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It’s natural to fear change. In business, change can be risky to morale, the bottom line, or both. There are certain changes, however, a business can’t afford to avoid. For nearly all industries in the 2020s, becoming a modern, digital workplace is one of them. If you need to upgrade your organization, here are some tips to doing it without making employees more nervous than necessary.

Get Buy-In By Explaining Value

People have a tendency to gravitate towards outdated processes because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Employees used to post-it note memos and leather-bound planners may be skeptical of digital culture in the workplace. It’s understandable, so leaders need to get them excited about what it has to offer.

Explain the convenience of having shared teams and groups, being able to sync calendars across devices, and video conferencing. For many, the trick is to just introduce one platform or feature at a time. Perhaps a weekly training on this is a good idea.

Train, Train, and Train Some More

Speaking of training, the seeds of digital culture will never take root if people don’t know what they’re doing or feel comfortable with the technology they’re using. This means management must be patient and encourage any question to be asked big or small. Employees who are used to having digital technology incorporated into their lives will catch on easily. Set up a system where they can mentor older employees who aren’t as comfortable with it.

Foster Collaboration and Embrace Risk

“Buddy systems” are crucial to a successful digital culture. Training employees with group projects will help make tricky concepts stick. It will also help employees bond and brainstorm. Never underestimate the synergy that unlikely pairings or groups in a workplace may have. 

Conversely, management must be prepared for digital newbies to make mistakes. You should not only be patient with people who talk on video meetings while muted or work their camera incorrectly, but you should also proactively tell everyone that this is a new world, and everyone will make mistakes.

Stay Transparent

Clearly communicating goals and strategy is critical to any organization and it’s especially true in digital culture. In addition, great companies own their mistakes and grow from them. Be transparent with your staff as much as possible. It will help keep them engaged and feel valued.

Digital tools, when implemented properly, can make a business exponentially more efficient. The trick is to introduce them to employees in a thoughtful, non-threatening manner.