What is the best way to streamline and maximize digital adoption through COVID-19?
The global disruptions that began in 2020 have dramatically influenced the workplace and they may continue for several years. Some, in fact, predict that many of the changes caused by the pandemic will become permanent.
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These drastic shifts have had major impacts on the business landscape, the economy, and the workplace, among other things.
To successfully adapt to these changes, managers and business leaders will need to find new ways of driving digital adoption and transformation.
Below, we’ll cover a few key strategies that can help maintain peak adoption during COVID-19 and into the post-COVID next normal.
5 Tips for Driving Digital Adoption Through COVID-19
Here are a few strategies that can help companies maximize the ROI of their software investments, improve employee engagement, and get more from their digital adoption efforts.
1. Focus on upskilling the workforce
Upskilling, reskilling, and training have become essential for the modern workforce.
Research has shown, for instance, that:
- More digital skills will be needed to keep up in today’s digital economy
- A lack of critical employee skills can inhibit performance and innovation, among other things
- Skills training programs improves employee engagement, retention, and job satisfaction
- Successful software implementation and adoption depends heavily on workplace training programs
In short, managers should invest in a structured digital training and adoption program.
That investment can significantly improve employees’ ability to both implement new tools and make use of existing ones.
2. Build a digital-first, remote-friendly workplace
COVID-19 has been a catalyst that has transformed the modern office into a virtual workplace.
Though there are pros and cons to remote working, the forced nature of this change has been undoubtedly difficult for many organizations.
For better or for worse, the future of work will be more remote, even after the pandemic ends.
Therefore, business leaders must find ways to:
- Provide digital training to remote workers
- Manage employees remotely
- Onboard employees online
- Collaborate and communicate virtually
First and foremost, managers must recognize that the workplace will not “return to normal” after the pandemic.
Instead, we will be returning to a new normal – or, as McKinsey has called it, the “next normal.”
Virtual software onboarding and training programs, therefore, will remain essential in the years to come, even after the pandemic ends.
3. Use digital adoption platforms
Digital adoption platforms (DAPs) are automated training tools that streamline onboarding, training, and development.
They are ideal for remote workforce training, since they require no human oversight or intervention.
These platforms offer several key features that help users stay productive and proficient:
- In-app walkthroughs take users one step at a time through software workflows, providing them with experience that is hands-on and immediately useful
- Contextualized guidance, through features such as chatbots, allows users to quickly find answers to technical questions
- Software analytics analyzes users’ interactions with software, helping training managers design more relevant and useful training programs
When provided as part of a comprehensive digital adoption strategy, a DAP can help users stay productive and proficient, no matter where they are located.
4. Incorporate agile thinking into the adoption program
Adaptability is not just advantageous in the COVID-19 era, it is mandatory – and it will still be essential for the foreseeable future.
McKinsey, Accenture, and many other leading research firms predict, after all, that the post-pandemic world will remain uncertain and volatile for years.
Agility, therefore, will become even more important for companies that want to survive and thrive in that era.
Here are a few ways to use agile methods to improve digital adoption efforts:
- Create metrics and KPIs that track the performance of digital adoption efforts
- Continually collect that data and use it to understand the program’s strengths and weaknesses
- Encourage innovation in the workplace, experiment, and test new ideas regularly
Agility, in summary, is a business principle that can be used to improve performance and speed in every business process, including digital adoption programs.
5. Don’t just embrace change, invest in it
McKinsey has pointed out that big investments in change yield big results. Smaller business changes, on the other hand, yield smaller results.
This same principle holds true at every level of the organization, from big-picture business strategy to local workflows.
Large-scale changes are often more intimidating, since they carry a greater perceived risk. A complete overhaul of a training program, for instance, can seem much riskier than incremental changes.
However, the problem, McKinsey suggests, is that the economy itself is changing at a rapid pace. And if organizations change too slowly, they will fall behind the curve.
When it comes to digital training and adoption programs, here are a few reasons why it is important to invest in big changes instead of small changes:
- The modern workplace is evolving faster than most employees can keep up, resulting in an ever-widening digital skills gap
- The digital workplace has become a complex ecosystem of digital tools and workflows – traditional training methods, as a result, simply cannot scale up effectively, nor can they deliver the same ROI as more modern methods, such as DAPs
- Many employees recognize the need to become perpetual learners, and the best talent will seek out employers who can help them keep up with the changing world of work
To sum up: managers, trainers, and business leaders will need to take bigger steps in order to keep up with the rapid changes that are taking place in today’s business world.