Mireia Ranera, vicepresident at Incipy will tell us the key to boost the digital workplace in SMEs and how change management is necessary for an SME to be successful.
The digital workplace is increasingly becoming a reality and even more so since the pandemic. Companies and their employees at all levels must adapt to this new reality and adopt new technologies to be successful.
We were able to talk to Mireia Ranera, Vice President of Incipy, digital transformation consultant and Director of the Digital HR division "Employee Digitalization", who will be able to talk to us in more depth about the subject.
- Considering the new trends that are taking place in workplaces and companies, partly because of the pandemic, what do you consider to be the keys to boosting digitalisation in SMEs?
The pandemic has accelerated the impact of digital transformation. It has brought us face to face with reality and has helped us to understand the opportunities that digitalisation can bring to our companies.
One of the keys to driving digital transformation is for the management committee to understand that digitalisation has also led to changes in our customers, the existence of business opportunities in other channels or the need to adapt to a different reality.
Another key is to put the customer at the centre. The pandemic has made us reflect on customer service, how we should relate to them, how they can find us in digital environments, etc. We must reflect on their needs and how technology and new channels can help us relate to them.
In addition, the third key is to do the same with the employee as we do with the customer, working with digital tools from any location, helping us to understand that it is possible to be productive and efficient outside the company.
- What do we mean when we talk about the digitalisation of the workplace? What does it encompass?
Digital transformation is a challenge for people and organisations, but technology is helping us to see that we can work in a different and sometimes more productive way, rethinking ways to make employees happier in the company, providing them with greater flexibility.
It will also help us to see that the customer has changed, and that companies may need to change the way they approach the customer and meet their needs.
- From your experience in the digitisation of the workplace, what do you see as the main challenges in the shift from the traditional workplace to the digital workplace? Conversely, what opportunities are opening up in this respect?
The pandemic has been the great accelerator of change. Before, everything was face-to-face, with fixed schedules, etc., and we have moved on to a scenario where we can work anywhere, with any device, and where face-to-face work is not necessary.
The big challenges are, first, in the mindset of embracing this change. The pandemic has helped us to understand that these new scenarios are possible and to identify that we have to address new working models. It is possible to come up with hybrid models where our employees are better off and more productive.
Another challenge is to identify technologies that can help us to work differently and to approach the customer in a different way, who has also changed his or her way of acting with the digital transformation.
We must reflect on the agility that new technologies bring in order to be able to dedicate more time to tasks with greater added value. Technology will allow us to be much more competitive and efficient.
- Do you think that in Spain there is a sufficient degree of digitalisation to standardise this process? If not, what would be needed in this respect?
There are studies that measure digitalisation in Spain. According to one study, 74% of Spanish companies have accelerated their digital transformation and 62% have increased their budgets in technology or new change projects, which is undoubtedly positive.
However, we are still a little behind the European average. Many companies still lack a firm commitment to digital transformation.
To motivate digital transformation, company management teams need to reflect on the need for change and be motivated to do so.
- What are the key aspects when implementing a digital workplace? Is it necessary to develop a change management strategy or do employees usually adapt without any problem?
The changes that need to be adopted by management teams to motivate digital transformation in an organisation must be defined and accompanied to be effective.
On many occasions, the changes are defined, but we do not help our people to understand them, nor do we explain to them what benefits they will bring, whether these are efficiency, flexibility, etc.
We need to communicate with employees to help them understand the changes. In many cases, changes are defined, but we do not help our people understand them, nor do we explain to them what benefits they will bring, be it efficiency, flexibility, etc. We need to communicate with employees to help them understand the benefits of change and of embracing digital transformation.
- If you need to implement a change management strategy, what are the main levers that need to be developed for it to be effective?
At the organisational and people level, we need to identify that roadmap and those projects that will help us address the change. The scope is so broad that we need to narrow it down and start with small things, with small projects, so that people can see in these small things that the project is worth something.
We must approach change with a digital vision, how can we evolve towards the digital workplace? By thinking about models of flexibility, hybrid companies with different working models that can work perfectly with digital tools.
- What main recommendations would you give to an SME that is tackling a digital transformation process with the digital workplace at the heart of it?
There are four main recommendations I would give to an SME:
- That there is a vision and sensitivity on the part of the executive team to address the change.
- Listen to employees, as we are changing many aspects of the company and their realities need to be taken into account.
- Develop small-scale transformation projects, to be able to communicate the benefits of change with small levers.
- The last piece of advice is to accompany the change, use the new tools and transfer them to the day-to-day work of the organisation.