Digital Transformation to Maximise the Employee Experience

John WaldronArticle, Blog

Digital Transformation to Maximise the Employee Experience

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Digital transformation initiatives are accelerating all over the globe. While the pressure to digitise was undoubtedly heating up already, the emergence of COVID-19 and the subsequent global disruptions it’s caused has added fuel to the fire, and the race is now on to adapt. For many companies, this will require the rapid deployment of digital business solutions — powerful communication, collaboration, and data sharing tools like metasfresh ERP to ensure short-term survival and long-term success. However, as many pre-crisis studies have shown, digital transformations must be ushered in carefully and with great consideration given to the employee experience throughout the change.

Empowering Employees Through Leadership, Communication, and Technology Selection

All transformations are hard, but digital transformations are even harder. That’s according to McKinsey, which found in a global survey on digital transformations that despite the fact that more than eight in ten organisations had undertaken such efforts in the previous five years, only 16% had succeeded in improving performance while also equipping the business to sustain the changes in the long term. Of the companies that did report digital transformation success, however, a number of common factors were observed — key among them being strong leadership, empowering employees to work in new ways, and successfully communicating the change story to the workforce.

“Communicating a change story,” says McKinsey, “helps employees understand where the organisation is headed, why it is changing, and why the changes are important. At organisations that follow this practice, successful transformation is more than three times more likely. A second key is senior leaders fostering a sense of urgency for making the transformation’s changes within their units, a practice where good communication is central. Other results suggest that when communicating change stories, successful organisations tend to relay a richer story than others do.”

Fig.1 - Digital technologies, tools, and methods currently used by organizations

Digital technologies, tools, and methods currently used by organizations —Source:

The results point to something fundamental about digital transformations — they are as much about people as they are processes and technology. As such, as organisations race to upgrade their tech, they must make sure that their workers aren’t left behind.

The Human Element of Digital Transformation

Digital transformations are necessary to not only meet the needs of today’s digitally connected customers and business partners, but to empower employees to be more productive and successful at work. However, a recent survey from ZenSar that sought to measure workforce sentiment surrounding digital transformation found that more than half (53%) believe that their company’s digital transformation priorities are focussed on how to increase profits instead of empowering employees. In addition, nearly half (42%) of the 1,000+ survey group said that if their company’s digital transformation priorities focussed more on how to empower people, morale would improve.

As Sandeep Kishore, CEO at ZenSar puts it: “People who have the IT tools they need at work tend to be happier, more productive, and more connected to their companies and colleagues. That’s important to an organisation’s success.”

Indeed, it is. Frustrated workers are not happy workers — and unhappy workers are not productive. In fact, according to a six-month study into happiness and productivity from the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, happy workers are 13% more productive than their dissatisfied counterparts.

As co-author of the study Professor De Neve points out, “There seems to be considerable room for improvement in the happiness of employees while they are at work. While this is clearly in the interest of workers themselves, our analysis suggests it is also in the interests of their employers.”

metasfresh ERP — The Next Generation of Open Source ERP User Experience

Implementing new digital tools to improve processes, productivity, and efficiency is of course the driving force behind a digital transformation — that is, to tackle traditional problems with new, innovative, digital solutions. However, it’s imperative that employees are on board, motivated, and included in the change process in order for the transformation to be a lasting success. This, as we can see from the McKinsey survey, comes down in part to sound leadership, as transformations inevitably change the way the business functions.

But it also comes down to the actual digital tools selected to digitise processes. Some enterprise applications like ERP systems can be overwhelmingly large and complex tools that take months and months to implement and even longer for successful employee onboarding — with no thought paid to the employee experience of using the tools whatsoever.

This is the precise opposite of what we have aimed to achieve with metasfresh ERP. Indeed, metasfresh is designed from the ground up to be as powerful and functional as it is enjoyable and easy to use, offering a unique open source ERP user experience to everyone and leaving no one behind.

ERP Software has not only to be powerful but also enjoyable and easy to use.metasfresh Cloud ERP Vision

At metasfresh, we know that successful digital transformation relies on people. Implementing a new piece of software should not require your entire workforce to learn vast new swathes of computer skills. Rather, the tool itself should be so intuitive that anyone can use it, regardless of whether they have worked with ERP software before.

Harking back to the ZenSar survey, 76% of today’s professionals say that having the digital tools they need at work makes them more productive, 53% say it makes them more successful, and 28% say it makes them happier. As Kishore notes, “Today, business is about delivering great experiences — human experiences, and delivering great experiences begins as an inside job.”

With metasfresh, you can bring a powerful ERP system — one of the most fundamental tools of all digital transformation efforts — to your organisation easily and efficiently, providing your workforce with a sophisticated tool to do their jobs better without destroying morale through struggling to get them onboard with an overly-complex system. That’s because we have made metasfresh ERP to adapt to the user and not the other way around.

metasfresh ERP is the next generation of open source ERP user experience. It’s reliable, secure and scalable, and our modern web interface is simple to use, has easy-to-understand controls, and can be accessed from and used on any device with a modern browser — the ultimate tool to empower your employees through your digital transformation.

Talk to us here at metasfresh to find out more. Since 2006, we have been developing our metasfresh ERP software non-stop with open source components and under the open source licenses GPLv2 and GPLv3. Our mission is to enable each and every company to access a powerful ERP system that supports digital transformation and fuels corporate growth. Get in touch today for more information and insights.

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