same time to dispel the fears that employees tend to have associated with it.
Michal Hanáček, COO of Pilulka.cz pharmacies, recalls the beginnings of digitization in his company as follows: "When we received an electronic delivery note, someone had to print it and then rewrite it item by item and batch by batch into the same computer. It was crazy,” he says. Nowadays, the EDI system does it automatically for them.
Digitization in companies makes work easier and usually automates routine activities that no one enjoys. There is a need for companies to show their people what they will digitize and what exactly it will bring. Employees are then often surprised and, despite the initial mistrust, eventually find that the new way of work suits them better.
"It is essential that companies explain digitization clearly. We often encounter that suppliers and companies do not know how to communicate its benefits in a way that ordinary people can understand," says Lubomír Veselý, CEO of GRiT - the company that launched the Burst the digital babble campaign, which tries to break down communication barriers in digitization .
Many employees fear that they will not learn how to use new technologies. That is why it is necessary to pay attention to them even before the introduction of digitization, to explain everything to them, or to prepare teaching materials that they can return to at any time and do not have to feel that they are constantly bothering someone.
It is also important that companies do not put pressure on their employees, but instead calm them down. Some people are afraid that they will enter something wrong into the system and cause damage for a lot of money. This can be solved, for example, by using user permissions, when selected tasks are subject to the approval of a superior.
Digitization experts also recommend that companies establish a grace period during which they are more lenient with employees. It can be a few weeks, and in the case of major changes, even a few months, so that everyone has enough time to get used to the new technologies.
So that the digitization project is not only supported by the top management, the company should select its ambassadors - most often representatives of middle or lower management - who will be enthusiastic about the project and subsequently transfer their enthusiasm to their immediate subordinates.
Employees naturally have more trust in lower managers, moreover, they are in much more frequent contact with them than, for example, with the technical director of the entire company.
Even if you do everything right, there will almost always be people in the company who will not get over digitization and will eventually leave. However, it can often be less efficient employees who were deliberately hiding in the original system so that they could not be seen. If such people leave the company, it is usually for the good.