Three ways to shift your organisation’s culture towards digital transformation

Unless you work in digital marketing or communications, you may not have heard of digital transformation. However, if you’ve recently logged on to gov.uk for any number of life admin tasks, such as registering to vote, viewing details about your driving license or applying for a student loan, you’ve certainly witnessed it.

The government is just one of many organisations transforming its digital services, making them simpler, clearer and faster to use. UNICEF UK has spent the last few years spearheading digital transformation in the charity sector, and many more organisations are following suit.

Experts are telling us it’s time to change the way we approach digital technologies. But before you launch head first into a complex digital transformation strategy, let’s take a step back and consider the role behaviour and culture plays in digital transformation. There is little point in overhauling the digital tools and approaches you use as an organisation, if your staff don’t have the confidence or capability to champion this transformation.

Digital transformation is at least as much about culture as it is technology. How you approach this, will of course depend on where you currently are, and where you want to be.

At NCVO, we know that in order to become more open and networked organisation, everyone has a crucial role to play in connecting and engaging people more effectively online. While the majority of our staff are digitally capable, we have some work to do on building digital confidence and independence.

With this in mind, here are three things we’re doing to kick off our digital transformation journey that you might think about doing too.

1. Involve everyone

It sounds obvious but to change the behaviour of your workforce, you need to consider everyone. Recruiting people across different teams to celebrate and champion digital will not only encourage peer to peer learning, it will help bridge the gap between the digital team and everyone else, placing digital at the heart of your organisation.

Mencap have used digital champions really effectively to engrain digital across their organisation.

2. Build confidence

Support your staff and encourage them to try out different digital tools. People learn best from doing – let them know that it’s ok to make mistakes (within reason). Of course, you need to provide guidance, training or support to minimise risks, but if you’ve instilled trust, you’ve probably inspired confidence.

3. Demonstrate the value

If you’ve spent time with colleagues, honing their skills and building their confidence, the chances are you’ve got them excited about the possibilities of digital. But if you need an extra push, be ready to demonstrate how digital will not only help them achieve their own objectives, but also the wider strategy of your organisation. After all, it’s a win-win situation.

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Helen Ridgway was NCVO’s online engagement manager. Helen has worked in the voluntary sector since 2006, including roles at Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and St Mungo’s.

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