- Relatively few companies in a new Willis Towers Watson survey have a digital transformation plan to handle anticipated increases of automation in the workplace in line with their business strategy. Most of those surveyed said they needed a "breakthrough in leadership development" to meet the challenges automation will bring, the company said in a statement to HR Dive.
- Just 14% of survey respondents have an "integrated digital and business strategy and road map," Willis Towers Watson said, and slightly more than half either are reacting to digital changes in the workplace with very basic capabilities, or have a digital strategy that's not aligned with their business strategy.
- The survey showed that the amount of work completed by using automation doubled in North American companies in the past three years, and is expected to nearly double again in the next three years. During that same timeframe, almost all of the survey respondents (95%) said they expect to be using automation, including robotics and artificial intelligence.
The survey isn't the first to posit that many companies aren't prepared to undergo a strategic digital transformation. A global poll by telecommunications company Telstra found less than a quarter of U.S. firms believed their digital transformation was "highly mature," while 29% of U.S. firms and 30% of companies overseas had failed to begin a digital transformation at all.
Similarly, a 2018 Randstad US study found that most companies believe a new kind of leadership will be needed to initiate a successful digital transformation. Forward-thinking leaders, Randstad's respondents said, must be able to leverage technology while driving innovation, inspiring others, promoting collaboration and managing risk. As HR makes succession plans, it must look for leaders with these attributes to prepare the workplace for a digital future.
The workforce might also need to undergo a mindset change to prepare for a digital transformation. HR leaders can take steps to do so by looking to how others have implemented digital cultures.