Change drives productivity

The growth of productivity in the UK has been slow and steady since the 2008 financial crisis with the output per hour worked rising by just 0.2 per cent year on year.

However, at a time when technology is evolving apace, there is a considerable opportunity for organisations to transform how employees work. In doing so, they can improve productivity for better results.

To accomplish this, senior leaders will need to address pain points, action effective digital adoption and adapt organisational culture to actualise long lasting change for good.

Opportunities within digital change

As technology continues to evolve, it’s crucial that organisations take advantage of the vast opportunities on offer. Prioritising the needs of employees is essential. Subsequently, the adoption of new technology should only be invested in to successfully deliver more efficient ways of working. AI-powered tools are increasing in popularity as companies across the board are prioritising the automation of tasks that can give time back to workers. In turn, they can then help to optimise areas of the business.

Additionally, through the innovation of collaborative platforms, employees can access internal data in one location. This helps to speed up processes such as reporting and document sharing. Advancements in the Internet of Things has increased opportunities for productivity with organisations able to harvest real time data quickly. Such automation of data management removes the potential for human error and speeds up internal operations as a result.

Cementing change outcomes

Senior leaders should ensure every member of the organisation can use tools effectively to maximise the reward of digital changes. Delivering training in bite-sized modules will support this by helping workers to engage with learning and ensuring adoption occurs simultaneously.

Analysing how much workers interact with tools, their efficiency when using them and communicating directly with employees to mitigate any barriers to adoption will also ensure that change is sustained in the long term.

Investing in organisational change

When it comes to investing in new technology, decision makers should test the efficiency and suitability of the tool. Allocate a small proportion of the budget to building a business case for the tool and invest a further five to ten per cent to pilot it. This approach can help to ensure the successful delivery of the change programme. People should always be at the heart of any change journey and considering how beneficial new technologies will be to employees is key for success.

Empowering people through change

Encouraging honesty and transparency across the workforce can help to boost productivity. Intense pressure from senior leaders to work harder and produce better results often has a negative impact on the workforce. As such, senior leaders need to ensure workers feel heard. Working with employees and actively listening to any issues with the integration of change journeys will help overcome barriers.

Establishing a hard purpose for the organisation will support this by making tasks more fulfilling and improving buy-in from employees. Company hierarchies should also be challenged in this regard, with clients then workers prioritised over senior leaders. This will help employees to feel valued and in doing so, help to promote productivity further.

Delivering change for good

Digital transformations can broaden opportunities for the workforce at every level, including senior leadership teams. The growing connectivity facilitated by new technologies means leaders can effectively coordinate teams, speed up decision-making and benefit from greater oversight of the workforce’s activity.

The data management capabilities unlocked by new tools also gives senior leaders better insight into the organisation’s productivity as a whole, allowing them to understand its present and future performance. This digital twin of the organisation helps leaders to identify problem areas and ensure drivers for change are implemented to support productivity.

As the digital sphere continues to advance at speed, it is important for organisations to invest wisely to maintain a competitive edge and empower workers to reach their potential. This is key for creating a more productive workforce and delivering positive change outcomes.