Digital transformation (DX) is now a common practice, which has received an even bigger push after the spread of Covid-19. Many research reports have suggested that 30% of organisations succeed at digital transformation while the rest may taper off for various reasons. 

An organisation’s approach to technical implementation and strategic planning may be solid. Still, if the human touch and connection are not established, there may be some serious bottlenecks in achieving the desired results. This is why EMPATHY in TECHNOLOGY is the biggest and the most important factor that can make or break your DX efforts. 

What is empathetic technology?

Empathy means ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Technology in digital transformation that adjusts to the needs, sentiments and values of human personnel in a way that it’s not imposing, threatening or stressful can be more or less considered an empathy-driven strategy. For businesses, small or big, to have empathy is critical for the wellbeing and productivity of employees, vendors, service providers and even the C-suite execs if they are to fully embrace digital transformation as part of the work culture and its DNA.

Let’s further explore the concept. 

Digital transformation, although it entails tech-based introductions like AI/ML, Cloud Computing, Agile/ Lean methodologies, among others, its success largely depends on how soon and effectively it’s adopted by the people who are going to use and implement it. 

If the employees are not adequately prepared, primed and oriented towards digital transformation, it may end up causing stress and conflict instead of positive change. For workers operating in legacy systems, mastering technology cannot be done without proper guidance and leadership. 

The goal of empathetic technology is to bring workers and technology together in greater harmony and collaboration. Although the digital transformation revolution started with the advent of smartphones and the internet, it has now evolved into a phenomenon that also considers environmental, emotional, and psychological well-being. It’s the next level of digital transformation. Empathetic Intelligence is the next trending subset of Artificial Intelligence for a new phase of digital transformation. Here’s how to use technology with an empathy-driven approach. 

Make things easier

From the leadership level to junior employees, everyone struggles to adapt to the constantly evolving technical aspects and trends of digital transformation. As an enterprise, it’s your primary responsibility to share your company’s larger vision and goals of digital transformation initiatives. Someone who is going through a significant change in the workplace that directly impacts their performance needs all the support and help they can get. Introduce boot camps, training sessions and immersive one on one coaching to those who cannot cope and those who show interest, inclination and dedication towards digital adoption. 

Even though your employees may not be from a technical background, training them to use AI tools, cloud platforms, and other digital products would encourage them to be more open and responsive to digital transformation. 

Continuous improvement and education

It’s not enough to simply take an obligatory training session and leave the employees to face technical challenges head-on by themselves. Keep them in the loop regarding innovations, experimentation, and research in digital transformation trends to further empower themselves. 

Understanding the gaps

With the help of design thinking methodology and empathy maps, you can further analyse the areas in which your employees struggle to cope. Create a feedback loop so that external technology can then adapt to and anticipate the internal needs of the users. A shift in the culture both internally and externally needs to be brought about to benefit the employees and customers equally. Retraining core personnel in various departments like finance, admin, marketing is an essential part of change management; however, it’s only the beginning. Everything you train them for needs to be applied practically to their specific job roles, enabling them to use strategic thinking to produce tangible results. 

If they fail or take longer to get to established goals, a genuinely focused leadership would take necessary steps to create iterations and alternative approaches while providing personalised support to develop a sense of security and encouragement among employees. 

Measuring the success of digital transformation

It’s entirely possible to accurately measure the success of digital transformation efforts by using a combination of tools and techniques readily available in the market. DX initiatives should have a separate set of KPIs and metrics to determine the percentage of output against manual hours invested per person, Customer Satisfaction Index, Customer Effort Score (CES), financial performance/ROI generation increase after digital adoption, productivity indicators, counting the number of processes performed on new software, the percentage of licenses of purchased tools inactive status/usage, to name a few. 

The role of empathetic technology in digital transformation is undoubtedly vital. Companies should design their DX planning with a strong focus on creating a wholesome and resilient work culture.