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Being digital: Embrace the future of work and your people will embrace it with you

Organizations need to secure the skills and talent required to innovate and build the workforce of the future.

Overview


While the effects of digital disruption on business and operating models are familiar territory, the impact on the workforce could be the Achilles’ heel of organizations seeking to be digital.

Accenture Strategy research shows 78 percent of business leaders expect their organizations to be a digital business in the next three years. And if they are to realize the benefits they anticipate from being digital, the readiness of their workforce must become a priority.

The digital journey is seen to offer tangible benefits by business leaders—and is being even more positively embraced by their employees. From new roles, different ways of organizing work, and changing work practices there are significant opportunities to humanize work—as long as business leaders reinvent their strategies, become digital role models and address the needs of the workforce of the future.

82 Prozent der Arbeitnehmer erwarten, dass sich der digitale Wandel in den nächsten drei Jahren auf ihre Arbeitsweise auswirken wird.

Key Findings

Conventional wisdom suggests that employees are a barrier to digital progress, yet Accenture Strategy research shows the opposite is true. Compared with business leaders, employees indicate that they believe digital will improve their work experiences and job prospects, and they are proactively seeking out the skills they need to suit the demands of a digital business.

To capitalize on the positivity of their employees, business leaders need to act on their strategies, adjust their workforce skill sets and prioritize the workforce changes that will fast-forward their digital journey.

  • Right mind-set, wrong focus? Business leaders expect to see improvements across a wide range of factors from adopting digital technologies.

  • Right strategy, wrong skills? Organizations are grappling with the changing roles, skills and technologies necessary to be digital.

  • Right priorities, wrong journey? From the research it is clear that the move to digital for organizations across industry sectors is a top priority.

Recommendations

The digital journey is a significant change for all organizations. Going forward business leaders need to:

  • Align the workforce and HR strategy with the business: Coordinate the workforce approach with the overall digital business strategy to influence areas such as workforce planning.

  • Start experimenting with more agile ways of working: Engage the workforce to reinvent business processes and capabilities with big data analytics, the Internet of Things, social collaboration tools and 3D/virtual reality interfaces.

  • Define the digital skill gap: Create a digital skills catalog by defining required skills and level of competency by job.

  • Develop digital competencies: Use ubiquitous training and new ways to learn via social learning platforms and other online forums.

  • Foster leadership behaviors that fuel a digital culture: Set clear direction, engage with the workforce using collaboration technologies, actively encourage feedback and innovative thinking, and push out decision-making to the edges of the organization.

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