September 4, 2017

Sandro GonzálezSandro González
rrHH a Contracorriente

The role of Feedback in Digital Transformation

"Ask not what feedback can do for you, ask what you can do for feedback." – Free translation of an old American proverb by the author.
Digital transformation: hardly a day goes by without encountering these two words in combination on social media or in articles across various media outlets discussing management. It has been extensively explained: either you adapt and evolve, or you face obsolescence. If you are hesitant about embracing this change, consider the fate of companies like Nokia or the now-defunct video rental giant, Blockbuster.

Once you decide to embark on the journey of the 4th Industrial Revolution, we will guide you on how feedback can be a valuable asset in your digital transformation process. But before diving into that, let's set the context for both these concepts:

  • I always resort to the definition that I like the most about Digital Transformation, that of the specialist Brian Solis: “realignment of technology, business models and processes in order to create value for customers and employees in a changing digital economy.
  • And Feedback is fantastically defined by our Lucía Solla in the post about this house “Feedback is the New Black”: is the information we receive from our managers, colleagues and staff in charge with the aim of providing us with data with which to learn, improve performance in our work and even redefine the way in which we manage our organization.

Therefore, the first conclusion comes right up to our faces. It is not possible to create value without feedback, there is no digital transformation without feedback.

Let's get our hands dirty, let's see more specifically where feedback is essential in the digital transformation process according to my brutal method:

  1. Addressing the brakes. Before we begin the “reforms” we must make explicit the reasons for our traditional behaviors. We need feedback: Has communication always been one-way up-down? Are there baseless stereotypes and prejudices that are assumed to be valid without prior debate? Is there fear of knowing the opinion of the employee?
  2. Make corporate values explicit. Once we have realized that many of our past actions did not support a minimum analysis, we must know and build the corporate values of the company. We need feedback: defining BETWEEN EVERYONE the essence and identity of our house, the backbone that defines us. Who the hell are we?
  3. Know the degree of digital maturity of the company. TRAINING IN DIGITAL COMPETENCES. If there is something extremely forbidden in digital transformation, it is to implement tools like crazy, without knowing the degree of digital literacy of the team. We need feedback: to know the initial situation of the team and create learning communities where we can learn together, supported with specific training activities developed by specialists.
  4. Digital transformation project (Planning phase). Diagnosis of the situation: where we are, where we should be/where we want to be. Analysis of Personnel Administration tools (Payroll, PRL, Data Protection, Schedule Control) and Talent Management (Selection, Performance Evaluation, Work Environment) Have we optimized resources? What tools exist that best suit my organization and improve processes? We need feedback: to analyze the starting situation and to be able to choose the best tools that will lead us to the Cloud, to Networking and towards a New Digital Culture (being closer and closer to the objectives of effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability ). Essential here is an audit of the communication tools used in the company and knowledge of new ones: collaborative work tools (Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, Trello… including specific apps for employees such as Smarp) and ascending/descending communication tools (Newsletters, Reception Plans, Employee Portal or the already essential Careers Site, to show the world what it means to work with us and attract talent)
  5. Digital Transformation Project (Execution phase). Concrete actions in pilot experiences. Definition of the roles of the agents involved, new tasks and choice of tools to be implemented and indicators to monitor the results that we are obtaining. We need feedback: to redirect and adjust details.
  6. Evaluation. Results, diagnosis, execution, final impact on the organization... it goes without saying that we need feedback ? In fact, feedback is almost always translated as evaluation ;)

This process has several side effects, three of the most important being a new leadership style (more flexible), a new organization chart (more flat) and new job descriptions in many profiles (if not all) and in some cases some compositions of new, more agile, more collaborative teams.

If you have come this far, you may be tempted to think that HRider as a performance evaluation tool would only enter point 4, as a great Talent Management tool. WELL, IT'S NOT ONLY SERVED FOR THAT! We have seen that we need feedback in the 6 stages into which I have divided the digital transformation process, since we can use HRider in all 6: it is so customizable that it is not only used to assess competencies, but we can also evaluate climate indicators, find corporate values or anything we can think of that can be measured. It is even being used to assess skills in recruiting... you can tell I like it, right?

Well then there is no excuse. For feedback to help you, begin by asking yourself how to include feedback throughout your digital transformation process. And attack!

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Luckily for us to have the collaboration of Sandro Gonzalez, convinced, like us, that the future passes by take care of employees as the most important customers. In addition, he is the author of the fun and educational book #DePaletoAYoutuber with which he makes the language of the digital world accessible to everyone.