Leading digitalization: Nordic happiness pays off

Digitalization, the use of technology to streamline work processes, access information and improve global productivity can be considered the ‘next big paradigm shift’, impacting the way we all work, live and relate to one another. As with all change, this brings both benefits and challenges.

Based on recent Gallup polls have indicated that less than 15% of workers today feel truly engaged and happy in their jobs, change is needed. Often low employee satisfaction is the lack of challenge and opportunity, not feeling valued but trapped in traditional hierarchies and management structures.

Digitalization allows automation of repetitive tasks so employees can be utilised as true ‘value-added human resources’ analysing and resolving problems, creatively developing innovative solutions and enhancing customer experience.

In addition, successful digitalization involves the use of technology to create and deliver new products and services, integrate complementary offerings from partners and continually innovate to compete globally. This can provide many new opportunities for employees to collaborate, innovate and grow in the workplace.

In the Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2016, 92% of 7000 companies surveyed say that today’s digital world of work has shaken the foundation of their organisational structure. As company shifts from traditional functional hierarchies to project team approaches, values and culture, transparency of goals, frequent feedback and free flow of information, and an employee’s contributions and accomplishments are valued more than the position in the organisation.

As seen by Adobe, GE, Daimler Benz and other global corporations embracing technology, successful digitalization requires leadership to:

  • Build project teams instead of hierarchies to dynamically achieve results.
  • Recognise, reward and compensate people based on goal achievement and productivity versus activity and hours.
  • Develop and demonstrate trust and respect for all employees.
  • Define and communicate a clear vision for the future.
  • Innovate and engage employees in creatively and dynamically building new solutions.

With an egalitarian culture and inclusive leadership style, Nordic organisations are well poised to make the transition to the new world of work and digitalization. By building a company culture focused on people having fun and driving innovation, profits will follow.

Known for a high quality of life and ‘happiness’ for citizens and employees, the Nordic area can provide many great examples of leadership in the new world of digitalization.

Provided to Norwegian American by Jennifer Vessels, CEO of Next Step, based in Silicon Valley with Oslo subsidiary which is bringing best practices from their leadership of Adobe, ShoreTel, Precise’s digital transformation to Norwegian enterprises.

This article originally appeared in the May 19, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American.

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