Switching off from work is harder than ever. Whereas once upon a time, our working day ended when we left the office, we’re perpetually plugged into the system. And so it’s no surprise that – since the advent of COVID-19 – 42% of workers globally reported a decline in their mental health. Is technology the culprit? Yes, to a point. But it doesn’t have to be. Digital transformation can improve employee well-being too but only if its embraced as part of a business’s culture.
Fail to spot or act upon signs of employee burnout and a range of destructive symptoms will manifest – including, but not limited to, absenteeism, depressed retention levels, and low productivity. As a forward-thinking and supportive employer, you’ll take any steps necessary to prevent this from happening. There’s just one small problem: you don’t know how to leverage the benefits of digital transformation to make this happen.
Fortunately, advancements in technology mean it’s easier than ever for businesses and organisations to build stronger, happier, and more resilient workforces.
This blog will explore ways you can make this happen.
Digital transformation: steps you can take today to create a happy, engaged, and productive workforce
In an age where remote and hybrid working have become the norm keeping tabs on your employees’ wellbeing is of paramount importance. Here are some strategies you can implement to support your teams.
Embrace the benefits of video conferencing
‘Zoom-fatigue’ is an actual thing. Employers must therefore walk the tightrope by ensuring team members feel included – but without mentally exhausting them. The key, of course, is moderation. There’s nothing wrong with a morning stand-up. But is that afternoon sales meeting also necessary or could that information be shared via email instead?
That said, embracing video conferencing as part of your digital transformation strategy can improve mental health. Employees working from home can feel isolated and out of the loop. And this can lead to depression and confusion – in turn resulting in emotional detachment and a drop in productivity.
A daily stand-up is:
- A great way to get team members talking – not just about work but other topics too
- An opportunity to share individual successes – so that people feel valued
- A way to raise issues before they become problems – reducing anxiety
In moderation, video can improve collaboration, prevent isolation, and boost productivity. That’s why, in order for digital transformation to work, it’s good practice to have a silent day too where employees can work without interruption.
It’s not just about technology
That’s not to say technology is unimportant. Having in place the right apps, systems, and hardware is essential if you want to improve employee wellbeing. But people only flourish if the right environmental conditions are created.
Have you considered giving Work From Home (WFH) employees a stipend to buy not just equipment – but training courses, and the odd coffee?
Let’s break each down in turn:
- Equipment. Investing in a new laptop, chairs, and a desk won’t just improve efficiency and productivity. It will also help employees optimise their environment, allowing them to separate work from family life.
- Training. Giving remote workers access to online learning courses will ensure they don’t stagnate and become bored in their roles – while also helping them feel valued.
- Coffee. What’s coffee got to do with digital transformation? It gives employees a reason to unplug from technology or work from a different location and enjoy a change of scenery.
It’s becoming clearer now that digital transformation transcends technology and instead needs to part of a series of broader cultural changes that are supported at every level.
“Mental health isn’t just something we talk about in a blog. It’s something we’re passionate about supporting too. That’s why we welcomed the opportunity to help The Samaritans get more from their Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central software.”
Read our case study to learn more.
Digital marker apps
Speaking to an employee on a video call or in an office won’t help you understand their state of mind. And its unlikely they’ll tell you – because mental health issues (wrongly) carry a stigma. So how can you use digital transformation to support employees mental health?
Marker apps can gauge mood through touch or voice, giving valuable insight into a person’s state of mind. Once downloaded onto a smartphone the software sends data anonymously to the employer – and even prompt the worker to take a break (or holiday).
Make marker apps part of your digital transformation strategy and you’ll:
- prevent mental burnout, meaning employees will be happier, more productive, and stay longer
- benefit from key metrics that help you identify and overcome pain points before they become issues
Using apps and wearables to optimise digital transformation will soon become standard practice. So there’s no better time to embrace this new technology.
Digital transformation is as much about participation as it is technology. So involve your remote and on-site workers from the start. That way you’ll be cresting the wave of cultural buy-in – rather than fighting against a tide of resistance.
From these conversations with employees should emerge a strategy that tells you (i) what your objectives are; and (ii) how you’re going to achieve them. Without this roadmap progress can’t be made.
Finally, don’t forget to review and update your systems and processes. Otherwise you’ll replicate the same problems as before.
Need a helping head? Then contact Creative today to learn how we can digitally streamline and transform your business.