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Employee buy-in crucial to digital transformation success

Facilities management businesses are failing to keep their workforce at the heart of their digital transformations, leading to employee dissatisfaction and hindering the success of digitalisation initiatives, new research has found.

According to the Connected Enterprise report, produced by digital transformation specialist Nexer in partnership with applied futurist Tom Cheesewright, only 21 per cent of the facilities management sector’s employees react positively to the implementation of new technology, and just 30 per cent appreciate the benefits of new technologies.

The report also shows that 12 per cent of businesses find their employees are reluctant to embrace new technologies, and eight per cent of business leaders would like to implement more technology but worry that they will face resistance from employees.

The research suggests that a lack of adequate consultation and education prior to the implementation of new business technologies may be behind employees’ negative reactions.

Tellingly, just 28 per cent of businesses said that their workforce finds it easy to learn how to use new technologies, while 37 per cent said that some or many of their employees find it a struggle.

Colin Crow, MD of Nexer, commented: “Only when used correctly and consistently can digital solutions make a tangible difference to business operations and outcomes.

“So while it’s vital to get the C-Suite on board in order to secure funding for exciting new technology in the first place, it’s equally as important that those who will be using the technology day-to-day are convinced of its benefits.

“In order to ensure optimum return on investment, businesses should always take a collaborative approach, explaining to employees the reasons behind any new digital technologies and providing as much support as needed for them to feel comfortable using them.”

According to the research, only eight per cent of FM businesses’ employees tell them that business technology improves their day-to-day life, and another eight per cent said that they regularly receive complaints from employees following the implementation of new technology.

Crow continued: “It’s important to bear in mind that while digital transformation makes companies more profitable, enhances the customer experience and enables them to keep up with competitors, it should also always improve the employee experience.

“If a new technology will not ultimately make the daily responsibilities of employees simpler or more efficient – following the appropriate training – then it is not the right technology for that business, and will likely not be a success in the long term.”

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